Olive Belcher (with her daughter Brittany) used the Out of the Box
food truck to cater the preview of a listing at Boca Bay Colony.
By Christine Davis
In January, the Florida-based women’s clothing retailer Boston Proper, a division of Chico’s FAS, was acquired by Brentwood Associates, a Los Angeles investment firm (the terms of the deal have not been disclosed).
The sales history went like this: Chico’s FAS, which bought Boston Proper for around $205 million in 2011, had announced that it planned to sell Boston Proper’s direct-to-consumer side of the business and close its 20 stores last August.
In November, Chico’s FAS signed a non-binding letter-of-intent to sell the business; closed the stores in December and on Jan. 19, annouced that it had completed the sale.
Over the years, Boston Proper (previously the Mark Group, previously Mark, Fore & Strike) has gone from sporty, to preppy, to a smattering of everything, to saucy. What will its new vibe be? California dreamin’ denim? Boho hipster chic?
In its press release, Boston Proper’s president and chief merchandising officer, Sheryl Clark, who’ll be staying on with Brentwood, had this to say about Boston Proper’s “wear it like no one else” approach:
“Everyone changes. We’ve changed. Our customer has changed. The world has changed. But our core attitude is still there. We’ve started the conversation with our customers, and they’re eager to join us on this journey of growth and rediscovery.”
All that change, though, was not positive. Chico’s FAS noted it wanted to focus on its other three brands: Chico’s, White House Black Market and Soma. But also, it admitted Boston Proper did not meet its expectations.
At this point, Boston Proper plans to refocus on building its brand directly to consumers through its print, digital and social channels. Headquarters will remain in Boca Raton, and a staff of 70 will stay on.
But for Floridians, Boston Proper is a trip down Memory Lane. Here’s some history from newspaper and online sources:
Chico’s FAS started out as Chico’s in 1972, in a Sanibel shop owned by Marvin and Helene Gralnick.
Delray Beach’s Michael Tiernan of the (then) Mark Group, whose brands were Mark, Fore & Strike and Charles Keath, bought Boston Proper’s customer list and its name out of bankruptcy in 1990 for $125,000 from the Saudi International Bank. Focusing on this new division, by 2004, Mark, Fore & Strike and Charles Keath were sold, and the Mark Group changed its name to Boston Proper.
And a tidbit stretching further back: Mark, Fore & Strike was cofounded in 1951 by J. William Tiernan. Son Michael started its mail order business in 1977.
In January, Naples-based furnishings retailer Clive Daniel Home opened a 70,000-square-foot showroom at 1351 Boca Raton Blvd. in Boca Raton. The retailer, with a staff of 30-plus professional interior designers, also offers specialized hospitality services for lobbies, clubhouses, restaurants and hotels.
The showroom features a live demonstration kitchen, an accessory shop, a design studio, a resource room, and The Chat Room, a community room available for local businesses and organizations to hold seminars, social gatherings and fundraisers.
Have starry-eyed guests coming to town? They are in luck. Some of our local coastal hotels and restaurants are Forbes Travel Guide 2016 award winners. Five-Star hotels include Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa and Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach. The Breakers Palm Beach was awarded four stars. Eau Spa was named a Five-Star Spa and Palm Beach Spa at Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach was awarded four stars. Four-Star restaurants include Café Boulud Palm Beach and Jove Kitchen & Bar, which is in the Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach.
Through an association agreement, Brown Harris Stevens acquired Manatee Cove Realty on Feb. 26.
This is the second acquisition for Brown Harris Stevens, which has been in Palm Beach since 1998; the company had acquired Barrett Welles Property Group in late September 2015.
Manatee Cove Realty presents a good fit, and will strengthen Brown Harris Stevens’ presence in the county, says Brown Harris Stevens’ broker and executive vice president, Ava Van de Water, who oversees the company’s three offices in Palm Beach.
“We are thrilled to have Manatee Cove Realty, Jennifer Spitznagel and all her great agents as part of the Brown Harris Stevens family.”
Brown Harris Stevens, a luxury real estate firm that dates back to 1873, has offices in New York City, The Hamptons, Palm Beach and Miami. It’s owned by Terra Holdings, the parent of a group of nine real estate companies with more than $7 billion in annual residential sales.
Spitznagel founded Manatee Cove Realty in 1998 in Plaza del Mar, Manalapan, and moved her office to Lake Worth in 2011. Focusing on central Palm Beach County, primarily in the coastal area, Manatee Cove Realty has 14 agents and approximately 40 listings.
“We were recently in discussions with Brown Harris Stevens and all the pluses were there for us to bring the two companies together,” Spitznagel says. “Many of our clients are second-home buyers from New York, where Brown Harris Stevens has a strong network, so this seemed like a very good combination for us to better service our clientele.”
Manatee Cove Realty will change its name to Brown Harris Stevens; it will keep its current office at 619 Lake Avenue; its agents will stay on, and they will be joined by additional agents. Spitznagel’s title will be director and Van de Water will be the managing broker.
At an awards brunch at the Delray Sands Resort, Lang Realty recently recognized its top agents and teams. Among them were several area agents: Diamond Star award winner Olive Belcher; Diamond award winner Julie Giachetti; Ruby award winner Michael Mullin; Emerald Award winners Warren Heeg, Mary Windle, Caron Dockerty, Donald Gorbach and Diane Duffy; and Emerald Team award winners Michael Gallacher and Anne Bernet.
