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CRESPOGRAM REPORT

MARCH 31, 2014

FIRST, TWO GUYS RESTAURANT  GOT A $260,000 GRANT FROM THE SEOPW CRA FOR A NEW RESTAURANT, AND NOW THEY’RE GETTING $150,000 FOR ANOTHER NEW NEW RESTAURANT

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IT’S MONEY GIVEAWAY DAY AT THE SEOPW CRA

In addition to the skanky deal to give away as much as $540,000.00 for two vacant lots in Overtown that I detailed in my first story today, tonight is money giveaway night at the SEOPW CRA.


The agenda for the meeting tonight reveals that the SEOPW CRA is scheduled to give away $2,525,000.00 for everything from $75,000 to the Headliner Market Group to produce the 2014 Overtown Music & Arts Festival, to $280,000 to refund the Film Life Center and Film Life Job Training Program operated by Jeff Friday, the New York producer of the American Black Film Festival, who, after Michelle Spence-Jones was barred from running for reelection announced that he would no longer bring the film festival to Miami Beach, to $850,000 to renovate the Dunn and Josephine Hotel, a property that is owned by Shirlene Ingraham, who also owns the Jackson Soul Food restaurant, that over the years has been a prime recipient of CRA funding and support. (I have posted the full CRA agenda at the bottom of this story.)


Another of the giveaways tonight is $150,000.00 for the restaurant, TWO GUYS: Home Of The Ghetto Burger.


Last April, I wrote how the SEOPW CRA had given a $260,000 grant to Two Guys for a building at the corner of NW 14th Street and 3rd Avenue, that had remained closed after the building renovations had been completed because the contractor hired by the CRA had never bothered to investigate the status of the gas lines that were assumed to lead to this building - they were removed when NW 3rd Avenue was redone - and because the City changed the water pipe link up size. Neither of those problems were addressed or incorporated into the plans before they went ahead with the renovations.

As bad  and stupid as that news was, the reason I had done my story last April was that I discovered that after having spent all this money and having the building remain empty for years, it turned out that the FDOT had decided that they wanted to property that the building sat on to accommodate the widening of I-395.


So, it turned out that Two Guys and the taxpayers got screwed when that news broke, because while the FDOT was going to buy the property from the CRA, they damn sure weren’t going to pay an amount that would cover the costs of the money that the CRA had spent to refurbish the building because they wanted the property and not the building, which will eventually get torn down.


And that’s where it’s sat for the last year. Now, item 6 on the agenda reveals that the SEOPW CRA is ready to give Two Guys a lease at the shopping center at 1490 NW 3rd Avenue that is owned by the CRA, and “a grant, in an amount not to exceed $150,000, to underwrite costs associated with tenant improvements to the unit proposed to be leased.”


Below is the RFP that the CRA issued to prospective tenants. Based on the representations made by the CRA, their “opening negotiations concerning the lease rate is to ask for $15.00 per s.f. NNN, for units starting at 1167 sf.  That comes out to a monthly rent of $17,505.00.


It will be interesting to see what the real rents for the 3 units cited in the agenda actually go for because no one is going to pay $17,505.00 a month for a lease in the middle of Overtown.

As for the Item 11, the negotiations with the Gateway folks over Block 55, I suspect that we’ll be visiting that once it’s revealed what kind of deal Clarence Woods does with Mr. Peebles.