Huge Project Proposed for Glades Road

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Residents of Palma Vista are concerned about a project proposed for the south side of Glades Road between Home Depot and 95th Avenue. This would be across from the Glades Road library.

Johns Glades West parcel in red near Home Depot and Library. Satellite image and data by Google.
Johns Glades West parcel in red near Home Depot and Library. Satellite image and data by Google.

The proposal, called Johns Glades West (or Johns Glade West) calls for:

  • 169,000 square feet of commercial space with restaurants, a theater, retail and a grocery store
  • A 133,000 square foot parking garage for the stores
  • 7 residential buildings, 5 stories each, with a total of 456 units and a clubhouse all totaling 650,000 square feet of residential space
  • A 112,000 square foot parking garage for the residences
  • A total of approximately 2000 parking spaces

It is our understanding that the developers will make a presentation to the Palma Vista Homeowners Association on November 21st at 7 pm. Some homeowners have expressed concern insufficient notice and about having “5 story buildings looking down on our single family homes.”
This would seem to be a very intensive use of the property with major traffic impacts on Glades Road. Our best guess is that the developer is floating a plan it knows will never get approved and they’ll come in later with a real plan for something much less.
Below is a close-up of the stores section of the plan.
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And next the homes section:
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PDF of the project plan is below:
[gview file=”http://westbocanews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Johns-Glades-West_PSP.1.pdf”]

Fire Closes Walmart in Coconut Creek

Image by Google
Image by Google

Early Sunday morning readers notified us of problems at the Walmart on Hillsboro and 441 in Coconut Creek. They saw fire rescue and police vehicles and indicated the store was closed and surrounded by crime scene tape. The store is still closed as of this writing.
Image by Google
Image by Google

We reached out to Walmart as well as to Coconut Creek first responders. We heard back first from Leslie Wright, Senior Media Relations Manager at Walmart’s corporate office in Arkansas. She told us the fire is still under investigation and confirmed the store is still closed. They hope to reopen as soon as possible. She indicated the damage is still being assessed.
The Coconut Creek Police Department referred us to Fire Marshal Jeff Gary of the city’s Fire Rescue team.
Jeff Gary of Coconut Creek Fire Rescue
Jeff Gary of Coconut Creek Fire Rescue

He told us that a fire was reported inside the store Sunday morning at 2 am. The fire was mainly on one rack of shelves. Store employees mostly extinguished it and it was almost out by the time Fire Rescue arrived on scene. There was smoke damage to some produce and other open items including clothing.
Mr. Gary told us that the store is now mostly or all cleaned up. They hope to be open late tonight or first thing in the morning.
Cause of the fire is under investigation by CCFR and CCPD.
From the police report:

On 04/10/2016 at approximately 0157 hours, I responded to 5571 Hillsboro Blvd (Walmart) in reference to a fire.
A small fire was extinguished between aisle 17 and 18 of the check-out lanes by Officer Feisthammel and various Walmart employees. Fire Rescue located a large lighter directly in front of the engulfed aisle. Due to the heavy smoke within the store, all of the patrons and employees were evacuated and CCPD locked it down for security purposes. While on crowd control, Officer Bailey was approached by [Name omitted] (age 33). [He] stated his son, [name omitted] (age 6) was possibly to blame. [Omitted] stated while he was checking out in an adjacent aisle, he lost sight of his son and stated he was possibly playing with a lighter. Ofc. Bailey spoke with [the boy] who acknowledged playing with a lighter. [The boy] was crying uncontrollably and stated he was sorry for his actions but did not directly admit to starting the fire.
The assistant store manager … stated Walmart will be able to provide CCTV surveillance in the near future should it be needed. Centeno notified the stores GM … of the incident. Both [managers] are aware of the … family and the actions of the 6 year old. There were no injuries reported as a result of the fire. Photos of the fire were taken and submitted to Foray as evidence. Case cards issued.

The police report indicates the family lives in the Emerald Bay apartments at Boca Entrada (west side of 441 near SW 18th).

Image and map data by Google
Image and map data by Google

Mission Bay Update: LA Fitness, Dick's Sporting Goods, Rotelli's, etc.

