By Christine Davis and Jan Norris
The trendy food hall concept broke ground in Delray Beach in November, with the shovels ready for the Delray Beach Market.
Menin Development is behind the 150,000-square-foot, four-story building that will consist of a parking garage for 220 vehicles plus the market on the bottom floor.
The market will be a half-block off Atlantic Avenue on Southeast Third Avenue, with the railroad tracks just west of it.
Longtime South Florida restaurateur Dennis Max, as director of hospitality, will oversee the 36 vendors expected to fill the hall.
“Craig Menin and I are old friends. He came to me with the idea already formed, and I gladly joined his team,” Max said.
Growing up in Los Angeles within walking distance of that city’s Farmers Market, which predated his childhood, played a huge role in influencing Max’s life in the food business, he said. He hopes to replicate parts of it in downtown Delray, as well as parts of other successful food halls such as the newer Time Out in Miami.
He’s curating a group of entrepreneurial vendors who will prepare dishes at the hall and in some cases sell ingredients or partial meals for people to prepare at home.
The focus is on ethnic cuisines prepared by people for whom they are heritage foods.
“Our mission statement is to be genuine and pure, authentic and fresh. There will be no chains here,” Max said. “We’re looking for real people who live in the community, who are first, second or third generation — it doesn’t matter. But to have that sort of background, be it Japanese, South American — anywhere, it doesn’t matter, and be authentic and pure, that’s what we want.
“J.P., our publicists, said it best: It’ll be a casual setting where you can get first-class, quality food options from around the world without having to travel, or commit the time to a traditional restaurant meal.”
The goal, he said, is to have as many foods prepared on site as possible for customers. “Also we want them to buy things to take home for the rest of the week for their meals,” Max said.
One example he gave was of the wurst maker who will offer sausages and wursts packaged for the home cook as a butcher would do.
“We will represent all this diversity, from Mexico and Italy, Spain, all around the world,” he said.
The food hall is an ideal venue for would-be restaurant owners for whom a brick and mortar space is prohibitive in both cost and labor. Food truck “graduates” are the ideal candidates, Max said.
“We love food truck people. There’s a natural progression from a food truck to a space at a food hall. It’s virtually impossible to open a brick and mortar restaurant, even a small one, for someone with a modest business.
“The food truck business owner is able to get the business concept and handle the efficiency of being a vendor in a busy hall. He or she already does that in the truck.”
Max and his team now are vetting each potential vendor in advance of the anticipated spring 2021 opening. Vendors are coming to the test kitchen at his office, or bringing around their food trucks for the team to sample. Those that are deemed authentic and good quality get the thumbs up.
Menin will remain the landlord and put up the money for all the equipment in the hall for the cooks: stoves, refrigerators, tables and small appliances. The vendor is therefore not out his life savings, Max said, if things don’t work out.
“It is a business venture,” he said. “The landlord needs to have control. I equate it to a sports team: The owner needs to be in control of the players. He needs to be able to let a team member go if they aren’t working out. This way, they can walk away with the time and labor they put in without losing all that money for equipment.”
The hall will be laid out with take-out window vendors such as Seed Coffee of Boca Raton occupying the west side with sidewalk seating. These vendors could stay open late and open early with the rest of the food hall opening later.
Inside, seating for 650 will be scattered throughout, both individual and communal spots. Vendors will have counter seating in their areas.
Outdoors, there will be seating for 150. That includes on the east side of the building, an indoor/outdoor beer garden with a patio.
Two bars, one on the mezzanine level and the second downstairs, will serve liquor; another craft brew bar will be indoors.
“Most food halls control all the alcohol but we’ll let our vendors sell beer and wine. A few each, so you don’t have to run all around after you get your food to get your drinks,” Max said.
A market with carts of fresh farm produce might be in the works for Saturdays.
“We’re looking to help entrepreneurs make that leap from a food truck to a food hall, and maybe to their own restaurant. There are great stories of this out there,” he said.
Menin is committed to the project and is hands-on, involved in all the decisions, unlike many market owners, Max said. He said he’s privileged to be paired with someone who isn’t in it for just the money.
“It’s like making a movie with the best director and best producer you could have. It’s really a labor of love,” Max said.
The Delray Beach Market will be at 33 SE Third Ave. It’s expected to create about 280 jobs during construction, and 250 or more permanent jobs.
Three new pop-ups have signed short-term leases and are open at Mizner Park in Boca Raton: Wolf Gallery; Lululemon, which sells athletic apparel; and Bonita’s, a women’s clothing store.
