12239435258?profile=RESIZE_710xCenter for Arts and Innovation CEO Andrea Virgin stands with board member Matt Cimaglia (left) and Antoine Chaaya, the partner in charge of the project for Renzo Piano Building Workshop, during a Sept. 6 event at which Virgin announced the architect’s selection. Photo provided

By Christine Davis

The Center for Arts and Innovation has selected Renzo Piano Building Workshop, whose partners include Pritzker Architecture Prize-winner Renzo Piano, to design its performing arts complex.

Center Chair and CEO Andrea Virgin announced the selection on Sept. 6 outside the Mizner Park Amphitheater where the project will be built to an audience that included center board members, Boca Raton City Council members and project supporters.

“The ability to announce Renzo Piano Building Workshop on this project is everything,” Virgin said. “The fact that this firm only takes two to three commissions a year just underscores that this project is enticing to the global market.”

12239435880?profile=RESIZE_180x180RPBW, established by Piano in 1981 and with offices in Genoa and Paris, has completed more than 140 projects worldwide. A partial list includes the Shard in London, the new Whitney Museum in New York, the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles, and the Modern Wing at the Art Institute of Chicago.

The center’s building committee selected 10 finalists to respond to a request for proposals, and four were short-listed.

The architectural firm will begin work later this month. Virgin aims to break ground in 2025, which is Boca Raton’s centennial year. The project is to be completed in 2028.

The City Council one year ago authorized the lease of city-owned land in Mizner Park to the center for 74 years, with two 10-year renewals, clearing the way for the project to go forward.

The city is not providing funding. Center officials must raise enough through donations to construct the complex and fund reserves and endowments. The cost was estimated at $115.4 million last year.

Virgin sees the complex as fulfilling the original vision for Mizner Park as the city’s cultural hub.

The complex is planned to accommodate 6,000 people in all its performance and event spaces. It will include a complete makeover of the city’s beloved amphitheater.

***

Delray Upholstery Co., a longtime Delray Beach family business, has moved from its shop at 143 NE Fourth Ave., Delray Beach, to 3267 SW 14th Place, Boynton Beach.

“Delray was amazing,” said Daniel Brooks, the fourth-generation upholsterer in the Brooks family who now runs the business. “It was sad to leave Delray. I spent more of my life in that building than anywhere else on earth and it was nice working with my dad all those years. But, if you don’t change with the times, you find yourself left behind.” 

By moving, Brooks has reduced his overhead. And, finding new employees adept at upholstering has become difficult, he said.

“There’s nobody to grow the business with. There’s a ton of demand for upholstery work. It doesn’t stop,” Brooks said. “But it’s the electronic age, and people are working with computers rather than working with things.” 

Daniel’s great-grandfather, Henry Elwood Brooks, found work in an upholstery shop during the Depression and picked up the trade. When his son, Henry Jr., went off to war, he taught the trade to his grandson, Henry III, Daniel’s father. Henry III moved his family from Falls Church, Virginia, to Delray Beach in 1971, and worked for Jessup Inc., a Palm Beach design and upholstery studio.

“My dad would bring little projects home from work, and I’d help him in the garage,” Daniel said. “After Polly Jessup died, Dad opened his own business in Delray in 1993, and I started working there and never left. I thought I would go into construction or be a mechanic. I didn’t think upholstery was what I would do, but I’ve always been a hands-on person.

“I took over the business in 2007, but my dad was working with me until this spring, when he retired at 85.”

Daniel and his wife, Jen, live in Boynton Beach, and Henry III still lives in the Tropic Isle, Delray Beach house where he raised his family.

***

Four alumni of Research Park at Florida Atlantic University are on the Inc. list of 5,000 fastest-growing companies in the United States.

Honorlock is a service company that offers proctoring solutions for educational institutions and organizations. A graduate of FAU Tech Runway, it was assisted with market information and strategy by the university’s Global Ventures. Honorlock, on the Inc. list for the third time, ranked 667. Honorlock has also been honored as the 2023 EdTech

Breakthrough award winner for online proctoring solution of the year.

ShipMonk, a third-party logistics provider, is also an FAU Tech Runway graduate. On the list for the past six years, it ranked 1,328. 

The SilverLogic, a software engineering and consulting company, has been on the list for the past four years, and now ranks 2,360. 

ModMed, a health care cloud-based company that places doctors and patients at the center of care, has been on the list eight times, and this year it ranked 3,702. 

“We use the term alumni for companies that started with us at our old incubator or now, Global Ventures, or spent a considerable amount of time in the Research Park at FAU,” said Andrew Duffell, president of the Research Park at FAU.

***

Levenger, a Delray Beach retailer of home and office products, named Stuart Till as its new chief financial officer. Till had been CFO/COO for Penha Duty Free, a wholesale distributor and retailer of upscale and luxury goods.  

***

Joseph “J.B.” Bensmihen, president and CEO of Apollo Mediation Group, received the Recognition Award from the Boynton Beach Professionals Leads Group

“J.B. strives to be a trusted business adviser to his clients. He has been tirelessly working to promote the group and all of its members,” said John Campanola, the leads group chairman.

***

The Manalapan compound at 1400 S. Ocean Blvd., Villa Oceano Azul, with 200 feet both on the Intracoastal Waterway and ocean, recently re-entered the market for $64.995 million.  

