Tag: West

Developer fast-tracks apartments at I-95 and 45th Street in West Palm, with a possible hotel in future



a tall building in a city: Palm Beach Riverstone is scheduled to open in West Palm Beach by the second quarter of 2022, just east of I-95 at 45th Street.


© Courtesy of American Group
Palm Beach Riverstone is scheduled to open in West Palm Beach by the second quarter of 2022, just east of I-95 at 45th Street.

WEST PALM BEACH — Developer American Group is fast-tracking its Palm Beach Riverstone apartments, a 374-unit complex slated for 45th Street, beside the Interstate-95 northbound off-ramp in West Palm Beach.

President and CEO Gregory Horton said Tuesday his Los Angeles-based firm hopes to complete the project by the second quarter of 2022.

More: Bike path to link Palm Beach Lakes, Okeechobee boulevards with downtown West Palm Beach

The project also includes a tract for a 150-room hotel, if the pandemic-squeezed market revives. The apartment and hotel sites are next to a Wawa market and gas station under construction. The property formerly housed an IHOP and a Days Inn.

The city commission voted unanimously Monday to approve land-use changes to accommodate the project. The firm plans to apply for building permits this month and to start construction in January, Horton said.

The apartments will lease for moderate rents, some low enough for workforce housing, as required by the city, he said. “It’s not a luxury development but it’s certainly going to look like one.”

The eight-story project will include a roughly 500,000-square-foot, pengaton-shaped complex with a 36,000-square-foot atrium courtyard, he said. A two-story lobby will lead to the courtyard.

More: Man shot in leg near West Palm Beach, alleged shooter speaking with detectives

The apartments will be distanced from the interstate by a six-story, 700-space garage.

The firm plans to employ tunnel form construction, an accelerated building method in which panels for floors and walls are cast on the site and stacked, rather than using columns.

American Group is a family firm with most of its properties in California, but there are others in Washington State and Thailand.

With construction getting more difficult in California, the firm chose to expand elsewhere, Horton said. “We did our homework and decided where the population and demographics are best is Florida, Texas, Arizona and Utah.”

Riverstone is the company’s first project in West Palm Beach.

As the hotel market struggles, the firm is considering other options for the tract between the apartments and Wawa. Medical offices or a surgical center are possible, he said, as the site is just south of JFK Medical Center’s north campus.

If a hotel is built, it might contain a ground-floor restaurant, possibly something similar to the IHOP that used to be there, Horton said.

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This article originally appeared on Palm Beach Post: Developer fast-tracks apartments at I-95 and 45th Street in West Palm, with a possible hotel in future

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What’s the rush with west county hotel tax?

The Board of Supervisors is racing the clock to call a special election in March to raise lodging taxes in western Sonoma County.

Here’s our take: Call timeout.

Don’t rush this tax to a vote without sober consideration of the impact on the tourism trade, which is reeling from the coronavirus recession, or the potential consequences of an unprecedented commitment to add public schools to the county’s already stretched budget.

The proposal, sponsored by Supervisor Lynda Hopkins, would raise the tax on hotel rooms and vacation rentals from 12% to 16% across a wide swath of west county.

Tax revenue — an estimated $2.7 million annually — would be divided between west county school districts and the Bodega Bay and Sonoma County fire protection districts.

This proposal, which wasn’t on the Nov. 3 ballot, moved onto the fast track as the West County Union High School District discussed consolidation of Analy and El Molino high schools. The district is facing budget deficits exceeding $2 million a year, a result of declining enrollment.

No one wants to lose a local school. We get it.

But enrollment is down across Sonoma County, and the trend is likely to accelerate.

Consolidating the high schools would save $1.2 million a year, and the district may not be able to avoid that outcome — with or without the hotel tax. But other options, including combining the high school district with the 10 elementary school districts it serves, are under consideration.

In September, the Sonoma County Office of Education launched a feasibility study, which could take a year. Meanwhile, the school board placed a $48 parcel tax lasting three years on the March 3 ballot, which would provide help for immediate obligations while the consolidation study is completed.

Moreover, there’s no assurance that a hotel tax will keep both high schools open.

In fact, the school board opposed the hotel tax until the supervisors softened language that would have prohibited school closures in districts receiving a share of the revenue.

We have additional concerns about the tax proposal.

There is a nexus between a lodging tax and the fire districts, which provide emergency medical services. Up to 80% of calls in the coastal area are to assist visitors, according to the county.

As for taxing tourists to educate local children — well, it’s easier to persuade voters to tax someone else, especially when a two-thirds majority is required for approval.

But a transient occupancy tax, as it’s formally known, of 16% would be among the highest in the country, according to a 2019 survey by HVS, a hospitality industry group.

