Pretty soon, if you live anywhere near downtown, and have any money left, you’ll have two new Grocery Stores to shop at!
These rubble piles, spotted today in the 400 block of North Federal Highway, will soon be magically transformed into a Fresh Market. Fresh Market is a smaller, more upscale grocer than we’re used to, and it’s groceries probably more exensive (if that’s even possible!)
The land for the store was once a sparkling Mayhue’s Liquors ( remember back then?), and a collection of other odds and ends including the Dolph Map company. The lands changed hands throughout the years, and the last owner, taxi magnate Jesse Gaddis, sold the land to Fresh Market. The market will be in the Victoria Park neighborhood.
today’s rubble = tomorrow’s yum yums!
The pictures below depict one of the Fresh Market’s models, inside and out.
The other new Grocer will be on the land pictured below.
The land is in the Northwest part of the City, at NW 7th Ave and Sistrunk Boulevard. The City bought the land decades ago and tore down the ramshackle houses for Urban Revitalization. The land has sat fallow for decades.
A few months back, the Milton Jones family, that has controlled the land for much of that time, got approvals and pulled permits for a new, discount grocery store called Save-a-lot.
The construction will start when the permits are issued. Expect it any decade!
So,as you learned in my last blog post, the City of Fort Lauderdale said they would entertain renaming about 100 feet of NE 5th Terrace, off NE 13th Street to …….
Gerry Cooper’s Way
….. in recognition of the life of the late Gerry Cooper, the City’s largest landlord, who helped start the renaissance of the blighted 13th Street section of the City about a decade ago.
The one wrinkle in the street renaming plan was the $300 for the cost of the sign. Who would pay for it- (and why are those signs $300 anyway?) The City Commission didn’t seem ready to cough up the $300 out of taxpayer monies, so I put the challenge to you – my loyal readers !! …… (I love my loyal readers !!)
Well, you all did pretty good, we raised $265, but the well ran dry. No more pledges were rolling in. We were $35 short of the mark ! What would we do ??
And then , like a mirage in the desert, it appeared!
An old street sign, thrown into a lot during Hurricane Wilma years ago, and recovered….There it was!
Now, if the City wants to know who was in the possible illegal possession of the old windblown sign all these years later, they’ll have to start using those enhanced interrogation methods to get me to talk.
The important thing is - it must be worth the $35 we’re short !…. It must be able to be repainted or something??
We’ll bring the sign and the $265 to Commission meeting when they formally vote on the renaming soon….. and hope for the best!
The city’s biggest landlord, Gerry Cooper, died a few months back, and there’s a move on to name a tiny little street after him. Many streets in Fort Lauderdale are named after deceased notables.
The Cooper effort has stalled. The City is ready to approve the renaming, but the City Commission doesn’t appear to want to spring for the $300 for the new street sign. The City has sprung for other street name changes in the past.
Gerry was the CEO of Cooper Properties, arguably the largest rental apartment owners ( and probably the largest residential tax payers) in the City. He was also quite well – known among the City’s movers and shakers, (he was one), and served on many of the City’s advisory boards over many decades.
Cooper moved his multi- million dollar operation into a downtrodden area (13th Street) about a decade ago and substantially renovated many of it’s structures . The neighborhood there, Middle River Terrace, appreciated that and worked well with Cooper, and recently asked the City to confer the street renaming recognition to Cooper.
Cooper offices on NE 13th Street
Cooper was a controversial figure, tough as nails for sure, respected by most, but reviled by some. The Cooper buildings are often in tough areas, catering to lower income folks, but are always maintained in acceptable conditions.
Cooper built his mega- holdings building by building, the hard scrabble way, and was known as anything but a pushover. There are urban legends about evictions of druggies and the such, done with little beauracratic approvals!
But a little know fact proved that Cooper had a soft side to all that toughness, with his commitment to provide wheelchairs for indigent folks in need of them.
The neighborhood specifically asked that the street alongside the Cooper offices be named “Gerry Cooper’s Way” (catch the double meaning?).
Here’s the Deal
We’re looking for 300 people to contribute a buck to this effort. I started this morning and have $11 already ! ….let me know privately at Tim@TimSmith.com if you can spare a buck, or I’ll hit you up when I see you…….. (just try and hide
ON (the agenda)…..
The Fort Lauderdale City Commission is expected to pick a new City Manager in a few hours.
There are three finalists, and it looks like it is coming down to a showdown between Michael Levinson, formally the Coral Springs City Manager,and Lee Feldman, the current Palm Bay City Manager.
I’m finding many of the City’s leaders prefer this guy below, Lee Feldman. I do too! Good Luck Lee !
Off ( the agenda)……
The latest plan for moving the chronic homeless out of Stranahan Park.
The City’s Homeless Task Force suggested the City try out the Commission’s agreed upon Mobile Feeding Program, using the Salvation Army’s Mobile Van this Friday.
The location suggested was Tunnel Top Park, ( on the top of the tunnel, of course) next to Rio Vista.
Needless to say, there was some opposition!
A memo was issued pulling the item off the agenda. Can you see the shock on my face from where you’re sitting?
Truth is, feeding this chronic population anywhere, without the necessary intensive services just won’t work. The Commission should adjust their plan.
