|Delray Beach man again asks city to consider plan for jazz and blues venue|
Revised proposal seeks to open place at Old School Square
By Maria Herrera, Sun Sentinel
December 3, 2009
Tom Kinsloe refuses to give up on his dream of opening a classy jazz and blues joint akin to the Van Dyke Cafe in Miami Beach.
But there's only one place he envisions it opening: the Old School Square garage retail space.
"This is the one spot that we would be able to be successful at and have the most impact on the community," said Kinsloe, a transplant from Chicago.
Kinsloe, who withdrew a previous offer in October to lease or purchase the space, on Tuesday presented a second proposal to the city.
The new proposal includes less money for a smaller space for his live music venue, and it reconfigures the entire floor plan of the garage's ground floor to give more room to the Greater Delray Beach Chamber of Commerce, which plans to move there. The remainder of the space could be used by the Community Redevelopment Agency, which next week will be asking to lease space from the city.
Though city officials praised Kinsloe for his persistence, the proposal failed to spark interest once again.
"I'm not sure that we can make this work financially," Commissioner Fred Fetzer said.
Kinsloe proposed paying the city $665,000 for 4,850 square feet of space — about half of what he asked for in his first proposal.
But city officials weren't sold on the new proposal, saying they found it confusing. Also, Finance Director Joe Safford said that the price Kinsloe offered amounted to an average of about $91 per square foot, while the market rate for the property is about $131 per square foot.
"I would like to defer this and see what the CRA can do for us," added Commissioner Gary Eliopoulos.
The city is holding out because the Community Redevelopment Agency could pay for improvements and find groups to lease the space until the market bounces back, and then the city can sell the space for a higher price.
The property is on the market for $2 million. Delray Beach officials hoped to cover the construction cost of the garage's retail space — for which they had to take out a $3 million loan. But the most recent appraisal shows that the property is worth $1.3 million in today's sluggish market.
"The city has to come up with the difference, and that's the problem," Safford said. "In this budget crunch, you don't want the city to have to come up with $2 million to pay that loan."
Mayor Woodie McDuffy said he will meet with Kinsloe to try to better understand the proposal, but the city gave direction to staff to negotiate with the CRA.
"He's incredibly persistent and shows a great deal of initiative," McDuffie said of Kinsloe. "I see this going through a lot more review before we do anything."
Copyright © 2009, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
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