Following is my email to the Planning and Zoning Director, Mr. Little, Director of Planning and Zoning and Board members.
“Anyone who has perused the iPic application, what it requires and its negative impact on our city and the CBD, cannot accept it, recommend it or approve it.
It is far too intensive, it asks citizens and shoppers to give up 107 free surface parking spaces for just 50 that will be made available in the new iPic parking garage.
Many, if not most, near the 4th Avenue entrance to the garage will be set aside for the gifting of the north half of the 100 year old alley. This alley is critical to the operation and off Atlantic Avenue delivery, the waste removal and other needs of Atlantic Avenue stores in that area. To abandon the north half as suggested by the CRA would eliminate that access.
For What benefit is this 8 theater to the citizens of our city? The old public Library and Chamber of Commerce lands and buildings belong to the citizens of Delray Beach. Yet the proceeds from this possible sale, a reported $3.6 million would go to the CRA, NOT to the city which needs these funds. The developer tells us they expect 420,000 patrons each year. 420,000! They claim these theaters will bring an additional $6.5 million in revenue to downtown. Well, think about it - 420,000 times a very conservative $20 per person (including tickets - currently $18.00 at their current theaters), popcorn, candies, sit down-yes, they say "sit down food service, sodas, etc., comes to $8.4 million! Now how does it help downtown restaurants and shops when their estimated income goes only to the theater? Even if just 72% of the 420,000 attend, - 300,000, at $20-25 per attendee, the gross revenue will come to $6.0 to $7.5 million and go directly to the theater.
Additionally remember also that movie theaters are destinations, not anchors attracting shoppers and diners. For example look at the theater at Linton and U.S. #1. Several retail stores including strong nationals near the Regal Theater closed. And now, even Regal closed, replaced by a Gym.
We must not allow this project in the CBD proceed.
Thank you for listening. My agenda is on behalf of the quality of life of the citizens and the success of the businesses of Delray Beach.
Detailed information has been given to the P&Z Board and to your staff.
This project belongs outside the Central Business District (CBD) where 800 parking spaces would appropriately be required. It is totally inappropriate for our CBD! The developer is trying to squeeze a watermelon into a tennis ball. Look into this and satisfy yourself. I have and I believe this project will badly hurt the shops along Atlantic Avenue
I have a question: Is it time for the CRA Board to be elected by the citizens? The CRA has not removed most of the blight, especially south of Atlantic Avenue, collects its TIF from east of the Intracoastal to AIA.
Have you ever seen blight there?
Simplest way for that to happen is to have The City Commission replace the CRA Board and become the CRA Board.
If you believe as I do that this proposed theater and office project should NOT be located in the Central Business District with its entrance on S.E. Fourth Avenue then please contact our City Commissioners ASAP.
Yes, to have theaters NEAR to downtown town, with adequate parking would be nice, but it's not imperative
NOW ON SALE - SANDY'S BOOK - A Memoir - The CAMP DAVID ACCORDS 35 years later: No War, No Peace. -- (B&W and Full Color copies are available).
THIS BOOK IS ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT AT THIS TIME OF UPHEAVAL IN THE REGION.
See Book Page for FULL information and follow link to order.
ALSO ON SALE - THREE new books "The Immigrant Trilogy" - from his Beyond the Cedars series.
Remembering II - The Renaissance of a Village by the Sea is being written now, and should be available during the later part of 2015. Other individuals who were most active in Delray Beach's renaissance have been asked to contribute to this book. (Ready to add some names?)
Remembering II - The Renaissance of a Village by the Sea.This new book will seek to describe Delray Beach today as the nation's most "fun town in America"
Sandy’s latest speaking engagements.
Sandy spock at the Delray Beach Public Library. He regaled his audience on the Amazing Story of Delray Beach, Boca Raton and Highland Beach. He brings an extraordinary wealth of knowledge, having written two coffee table books on the subject. Sandy is a popular speaker – Please call the Library for information.
On Wednesday, January 28, 2015 at 5:45 PM Sandy will be speaking at the First Presbyterian Church of Delray Beach, to their "Wonderful Wednesday Group". This meeting is not open to the public.
A TESTIMONIAL FROM SANDY SIMON
21 January, 2014
As an American of Syrian lineage, and simply as an American, I have been very concerned with the bloodshed in my mother's birthplace of Damascus and pray that the fighting stop there, which has been a nation of hell for the 24 million innocents trying to live their lives in peace.
It is not in the best interests of The United States and Syria's neighbors: Lebanon, Jordan, Israel that Syria be in chaos and bloodletting.
Recognizing that most Americans have little depth of knowledge about the volatile Middle East region as a whole and Syria in particular, I hoped for some organization to emerge that sought peace in Syria through dialogue, an organization with credible principles and national credibility to bring the best interests of the 24 million innocent Syrian people and in the best interests of these United States, to the forefront of public and political discourse in order to urge our government not to involve itself in the internal affairs of Syria ether by supplying various forces fighting each other with weapons and other military and non-military supplies, which only exacerbate the chaos in Syria. I wanted an organization that could provide the facts.
As Mark Twain brilliantly stated" Most of what I know I read in the newspaper.”
Today, it’s the same with almost all Americans. Most Americans’ knowledge of the Middle East comes from what we read in the see and hear on television and what we see in the movies. Very few have actually been there, read foreign press or researched the facts
As an person quite active in the affairs of the Middle East for more than forty years, who has traveled extensively throughout that region, met with heads of state and other high officials of eight of its nations (as requested by the U.S. State Department) and author of four books on the Middle East… and like all Americans, I have had to suffer media half-truths, biased statements, superficial if not totally mistaken information.
All I could do was what I have done: meet with my Senators and Congresspersons.
But those meetings brought me no feelings of interest nor ideas to resolve the issues. I was frustrated and deeply concerned that our nation and our government's policies were heading in the wrong direction with limited knowledge among our President's advisers, Congress and our State Department. But what to do? I was frustrated and eagerly looking for possibilities.
Finally, The Syrian American Forum (SAF) was organized by moderate Syrian Americans and came to the fore. I studied SAF's Principles, the leaders' backgrounds, their methods and their goals. I was happy with what I learned, and wanted to better my knowledge of the Syrian situation and how its outcome would impact the vital interests of America in that vital and extremely volatile region of the world we live in.
SAWhen I coupled my personal knowledge and experiences in the Middle East with the leaders of SAF, I became convinced
I should join in their noble effort.
So, I joined SAF, spoke at their conference, sharing my beliefs, and my experiences, and soon was elected Chairman of the Florida Chapter of SAF where I am now a member of the National Board of Directors and a member of the National Policy Committee. We seek, fundamentally, peace in Syria, fulfilling the best interests of America and peace in the greater Middle East. I urge all my friends and all Syrian Americans to join in our honorable cause. I urge all Americans to look into the principles and goals of SAF by joining us as members or Supporters and helping us educate all Americans, members of our Congress, Senate and White House advisors.
Please go to Syrian American Forum.com for more information and how to join us!