In California, the only higher taxes on lodging are 16.75% in San Francisco and 17% in Anaheim and Garden Grove, the cities nearest Disneyland.

West county hoteliers fear tourists will bypass them to stay elsewhere Sonoma County, where, with the exception of Healdsburg, rates will remain 12% or less.

Finally, if the supervisors start funding west county schools, other districts will surely seek lottery jackpots of

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Volunteers hand out Thanksgiving meals to homeless men at Lucerne Hotel on Upper West Side

UPPER WEST SIDE, Manhattan (WABC) — Volunteers tried to make the holiday special for homeless men being housed in hotels in Manhattan.

The group ‘Upper West Side Open Hearts’ handed out 400 Thanksgiving meals at the Lucerne on Thanksgiving.

They also distributed coffee and donuts at the Belleclaire on Thursday morning.

ALSO READ | Judge dismisses effort to hold up homeless move from NYC hotel

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CeFaan Kim reports a judge on Wednesday dismissed an effort to hold up the movement of homeless men from the Lucerne Hotel on the Upper West Side.

The handouts were followed by a spiritual walk and talk as well as a volunteer-led AA meeting.

On Wednesday, a judge ruled the city can move the men out of the hotel after neighbors fought to have them removed.

The approximately 200 homeless men can now be moved to the Radisson Hotel in Lower Manhattan, although there will likely be an appeal.

ALSO READ | Bronx pizza shop honored for feeding hungry New Yorkers during pandemic

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A pizza shop owner in the Bronx was honored by the city council for his hard work to help others in need.

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Judge dismisses effort to hold up homeless move from Lucerne Hotel on Upper West Side

UPPER WEST SIDE, Manhattan (WABC) — A judge on Wednesday dismissed an effort to hold up the movement of homeless men from the Lucerne Hotel on the Upper West Side.

The approximately 200 homeless men can now be moved to the Radisson Hotel in Lower Manhattan, although there will likely be an appeal, and the city may wait until after the Thanksgiving holiday to move them.

The decision is a blow to several residents who sued over the move, citing the stability of the hotel.

Exclusive: Tenants living in Manhattan hotel alongside homeless men say they feel trapped

During five hours of hearings over two days last week, Supreme Court Judge Debra James repeatedly questioned the move.

But in her decision, James said Lower Manhattan residents lacked “standing to challenge the relocation of residents from the Lucerne Hotel to the Radisson Hotel.”

She also dismissed the claims of the men who are currently staying at the Lucerne.

“The intervening residents have no right to choose their own temporary placements,” she said. “Thus, such parties have no grievance that is ripe for review, having suffered no harm cognizable under the law, and this court lacks subject matter jurisdiction and the intervening parties’ premature pleadings must be dismissed.”

ALSO READ | Rally held in support of homeless being housed at Manhattan hotel

The planned move has been paused several times while the case played out in court, and the city’s Law Department issued a statement after the ruling.

“We’re pleased with the court’s decision, which will allow the city to continue providing critical services to those who need it most in the way we believe is most effective,” it read.

The Lucerne has been the subject of controversy throughout the coronavirus pandemic, with neighbors and area residents complaining of a degradation to their quality of life. They gave fought to have the homeless moved, though the Legal Aid Society and the Coalition for the Homeless objected to the new plan.

Related: Homeless encampments line New York City streets, Cuomo calls it ‘public health threat’

UWS Open Hearts posted on social media over the ruling.

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Pac-12 football games set to continue despite West Coast travel advisories

The travel advisories issued jointly late last week by the governors of California, Oregon and Washington are not expected to impact Pac-12 football teams located in those states.

The advisories “urge against non-essential out-of-state travel, ask people to self-quarantine for 14 days after arriving from another state or country and encourage residents to stay local,” according to a statement posted on the website of California Gov. Gavin Newsom.

A conference source pointed to the non-binding nature of the advisories and to the Pac-12’s health and safety precautions.

“We’re looking into it, but at this time we do not think this will impact our games as scheduled,” said the source, who requested anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the topic.

“To date, our teams have and continue to receive testing prior to travel and upon arrival to each location, as well as use of physical protective measures during travel and upon arrival.”

Conference policy requires all players and coaches to receive point-of-care testing the day of travel, with results available before prior to boarding or departure.

A spokesperson for Washington Gov. Jay Inslee seemed to support the conference’s position in a statement issued to KING 5 in Seattle:

“These are recommendations, not requirements, so there is not an enforcement element to this. Collegiate sports are already governed by their own health guidance and will continue to follow those protocols.”

While the travel advisories seemingly won’t affect the Pac-12, which has eight teams in the three states, there is less clarity on the potential impact of tightening local restrictions.

