County cites port for Peanut Island code violations

JFK bunker on Peanut Island. (Credit: Peter W. Cross for

JFK bunker on Peanut Island. (Credit: Peter W. Cross for


Palm Beach County cited the Port of Palm Beach for building code violations at historic Peanut Island, where a bomb shelter was built for President John F. Kennedy.


The port has leased the six-acre island since 1992 to the Palm Beach Maritime Museum.


The island, located just east of Riviera Beach, has three main buildings: the bomb shelter built in 1961 for President Kennedy, a former Coast Guard station built in 1936 and the boathouse for the station.


The Palm Beach Maritime Museum opens the Peanut Island facilities for public tours Thursday through Sunday.


The county cited the port for fire code violations and failure to obtain multiple permits including  a change-of-use permit.


Port attorney Gregory Picken told the Palm Beach Post that “the Port will need to deal with the violations through enforcement of the lease provisions with the Palm Beach Maritime Museum, Inc.”


Anthony Miller, owner of a company that manages the museum, told the Post that “we take safety very seriously, and we have a perfect record of 20 years without one injury on that property.”


Picken said Miller’s company, Maritime Business, has filed for bankruptcy, so “the port may be limited in what can be done at this point.”


About a year ago, engineering firm CHSM Hill reported to the Port of Palm Beach Commission that an inspection of Peanut Island facilities revealed problems including loose railings, termite damage and mold damage. [Palm Beach Post ] — Mike Seemuth



Lauderdale developer plans Vero Beach brewery

Michael Rechter

Michael Rechter


Fort Lauderdale-based developer Michael Rechter is advancing a plan to acquire an old diesel power plant in downtown Vero Beach and redevelop it as a brewery.


A city-appointed evaluation committee ranked Rechter’s proposed brewery project first among three bids submitted in January.


The old diesel plant on State Road 60, owned by the City of Vero Beach, would become a craft beer brewery called the American Icon Brewery, under Rechter’s development proposal. He is CEO of Fort Lauderdale-based Integra Real Estate Company.


“First and foremost we want to make sure that everything we do is in keeping the 1999 historic designation of the building,” Rechter told the Stuart News. “We want to keep and celebrate the huge diesel engine inside as a piece of historic industrial art which fits perfectly with what American Icon Brewery is – a celebration of all things iconic in America.”


The Vero Beach City Commission will consider Rechter’s proposed brewery development at a meeting on Tuesday.


“If the council goes with the committee recommendation, we anticipate a due diligence period of about 60 days, and a short closing period beyond that,” Vero Beach City Manager Jim O’Conner told the Stuart News. [Stuart News] — Mike Seemuth



Lauderdale boatyard and marina listed for sale

The Fort Lauderdale Boatyard and Marina

The Fort Lauderdale Boatyard and Marina


A 64-year-old Fort Lauderdale Boatyard and Marina has been listed for sale.


The  boatyard and marina, formerly known as Jackson Marine, is located in Fort Lauderdale along the South fork of the New River and is visible from an arched section of northbound Interstate 95.


Based on two appraisals in recent months, the 11.3-acre property has an estimated value of $18 million.


In the last 11 months, the boatyard and marina switched from one exclusive commercial tenant, National Liquidators, to a roster of 80 commercial tenants, boosting net operating income by almost 65 percent.


The property is “ideal for redevelopment,” Kelly Ruff, general manager of the Fort Lauderdale Boatyard and Marina, said in a press release. It has a ” long rectangular shape” that allows for “more than a few possible ideas for redevelopment strategy and planning.”


Ruff also said almost 30 potential buyers, including foreign entities, have registered and have begun a pre-bid due diligence process: “Surprisingly, the strongest interested buyers are not the domestic industry leaders. We’ve had a handful of qualified international purchase inquiries.”





Miami firm may do $100M Lauderdale Lakes project

Jason Robertson of American Land Ventures

Jason Robertson of American Land Ventures


The Lauderdale Lakes City Commission agreed to negotiate the sale of a 23-acre parcel in the city to Miami-based American Land Ventures for a mixed-use development.


The 23-acre parcel on the southern side of Oakland Park Boulevard at Northwest 31 Avenue is the largest vacant site in Lauderdale Lakes.


The city’s Community Redevelopment Agency bought the parcel in 2010 for $5.7 million.


Jason Robertson, vice president of development at American Land Ventures, told the Sun-Sentinel the value of the 23-acre parcel is between $7.5 million and $8 million. The city will get an appraisal done as negotiations proceed.