So you say you want a windmill? You like the idea of cheaper electricity?
And you live in Fort Lauderdale?
….. that white twisted thing on the roof is a windmill
The jury is still out on whether or not you can have one. The windmill pictured above is on a roof off of SE 16th Street in Fort Lauderdale.
You see, that windmill had to be approved by the Board of Adjustment ( that’s getting a variance), because the law in Fort Lauderdale doesn’t allow them now.
Another request for a windmill from the BOA was turned down a few years back, and a new one, asking for 14 windmills at 505 Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard was recently tabled by the BOA.
“We need Commission input”, says Caldwell Cooper, a BOA member. “What’s the Vision for windmills here? There really needs to be a City policy”, Cooper added.
Sure enough, said the City Commission, as they sent the item off to the Utility Advisory committee for their opinion.
Cooper says the 14 windmill request comes back before his committee next month, and he hopes to get some direction from the policy makers by then.
Your tax dollars are about to pay a million dollars for this dump!
The property sits on Dixie Highway in Middle River Terrace. The City of Fort Lauderdale will own it, but Broward County is paying the tab through the old Land Preservation Bond. The City will have to develop it according to that programs’ rules.
The Land Preservation Bond monies were expended long ago, but this property never closed, due to the arsenic poisoning found in the soil around the property !
No one is sure where the arsenic came from.
This can in the back yard of the property is clearly marked Waste, but the mystery of the arsenic poisoning often points to an old plant nursery (fertilizer and insecticides) that was on the land and on the land of the adjacent Middle River Terrace Park land years ago, but the park land was tested when the park was developed in the late 1990′s and came up clean.
The City says that they will make the owner remove the arsenic before they take ownership of the million dollar baby, but word on the street is that the Countyy may actually let the owner leave the slab of the house ( and any arsenic that resides beneath!)
To be fair, this City Commission didn’t strike this bad deal, but they may be the ones left to mop it up!
code actions are often taped to the building
The house has sat abandoned and poorly maintained for years. There are 10 different Code Enforcement cases on the City’s website, with titles like open and abandoned, nuisance property, lot clearing, broken windows, broken fencing, and overgrowth.
The Broward County Property Appraiser assesses the value of the property at $293,010, ( I suppose the arsenic is thrown in for nothing!)
In my opinion, it’s clear that this property is not worth a million bucks. Some officials say that the deal was struck long ago when it was worth it, but it seems to me it’s time for a new deal!
Maybe self proclaimed fiscal watchdog Earl Rynerson should sink his teeth into this real boondoggle!
Here are some e-mail addresses you could send a note off to if you agree that this is not money well spent!
ale@DaleHolness@browardcounty.gov” border=”0″ laugh.png? emoticons blog.timsmith.com http:>Dale@DaleHolness@browardcounty.gov
City Manager Allyson Love’s departure from Fort Lauderdale City employment didn’t happen this afternoon after all, only the announcement that she will not be staying around under the new City Management, expected to take place sometime soon.
Apparently, the announcement was made at a meeting restricted to department heads this afternoon, and was not expected to leak out as fast as it did. ( and reported before all the facts were known!)
Love took the job on an interim basis, and was widely expected to stay after a permanent Manager was chosen, returning to one of her former positions. Much of the upper management of the City has already left, which could be creating a void.
The City Commission is expected to choose from a short list of three finalists for the Manager job at their next meeting. I haven’t been able to find out when the new Manager would start, and if Love has agreed to stay until that happens…. I’ll let you know when I do…
………. In a surprising move sure to upset the apple-cart at Fort Lauderdale City Hall, City Manager Allyson Love tendered her resignation about 20 minutes ago.
Love has held the important post since former Manager Gretsas left last year.
I’m trying to get more of the story now ….Mayor Jack Seiler has been apprised.
Who is Art Seitz ?
If you have to ask, then you definitely don’t pay attention to politics in Fort Lauderdale.
picture courtesy of Cal Deal
Art is a professional photographer, quite a good one, but is famous here as possibly the best known political Gad-Fly to ever work-over Fort Lauderdale City Commissions.
Here are two definitions of gad-fly, from Websters! ( both could apply?)
1. .. “one who upsets the status quo by poising upsetting questions…by proving an irritant
2. …… ” an insect that stings cattle, and deposits it’s eggs in their skins” !
Art has quite a colorful history. First, for full disclosure, Art sued me over something he didn’t like in my best selling local book - “Politics 101, I was robbed, mugged, blackmailed, and ignored, so I got elected and made a difference.”
Art also sued the City of Fort Lauderdale, and Martina Navratilova, the famous tennis player. Art also filed an official complaint against former Commissioner Cindi Hutchinson (even a clock is right twice a day!)
Art’s latest battle might be with Victoria Park Activist Charles King. King copied his e-mail below to the City Commission about his views on Art -
….. I know you view yourself as the “Patrick Henry ” of the beach ….. the Hurricane Storm Surge Barrier Island or HSSBI for short … …. bankrupt this city by approving all your totally self-centered impractical dreams of a senior citizen Utopia and water park at the beach funded at the expense of this city’s hard working families”
My advise to Charles – call your lawyer, tell him to stand by !
an Art photo