In the Bay Area, for example, Santa Clara County is expected to move to an elevated safety level this week — either Red Risk Tier or possibly the most extreme, the Purple Risk Tier, according to San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo.

When the county was in Red in early October, Stanford was not permitted to practice on campus.

Instead, the Cardinal spent several days working out at Woodside High School in nearby San Mateo County.

It returned to campus for practice only when Santa Clara County dropped into the less-restrictive Orange Risk Tier.

Asked for the status of practices this week, the university issued the following statement:

“Stanford Athletics remains in contact with Santa Clara County as we strive to create an opportunity for all of our student-athletes to safely train and compete in their 2020-21 season.

“We appreciate the county’s continued leadership and remain prepared to adjust accordingly based on updated guidance.

“We will continue to evaluate the rapidly-changing landscape while prioritizing the safety, health and well-being of our entire community.”

Stanford players are tested nine times per week. The program hasn’t recorded a positive test since practice began in early October.

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Rally held in support of homeless being housed at Lucerne Hotel on Upper West Side

UPPER WEST SIDE, Manhattan (WABC) — A rally at a New York City hotel Saturday attracted politicians and advocates for the homeless.

NYC Mayoral Candidates Maya Wiley and Dianne Morales, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and former Manhattan Borough President Ruth Messinger and councilmember Helen Rosenthal were among the attendees.

The event was in support of men being housed at the Lucerne Hotel on the Upper West Side.

Last month, a temporary restraining order was granted allowing the 235 temporary residents to remain there.

The Lucerne Hotel has been the subject of controversy throughout the pandemic.

Area residents have complained of a decline in their quality of life.

Related: Homeless encampments line New York City streets, Cuomo calls it ‘public health threat’

On Monday, a judge will hear the case that determines whether or not the men can remain there.

At the same time, UWS Open Hearts will be distributing winter coats, hats, gloves, and other winter gear donated by the community.

On October 19, Judge Debra James granted the men a TRO in response to a suite of affidavits from Lucerne shelter residents, a physician who specializes in substance abuse, a social worker, and a co-founder of UWS Open Hearts attesting to the irrational and harmful nature of the move.

Because of the TRO, residents are now receiving six-day-a-week services on-site from Project Renewal’s Recovery Center, which provides intakes, occupational therapy, and group meetings. At a standard shelter such services would normally only be available off-site.

Exclusive: Tenants living in Manhattan hotel alongside homeless men say they feel trapped

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West Coast states issue travel advisory ahead of Thanksgiving

West Coast states are jointly asking anyone who arrives from out of state to self-quarantine for 14 days.



a airplane that is flying in the sky: West Coast states issue travel advisory ahead of Thanksgiving


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West Coast states issue travel advisory ahead of Thanksgiving

The new advisories in California, Washington and Oregon are meant to discourage nonessential travel and apply to both residents and nonresidents.

The travel advisories recommend individuals limit their interactions to their immediate household, defining essential travel as travel for work and study, critical infrastructure support, economic services and supply chains, health, immediate medical care and safety and security.

The advisories reflect the reality that the coronavirus is spreading uncontrollably across the country, and are meant to dissuade large gatherings of people ahead of Thanksgiving.

But unlike some other states, quarantine is not mandated.

“COVID-19 does not stop at state lines. As hospitals across the West are stretched to capacity, we must take steps to ensure travelers are not bringing this disease home with them,” said Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) said in a statement. “If you do not need to travel, you shouldn’t. This will be hard, especially with Thanksgiving around the corner. But the best way to keep your family safe is to stay close to home.”

California on Thursday became the second state to hit 1 million cases, and its positivity rate has climbed to 4.2 percent in recent weeks.

Several cities in the state have imposed new restrictions amid rising case numbers, including San Francisco, which has prohibited indoor dining and reduced capacities in gyms and movie theaters. It has also frozen plans for schools to return to in-person classes.

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West Coast states recommend 2-week travel quarantine

Three West Coast states issued a travel advisory Friday urging against nonessential travel and recommending quarantines for those who do travel between states and internationally.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee recommend travelers to their states and residents who leave and then return home self-quarantine for 14 days.

This recommendation does not apply to individuals who cross state borders for essential travel, which includes travel for work, study, critical infrastructure support, economic services, health, immediate medical care and safety.

“California just surpassed a sobering threshold — one million COVID-19 cases — with no signs of the virus slowing down,” Newsom said in a statement. “Increased cases are adding pressure on our hospital systems and threatening the lives of seniors, essential workers and vulnerable Californians. Travel increases the risk of spreading COVID-19, and we must all collectively increase our efforts at this time to keep the virus at bay and save lives.”

Brown said in a video posted on Twitter on Thursday, “If we do not act immediately, we will soon reach a breaking point.”