Hästens, a bed and mattress store, and Cielito Artisan Pops, offering frozen treats and gifts, will open shortly as permanent tenants.
Other new tenants slated to open in 2020 include Calaveras Cantina, a Mexican restaurant; the Blue Fish, a sushi and Japanese restaurant; Lost Weekend, a bar featuring billiards, other games, arts and brews; Subculture Coffee; and Strike 10 Bowling.
Death or Glory, 116 NE Sixth Ave., Delray Beach, planned to hold an Ugly Sweater Party on Dec. 2 as part of its Miracle Holiday Pop-Up Bar. The idea was for people who didn’t have sweaters ugly enough to bring in what they had, with Delray Beach fashion designer Amanda Perna gussying up those sweaters, for free.
Perna’s brand, the House of Perna, has been sold at retailers that include Anthropologie, Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom and BHLDN. In late 2018, she launched a second brand, Neon Bohemians, which debuted at Nordstrom. And in 2019, she published her children’s book, F is for Fashion.
Miracle Holiday Pop-Up Bar at Death or Glory continues to celebrate the holiday season through Dec. 31 and will sell glassware with 10% of sales donated to Action Against Hunger.
For more information, visit www.deathorglorybar.com or call 561-808-8814.
Lawn Love, a California app-based service for professional lawn care services, is launching in Ocean Ridge. Users of its service can schedule, review and pay for yard work via a mobile app or website, which uses satellite imaging software to review a property and generate a quote in a couple of minutes.
Lawn Love has partnered with small lawn-care businesses across Florida, each having gone through a screening process to assess its level of lawn care experience. Services offered include mowing, weeding, aeration and gutter clearing. For more information, visit https://lawnlove.com.
In October, more than 100 CEOs and other senior-level business leaders took part in Habitat for Humanity of South Palm Beach County’s third annual CEO Build to raise hammers and roof trusses on a Boynton Beach home for Gretta Ceasar and her family. They also raised $350,000.
Several also worked to revitalize the neighboring Maranatha Haitian Evangelical Baptist Church through the organization’s neighborhood revitalization program, presented by Vertical Bridge Holdings. Habitat’s “A Brush with Kindness” program reinvests in homes and other community assets.
Among those who participated were Boca Raton residents Paul Adkins, Doug Fash, Forrest Heathcott, Rick Howard, David Isreal, Steve Schmidt, John Tolbert and Jay Whelchel; and Ocean Ridge residents Ken Lebersfeld and Scott Sullivan.
Fash, founder and CEO of Sunflower Landscaping and Maintenance, was the honorary chairman. Sponsors were Moraca Builders and Sklar Furnishings.
Boca Raton-based Pebb Capital purchased five Atlantic Avenue properties on 6.7 acres — which included acquisition of the Sundy House — for close to $40 million toward its plans to build a mixed-use project called Sundy Village in the Old School Square Historic Arts District. The sale closed Oct. 22, public records show.
The Delray Beach project will cost more than $100 million to develop and is in a federally designated Opportunity Zone.
The project will include nearly 50,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space and about 70,000 square feet of office space, with construction to begin within a year. Marshall Florida Holdings was the seller.
Kimberly Vassalluzzo purchased an estate at 249 W. Alexander Palm Road in the Royal Palm Yacht and Country Club, Boca Raton, for $13 million on Nov. 15.
The six-bedroom home, with 11,401 total square feet, was built last year. Mikhail Avrutin, who is the owner and developer of Baltic Hotel Group, was the seller. Both Vassalluzzo and Avrutin were represented by David W. Roberts with Royal Palm Properties.
Richard Templer, the owner of a professional horse racing stable, and his wife, Diane, bought a waterfront home at 190 NE Fifth Ave., Boca Raton, for $12.15 million on Oct. 24. Jeffery H. Norman, the founder of JH Norman Construction, sold the home.
The custom five-bedroom home, with 180 feet on the Intracoastal Waterway, was built in 2018 by JH Norman Construction and designed by the Brenner Architecture Group.
Norman bought the property for $6.79 million in March 2017 before building the house, records show. The D’Angelo/ Liguori team of Premier Estate Properties represented the buyer and the seller in the deal.
Walgreen Co., based in Deerfield, Illinois, sold the 14,362-square-foot store at 3200 S. Federal Highway in Delray Beach for $6.54 million in October, property records show. The buyer is WBAFL001 LLC, a Delaware company. Public records also show that Walgreens now leases the property from WBAFL001.