At its brokers’ open preview in February — when the Olive Belcher Team rolled out its listing of a Boca Bay Colony lot at 854 NE 75th St., Boca Raton — it rolled in the food, catered by Out of the Box food truck. The result? A great response and great turnout. While agents and neighbors enjoyed a gourmet lunch and drinks, they got to view the large interior-point parcel at the end of the cul-de-sac, with 240 feet of water frontage and an eastern exposure.
Real estate agent Polly Schiff has moved to Boca Raton Coldwell Banker Previews’ Boca Resort & Beach office. She moved from Miami Coldwell Banker Previews, where she was a luxury Realtor for 28 years.
Each year, the incoming president of the Greater Palm Beach County’s Women’s Council of Realtors selects a charity to support. 2016’s president, Jessica Rosato, an agent with Nestler Poletto Sotheby’s International Realty, has selected the Achievement Centers for Children & Families in Delray Beach.
Recently, members of the Realtors Commercial Alliance were recognized for their accomplishments and contributions to the commercial real estate industry.
Christina Morrison, certified property manager of Carmel Real Estate & Management, was named 2015 RCA Realtor of the Year for the time she contributed to the Alliance, her service on various committees at the state level, and her community involvement in Delray Beach. Blair Lee with Lighthouse Realty Services was presented with the Retail Deal of the Year Award for the sale of two buildings at 1830 N. Federal Highway, Boca Raton. Alan Steinberg, of Keyes Commercial North, was presented with the Business Brokerage Deal of the Year Award for the sale of the Miracle Car Wash in Boca Raton.
In February, the American Humane Association announced the launch of the Lois Pope LIFE Center for Military Affairs in Palm Beach. Its programs and initiatives include: K-9 Battle Buddies, which facilitates reunions of military dogs and handlers, sends care packages to active-duty military dog teams, and provides veterinary care for retired war dogs; Wags4Patriots, which provides returning veterans with service dogs; Operation Purple, which sends registered therapy dog teams to the National Military Family Association’s camps for kids with deployed parents; and the Red Star for Warriors program, which redeploys veterans to protect and serve on the home front in times of crisis.
South Florida Legal Guide named Gladstone & Weissman, P.A. a Top Law Firm in 2016; principals Peter L. Gladstone and Jeffrey A. Weissman, Top Lawyers in 2016; and partners Denise L. Jensen, David L. Hirschberg and senior associate Heather L. Apicella, Top Up and Comers in 2016. The firm’s main office is at 101 Renaissance Centre, 101 N. Federal Highway, Suite 702, Boca Raton.
Culture-related spending by the audiences of Palm Beach County’s 19 largest cultural institutions totaled $538.3 million last year, according to survey results disclosed by the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County in February.
The culture-related spending supported 11,795 county jobs, generating $226 million in resident household income, $22.1 million in local government revenues, and $25.9 million in state government revenues. The survey also revealed that tourists constituted more than 64 percent of the spending and that the majority were visiting specifically to experience the county’s arts and cultural opportunities.
The Boca Chamber’s Golden Bell Education Foundation’s new chairman is Chuck Stout, executive vice president of CBIZ Benefits & Insurance Services Inc. Other new board members include: Mary Sol Gonzalez from Image360, Andy Thomson from Proskauer Rose LLP, Jennifer Jager from Plum Productions, Lise Orr from Minuteman Press, and Tara Ryan from Modernizing Medicine.
Boca Raton Airport Authority Executive Director Clara Bennett was appointed to the board of directors of the Gold Coast Tiger Bay Club.
In January, international fitness model Lisa Armoyan was named president of TransMedia Models and Talent, a new division of the Boca Raton-based TransMedia Group. She will also manage the firm’s collaboration with the network My Jam TV.
This year’s 40th anniversary of American Red Cross Designers’ Show House is sure to set spectators’ hearts afire. More than a dozen designers decorated the historic North Station, former fire station No. 3, in West Palm Beach’s Old Northwood neighborhood.
Built in 1938 on a half-acre, it was renovated into a four-bedroom Art Moderne-style home. It’s open through March 26, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays to Saturdays and noon to 4 p.m. Sundays. Admission is $35. Groups of 10 or more may contact Brianna.Sidman@redcross.org for special rates.
On March 5, the Community Caring Center of Greater Boynton Beach holds its 2016 annual Hunger Walk/5K Run/Kids Fun Run. Registration is at 6:30 a.m. at 511 NE Fourth St., Boynton Beach. The race starts at 7:30 a.m. with the Kids Fun Run following immediately. Registration for the walk begins at 8:30 a.m. The price for the 5K Run and Kids Fun Run is $40. Walkers are asked to bring a donation of nonperishable food items and/or $20. For information, call 386-4261.
All proceeds from a tennis tournament at the Boca Raton Resort & Club, from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. March 6, will benefit the Boys & Girls Club of Boca Raton. All levels of play are welcome. The fee for players is $100 and $50 for spectators. For information, call 683-3287 or visit www.bgcpbc.org.
Send business news to Christine Davis at email@example.com.