The owners, Raj and Padmaja Mantena, bought the estate for a recorded $48.37 million in January from Francis and Dolores Mennella. It entered the market at $74.99 million in January 2022 and went through price changes before settling at $62.988 million in October 2022. It was a record-breaking deal for Manalapan when the Mennellas bought it in July 2016 for $25.2 million.

Sited on almost two acres, the property comprises a 16,000-square-foot, seven-bedroom main house and a 1,200-square-foot guest house. Completed in 2015, it was built on speculation by Manalapan Mayor Stewart Satter’s Carnegie Hill Development Corp.

The estate will be sold furnished with interiors by Marc-Michaels Interior Design. The property has two swimming pools, with one facing the ocean, and a 50-foot dock on the Intracoastal.

Agent Mark A. Griffin of The Bear’s Club Sotheby’s International Realty holds the new listing. 

***

Developer William Joseph Scaggs, a partner in Boca Raton-based home builder SRD Building Corp., sold the five-bedroom, 8,344-square-foot mansion in Royal Palm Yacht and Country Club at 329 Royal Palm Way in Boca Raton for $16.15 million.

 The buyer is listed in public records as 329 Royal Palm Land Trust, with Citibank providing a $6.675 million mortgage. Overlooking the golf course, the home is on a 0.34-acre lot.
David W. Roberts of Royal Palm Properties brokered the deal.

***

William Raveis Real Estate recently won the National Top Brokerage Award at Inman Connect in Las Vegas. Inman, a company that provides agents with information about the real estate business, gives its Innovator Awards to companies, individuals, and new technology that improves productivity, efficiency and transparency.

Out of more than 150,000 real estate firms in the country, only a handful of companies met the criteria to qualify, with William Raveis Real Estate taking the top award.

“We’ve been on a winning streak with number one for global, HGTV ‘Ultimate House Hunt,’ best local agency awards, and now we are officially the number one real estate company in the United States,” said William Raveis, founder and CEO of his eponymous firm.

***

Florida Atlantic University has moved up on the U.S. News & World Report list of Top Public Schools. FAU ranks 112, up from 131, and it placed 209 for Top National Schools, up from 262 last year.  

FAU also placed 26 in the social mobility ranking, up from 41. This number is computed using graduation rates of students receiving Pell grants and includes public and private national universities.

In other rankings, it placed 22 in undergraduate international business, 150 in undergraduate engineering programs, 159 in undergraduate business programs, 210 in undergraduate computer science, 234 in undergraduate psychology, and 240 in undergraduate economics.

***

Bloomin & Buzzin! will be hosted by the Delray Beach Historical Society from 5 to 8 p.m. Oct. 18. There will be food, a bar, music, children’s crafts, silent auction, raffle and history exhibits. The event will benefit the Institute for Regional Conservation, a nonprofit that aims to protect, restore and manage biodiversity regionally, and prevent the local extinction of rare plants, animals and ecosystems.

The event will be at the Historical Society, 3 NE First St. Costs are $40 per person, $75 per couple, and $5 per child. To purchase tickets, visit www.regionalconservation.org.

***

The Downtown Development Authority and Downtown Merchant and Business Association will host Art & Jazz on the Avenue from 6 to 9:30 p.m. Oct. 25 in Delray Beach. There will be food, live music, art, kids’ zone, and local businesses will sell their wares.

Streets will be closed along East Atlantic Avenue, east of the Intracoastal, from Venetian Drive to Andrews Avenue for this free event. For more information, visit www.downtowndelraybeach.com/artandjazz.

***

The Salvation Army of Palm Beach County received 150 backpacks filled with school supplies from AT&T in support of its after-school youth programs at the Northwest Community Center in West Palm Beach.

Mary Hladky contributed to this column.

Send business news to Christine Davis at cdavis9797@gmail.com.

You need to be a member of The Coastal Star to add comments!

Join The Coastal Star

Activity Feed

Mary Kate Leming posted photos
Wednesday
The Coastal Star posted a blog post
Wednesday
The Coastal Star posted a blog post
Wednesday
The Coastal Star posted a blog post
Wednesday
The Coastal Star posted a blog post
Wednesday
Mary Kate Leming posted a discussion in OCEAN RIDGE
Wednesday
Mary Kate Leming posted a discussion in BOCA RATON
Wednesday
Mary Kate Leming posted a discussion in OCEAN RIDGE
Wednesday
The Coastal Star posted a blog post
Wednesday
The Coastal Star posted a blog post
Wednesday
Mary Kate Leming posted a blog post
Wednesday
Mary Kate Leming posted a discussion
Wednesday
Mary Kate Leming posted a discussion in BOCA RATON
Wednesday
Mary Kate Leming posted a discussion
Wednesday
Mary Kate Leming posted a discussion in GULF STREAM
Wednesday
Mary Kate Leming posted a discussion in OCEAN RIDGE
Wednesday
The Coastal Star posted a blog post
Wednesday
Mary Kate Leming posted a discussion in DELRAY BEACH
Wednesday
Mary Kate Leming posted a discussion in BRINY BREEZES
Wednesday
The Coastal Star posted a blog post
Wednesday
More…