WBAFL001 is tied to Oak Street Real Estate Capital of Chicago, a private equity firm that manages commingled funds and accounts, according to its website. The Delray Beach property last sold in 2001 for $4.2 million.
Mitchell Robbins, co-founder of Robbins Property Associates, bought a 7,997-square-foot house at 461 S. Maya Palm Drive in the Royal Palm Yacht and Country Club, Boca Raton, for $5.5 million.
The home, built in 2016, has five bedrooms, five bathrooms and two half-bathrooms.
The sellers, Robert and Suzanne Noble, bought the property for $5.825 million in 2016.
David W. Roberts of Royal Palm Properties represented the buyer and the seller in the deal.
Robbins Property Associates was founded in 2009 by brothers Mitchell and Steve Robbins to acquire multifamily communities. The firm merged with North Palm Beach-based Electra America in late 2016.
CDS Investments, a Florida limited company led by Carl DeSantis and William Milmoe, paid $3.1 million for the 10,000-square-foot building at 401 W. Linton Blvd., Delray Beach, on Oct. 24. Brokers William Cunningham and Christopher McInnis of Park View Realty represented the buyer, while Marcus & Millichap represented the seller, Callisto Realty LLC.
Callisto Realty paid $2,475,000 for the property in March 2007. The third floor of the building will soon be available for lease.
Broker Jeffrey Ray joined Compass Florida in November. He has opened an administrative office, Jeffrey Ray & Associates at Compass, 2875 S. Ocean Blvd., Suite 200, Palm Beach, and is assembling a team.
Ray, a Manalapan resident, founded Jeffrey Ray & Associates in 2008, specializing in luxury real estate from Palm Beach to Miami, with more than $300 million in closed sales to his credit. For info or to apply to join his team, email him at Jeffrey.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Atlantis resident Amy Snook, a partner in the All About Florida Homes team of Lang Realty, conducted training sessions for the Women’s Council of Realtors Leadership Academy in Chicago and Orlando. The Chicago program addressed membership development and how to bring value to members of an organization. In Orlando, participants received training for overall and event budget planning.
True Floridian Realty, led by Noelle McIntyre, and FurBaby Real Estate, led by Adrianne Kurman, have merged to form the FurBaby Group at True Floridian Realty.
True Floridian Realty, founded in 2011, has more than 30 agents with locations in Jupiter, Delray Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Miami.
Kurman created FurBaby Real Estate in 2017, with the goal of helping clients find homes that fit both their needs and their pets’ needs.
Both women are passionate about animals. True Floridian Realty and FurBaby Real Estate donated nearly $20,000 to pet rescue organizations in Palm Beach County this year. And for every transaction, the FurBaby Group donates to local animal rescue organizations.
For more info, visit http://truefloridianrealty.com/furbaby.
McIntyre’s Delray Beach Real Estate Co. has merged with Dina L. Branham’s Deluxe Properties in Delray Beach. The merger created the Deluxe Division of Delray Beach Real Estate, with eight agents who specialize in luxury real estate.
For information, visit www.delraybeachrealestateco.com/deluxe-division. Both new business entities have offices at 100 NE Fifth Ave.
The Boca Real Estate Investment Club’s annual holiday party will be on from 6-8 p.m., Dec. 12 at Saltwater Brewery, 1701 W. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach. The cost to attend is $20. For information, call 561-391-7325 or visit www.bocarealestateclub.com.
Brightline, soon to be Virgin Trains, was selected as the Project of the Year by the Urban Land Institute Southeast Florida/Caribbean as part of its 2019 Vision Awards. One of five finalists, Brightline was awarded the honor during a ceremony in October in Miami. The award recognized Brightline for its transit-oriented development in South Florida. Launched in 2018, Brightline operates in Florida between Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, with plans to expand into Orlando.
Boca Raton-based Florida Peninsula Insurance Co. and its subsidiary, Edison Insurance Co., announced that their president, Clint Strauch, was unanimously voted to serve a three-year term on the Florida State University risk management and insurance executive council board.
FSU’s Dr. William T. Hold/National Alliance Program in Risk Management and Insurance was recently ranked No. 3 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.
The council supports and funds initiatives that provide students an industry perspective on the knowledge and skills needed to work in the field.
Strauch’s background also includes a stint as general manager of his own Allstate Insurance agency.
Jan Norris contributed to this column.
Send business news to Christine Davis at email@example.com