Robertson told the Sun-Sentinel that American Land Ventures would build a $100 million development there with a mix of rental apartments, retail stores, restaurants and commercial buildings.


Among other projects, American Land Ventures has developed the New River Village along the Riverwalk park in Fort Lauderdale. “We’ve blurred the lines between public space and private space so everybody can enjoy the Riverwalk,” Robertson said told the Sun-Sentinel.


Three other companies besides American Land Ventures submitted proposals to develop the vacant parcel in Lauderdale Lakes.


If the city fails to negotiate an agreement with American Land Ventures, it would start to negotiate with the second-ranked proposal, a joint venture between Lawrence Wright Luxury Development and GreenField Companies LLC.


A development proposal by ImmoCorp Capital was ranked third by the city commission, and one by BH Investments US LLC was ranked fourth. [Sun-Sentinel] — Mike Seemuth



More Canadian owners of Florida homes may sell

Canada's depressed currency

Canada’s depressed currency


The depressed value of Canadian currency against the U.S. dollar is not only discouraging some Canadians from buying Florida homes but also encouraging others to sell.


“Canadians see this time as an opportunity to sell,” said Canadian real estate agent Laura Leyser, speaking publicly at a meeting of real estate brokers and agents in Estero.


Bonita Springs real estate agent Michael Burke told the Naples Daily News that he targets Canadian owners of U.S. property purchased in early 2008, 2011 and 2013, when “the Canadian dollar was dancing around par or below the U.S. dollar.”


At the current exchange rate, the Canadian dollar, or loonie, is worth approximately 73 cents, and conversely, a loonie is worth between $1.30 and $1.40.


“It’s just a good time for them to sell  and net more with the exchange rate, Burke said.


If large numbers of Canadians start selling U.S. homes, the impact could hit hard in Southwest Florida.


Canadians account for seven out of 10 international home buyers in Collier County, according to the Naples Area Board of Realtors.  [Naples Daily News] — Mike Seemuth



CVS Pharmacy in West Miami hits the market

CVS Pharrmacy store at 2393 Southwest 67 Avenue in West Miami

CVS Pharmacy store at 2393 Southwest 67 Avenue in West Miami


Marcus & Millichap obtained the exclusive right to market a 13,103-square-foot CVS Pharmacy location in West Miami.


The store is listed for sale with an asking price of $14.21 million, or $1,084 per square foot.


Drew A. Kristol, a vice president, investments, in the Miami office of Marcus & Millichap, said in a press release the listing represents an unusual opportunity to acquire a CVS Pharmacy store “situated on a busy four-way signalized corner, with a rare 25-year term remaining on the base lease.” The lease is guaranteed by parent company CVS Health Corp.


Kristol and another Miami-based vice president, investments, of Marcus & Millchap, Kirk D. Olson, are representing the seller, a private investor in Coral Gables.


The 13,103-square-foot CVS was built in 2014 and includes a 24-hour drive-through lane. It located at 2393 Southwest 67 Avenue on the corner of Coral Way and Southwest 67 Avenue.


The property is surrounded by a residential neighborhood and, according to Marcus & Millichap, has a population of nearly 500,000 people within a five-mile radius.



The Breakers gets an ultra-luxury hotel within a hotel

Flagler Club terrace at The Breakers in Palm Beach

Flagler Club terrace at The Breakers in Palm Beach


The Breakers hotel in Palm Beach is a luxurious landmark with a new ultra-luxury hotel within a hotel called the Flagler Club.


Room rates at the Flagler Club, which opened in October, are around $2,100 a night, about three times the rate for a Breakers room.


The perks are abundant. Flagler Club staff call guests before they arrive to discuss their planned activities. Staff members also give guests their cell phone numbers to call anytime for service. Flagler Club rooms come with PranaSleep adjustable beds, Frette bed linens and robes, and Jo Malone bath products. The mini-refrigerator contents are complimentary, and so is daily newspaper delivery and a valet pressing service.


Also included in the room rate are breakfast, lunch snacks, after-dinner dessert and drinks in the private lounge of the Flagler Club.


Hotel decorator Adam Tihany designed the Flagler Club together with Peacock + Lewis Architects.


The owner of The Breakers created The Flagler Club after asking staff and guests in a survey what kind of hotel experience they would want if neither time nor money were an obstacle.


The Flagler Club is named for railroad mogul Henry Flagler, who originally built The Breakers in 1896. The current version of The Breakers was erected in 1926 in a mix of different Italian Renaissance styles. [Forbes] — Mike Seemuth