Inslee sounded a similar warning.


“We have to rethink spending time with people from outside our households right now, including Thanksgiving and the December holidays,” he wrote on social media. “This is temporary. We will get back to normal. But right now, it is just too dangerous to gather.”

This news comes after 10 counties and one city in the greater Bay Area issued a similar travel advisory Monday. Marin, Alameda, Contra Costa, Monterey, Napa, San Mateo, San Francisco, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz and Sonoma, as well as the city of Berkeley, urged residents to stay local and asked those who do travel to self-quarantine for 14 days.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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West Coast governors urge COVID quarantine after travel

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The governors of California, Oregon and Washington issued travel advisories Friday urging people entering or returning to their states to self-quarantine to slow the spread of the coronavirus as infections spike across the U.S.

The advisories stopped short of stricter rules imposed by other governors and instead said people should avoid non-essential out-of-state travel and quarantine for 14 days after arriving from another state or country.

“California just surpassed a sobering threshold – one million COVID-19 cases – with no signs of the virus slowing down,” California Gov. Newsom said in a statement. “Increased cases are adding pressure on our hospital systems and threatening the lives of seniors, essential workers and vulnerable Californians.”

The effort two weeks before Thanksgiving — traditionally the busiest travel period of the year in the U.S. — coincides with warnings for people to rethink their holiday traditions and not gather in large groups or beyond their immediate families in settings where the virus could easily spread.

The West Coast states have some of the lowest number of cases per 100,000 residents. But they have also seen a troubling rise in transmissions in November, though not nearly as severe as North Dakota and South Dakota, which have the highest rates per capita.

Oregon for the first time on Thursday surpassed 1,000 positive cases in a day. Gov. Kate Brown announced a two-week “freeze” Friday that will limit restaurants to offering only take-out food and close gyms.

“If we do not act immediately, we will soon reach a breaking point,” Brown said in a social media video.

She said if cases remain at the current level, the travel advisory will likely become a requirement.

California on Thursday became the second state — behind Texas — to surpass 1 million cases of the virus since the outbreak began, though it ranks 40th for cases per capita.

Eleven California counties were forced to impose stricter limits on businesses this week after cases rose above thresholds established by the state. Three Northern California counties on Friday said they would voluntarily join nearby San Francisco in halting indoor dining to help control the virus.

California Health Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said the state chose not to ban travel or restrict flying and instead appeal to Californians’ sense of personal responsibility.

Andrew Noymer, a public health professor at the University of California, Irvine, said the voluntary element makes sense because the state can’t police whether people follow quarantine rules. If word got out that the state wasn’t enforcing restrictions, people would ignore it and “the whole thing becomes a farce,” he said.

“I think it sets the right tone that these states are taking it seriously and that we have a bunch of hot spots in the USA,” Noymer said. “Nobody wants to become North Dakota.”

The travel advisory is not as strict as rules implemented in June by New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

Those three states require travelers to quarantine for 14 days and submit forms

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West Coast states issue travel advisory ahead of Thanksgiving week


An agent works at the counter May 28 in the Delta Air Lines terminal at Los Angeles International Airport.

An agent works at the counter May 28 in the Delta Air Lines terminal at Los Angeles International Airport. | Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP Photo

Updated


California, Oregon and Washington on Friday issued a joint travel advisory discouraging nonessential travel and urging visitors and residents returning from other states to quarantine for 14 days.

Essential travel under the advisory includes “work and study, critical infrastructure support, economic services and supply chains, health, immediate medical care and safety and security,” according to a Friday press release.

While other states such as Connecticut have mandated quarantine upon arrival for residents of high-risk states, California’s advisory falls short of a requirement. New York recently revised its quarantine order to exempt those from contiguous states and those who test negative at least 72 hours prior to arrival.

The California advisory applies to all out-of-state travel and visitors, including those from Oregon and Washington.

Context: The advisory comes as Covid-19 cases are increasing across California and the country. California just hit 1 million cases, and its positivity rate has climbed to 4.2 percent in recent weeks — a level not seen since early September, according to state Health and Human Services Secretary Mark Ghaly.

The Bay Area began considering a 14-day quarantine last week, Ghaly said in his Nov. 4 briefing. In the days since, nine counties have regressed to more restrictive reopening tiers, including two — Sacramento and San Diego — that entered the most restrictive purple tier. More than half of California residents are now living in purple-tier areas.

Los Angeles County, which remains in the purple tier, recommended Thursday that residents not travel out of state for the holidays and quarantine for 14 days upon their return if they do.

What’s next: Ghaly said during a press briefing on Monday that if the trends continue through the next week, more than half of California’s 58 counties will be moved into a stricter tier.

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