Something funky brewing in Palm Beach Gardens as Subculture Coffee opens

Restaurateur Rodney Mayo opens his fifth Subculture Coffee Roasters at Downtown Palm Beach Gardens.

Step inside Palm Beach Gardens’ newest coffeehouse and it’s quickly apparent that this isn’t your typical nationally branded caffeine-fix station.

“Drink coffee not the Kool Aid” reads a large hand-scripted mural dominating one side of Subculture Coffee Roasters. Hanging from the ceiling: A 6-foot brass eyeball that opens and shuts. On the other walls, hand-drawn murals show scenes from the 1976 David Bowie film “The Man Who Fell to Earth.”

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Tax relief for some: Gardens council trims tax rate

Palm Beach Gardens residents with homestead protection will pay less, those without will pay more.

For city property owners with a homestead exemption, this year’s Palm Beach Gardens tax rate amounts to a tax cut.

For the rest, about 40 percent of city taxpayers, the rate set in September by the City Council means paying more in taxes to the city.

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‘Any positive thing we can do:’ Volunteers clean up Mac Beach

International Coastal Cleanup Day draws 80 to John D. MacArthur Beach State Park.

Since 2018, volunteers have pulled 3,000 pounds of trash off the beach at the John D. MacArthur Beach State Park.

On Saturday, about 80 volunteers came out for International Coastal Cleanup Day, braved stormy skies, and added another 172 pounds to the total.

Doesn’t sound like much but the pickings were scarce. 

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Life Time’s opening day pitch: ‘Disney of a healthy way of life’

Life Time Athletic Country Club leads one local fitness studio to fold but others don’t fear the industry giant.

The founder, chairman and CEO of Life Time Group Holdings sat in the first-floor bar at the Aug. 11 opening of his 160th club and explained how Life Time stands so far above the crowded fitness marketplace that it doesn’t have to worry about competition. 

“Our goal is to create an incredibly exclusive experience but offer it inclusively to all kinds of people,” Bahram Akradi said at the Life Time Athletic Country Club in Downtown Palm Beach Gardens. “To do that you have to create a place that has a magnetism. … It has to be a completely elegant, Four Seasons-like experience every single day.”

He urges his employees to think of it like Disney.

“There were amusement parks before Disney showed up,” he said. Disney “came to Orlando but they built magic. They didn’t build an amusement park. They created extraordinary what was ordinary in other places. And Life Time is Disney of a healthy way of life.”

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State House primary battle on ballot in Gardens

New District 87 pits Mike Caruso against Jane Justice; Rick Roth runs west of the turnpike.

For years, Palm Beach Gardens’ sole state House member has been Republican Rick Roth, who first won the seat in 2016 and has defended it ever since.

But with redistricting, the city is split into two House districts. Roth faces a challenge in the November general election in his new District 94, but most of Palm Beach Gardens is not in it. 

All city residents living east of Florida’s Turnpike are now in District 87, which stretches up from Hypoluxo and Lantana and includes coastal Lake Worth, West Palm Beach and Riviera Beach before taking in North Palm Beach, Juno Beach and most of Gardens.

Gardens voters will be asked to choose between state Rep. Mike Caruso, whose district now is confined to coastal south county, and Jane Justice in the Republican primary on Aug. 23. The winner will face Democrat Sienna Osta. 

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Exclusive: FPL seeks to build second building at Gardens site

Florida Power & Light Co.’s plan for a second 1,000-employee building would be a twin of the first and include 150 electric-vehicle charging stations.

As FPL nears completion of its 1,000-employee office center at Interstate 95 and PGA Boulevard in Palm Beach Gardens, it is moving forward with a second building, a twin of the first, to house another 1,000 workers.

The building would be erected at an angle in front of the first building facing Kyoto Gardens Drive, Florida Power & Light’s March 21 plans show.

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Why is there an above-ground pipeline blocking traffic near the new FPL building?

FPL is paying to connect a water main under the railroad tracks and Alternate A1A without disrupting traffic through horizontal directional drilling.

Motorists using the Kyoto Gardens Drive shortcut between Military Trail and Alternate A1A got another lane closure — and quite a sight — the past few weeks. 

A giant black pipeline, like an uncoiled snake, hovered above the road on steel-borne rollers for a fifth of a mile as crews in orange and green vests danced around it, positioning sections of pipe with buckets attached to shiny yellow Deere and Komatsu excavators.  

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Transportation panel picks interim director, rips ‘tortured’ selection process as ‘debacle’

Just seven viable candidates apply for $200,000-a-year job after national search.

EDITOR’S NOTE: On Thursday July 21, the full board of the Transportation Planning Agency voted unanimously to hire Valerie Neilson as executive director. Commissioner Maria Marino was absent.

It’s not often that a public-sector job paying nearly $200,000 attracts just seven viable candidates after a national search. It’s even rarer that two of the three finalists are dismissed outright after vigorous, public questioning.

But that’s where the five-member panel selecting the next person to head the Palm Beach Transportation Planning Agency, which oversees billions in transportation projects countywide, found itself Thursday afternoon.

The panel, featuring two north county representatives — Palm Beach Gardens Mayor Chelsea Reed and Palm Beach County Commissioner Maria Marino — waffled between selecting the agency’s interim director, who almost got the job in December without a search, or leaving the agency in limbo for months by reposting the job. 

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Trump Corner yields to DeSantis Depot amid costly turn-lane construction

County to shell out $1.17 million for about a fifth of an acre and to reconfigure Publix parking lot.

The county has agreed to pay more than $1.1 million for the narrow strip of land needed to add a right turn lane on the well-known Trump Corner rally spot at PGA Boulevard and Military Trail, nearly doubling the project cost. 

Meanwhile, the Trump rallies that thrust the corner into the spotlight both before and after the 2020 election have been silenced by dirt mounds and barricades, but not for long, organizer Willy Guardiola vowed. 

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Palm Beach International Raceway: Portman Industrial’s warehouse plan spins out

Owner IRG Sports & Entertainment says it isn’t considering offers to reopen the former Moroso racetrack.

Warehouse builder Portman Industrial is no longer the driving force behind plans for the now-shuttered Palm Beach International Raceway.

While the demise of the warehouse giant has race fans hoping the property could be snatched up by a racetrack operator, the owner of the nearly 60-year-old venue slammed the brakes on that option.

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