We previously reported that Toys R Us in Mission Bay would close, to be replaced by Dick’s Sporting Goods.
The Toys R Us demolition is well under way, as can be seen in a video we shot recently:

It’s a popular plaza. We generally see a high volume of people and cars. At the north end Fresh Market pulls in a substantial flow. Toys R Us was something of a draw in the middle, but the store seemed dated. Dick’s will probably bring in even more. On the south side the fountain area seems to pull a lot of people in, especially the LA Fitness gym and Panera Bread.
We’ve heard several reports from readers that the plaza is raising rents. Considering the volume this plaza pulls in, that probably makes sense. This has led to some changes.

The spot we think Rotelli's is heading in West Boca Square.
The spot we think Rotelli’s is heading in West Boca Square.

Yesterday we learned that Rotelli’s will be leaving in early May, moving to the West Boca Square plaza near Hobby Lobby. That’s a tough move. We’ve seen at least three pizza places fail in that location and we’re told it was a Rotelli’s before that. Rotelli’s management tells us they expect to close in Mission Bay at the beginning of May and reopen in West Boca Square within a few days.
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In that same fountain area we saw a sign for an Indian restaurant coming in, Boca Indian Grill. We have been whining about the need for an Indian restaurant in West Boca for a few years now and we are hoping it will be good.
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We mentioned back in November that a new Asian grill is also coming to Mission Bay. We looked in a couple days ago and it looks like they aren’t close to opening yet.
Several readers have mentioned talk that LA Fitness would open a new entrance facing the parking lot (between Panera and Toys R Us). We think that’s true. We were looking on the property owner’s website and found an updated site plan that expands LA Fitness to take over a few storefronts:
toys-la-fitness
That plan is dated January 11, 2016, before Toys R Us had closed. We will keep watching for an update. We notice that a few storefronts in front of Toys R Us show as “vacant” which suggests that space will be added to the new Dick’s Sporting Goods.

Doris Market Expanding and Remodeling on Yamato

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A couple years ago we heard a rumor that Doris Market might move from its location on Yamato at Lakeridge Blvd. The plaza, Yamato Village Center, was sold to a new owner in 2014, and Doris Market stayed. A manager told us that the new owner has made significant improvements to the plaza, especially regarding lighting, and that has helped business.
We’ve been there a few times recently and we noticed big changes in the market. First, they are expanding. The space just east of the current entrance was occupied by Yamato Pharmacy, which have moved. Doris Market will take over that space. With other changes they will add about 2500 square feet in total.
In the photo below you can see the beginning of remodeling work near the entrance, and you can also see the former Yamato Pharmacy front on the left.
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Here is a closer shot of the front of the former Yamato Pharmacy …
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They’re doing significant remodeling in various areas of the store. Below is a shot in the entry area which we believe will be expanded …
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… and another shot from inside the store near the grocery area:
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Last this is a shot of a sign they have showing the new look they’re going for:
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From our conversations it sounds like it’s taking longer than they expected but should be fully remodeled by this summer.

Super Deals in West Boca for the Super Bowl

We’re trying out a new series of articles, with great deals available in or near West Boca.
For starters our friends at Stella’s Pizzeria are doing a “Super Bowl” special:

Buy 5 large cheese pizzas get one free.

stella-cheese
It’s a Super Bowl deal, but it’s available all week including Sunday.


The hilarious Comedian Louis Ramey will be back at the Boca Black Box Theater this Thursday night! Louis is one of the top comics today. You might remember him as a finalist on The Last Comic Standing. He is getting ready to film a pilot for a new TV Show to air later in the year.
Tickets for our Facebook friends are free, with a 2 item minimum. Please leave your name in the comment box for your tickets. Show is at 8 pm.
ramey

Editor’s note: This is a better deal than the one on Groupon!


On Sunday, Boca’s Best BBQ is doing “all you can eat ribs with 2 sides for $24.99 starting at 6pm for the Super Bowl.”
bbq-ribs


We are hoping to add more deals in the future from others like Angie’s List and Living Social. For now we are including some great offers from Groupon:

Groupon is doing a special through Thursday February 4th. Enter code CUPID20 and get a further 20% off any local deal.

30 class yoga package for $203 West Boca locations
https://www.groupon.com/deals/metabody-yoga-fitness-pass-227-palm-beach
$12 for $18 of food at Original Pancake House
https://www.groupon.com/deals/original-pancake-house-boca-raton-1
$9 haircut in Boca Greens
https://www.groupon.com/deals/anthony-s-barber-shop
$24 package at Monkey Joe’s in Logger’s Run
https://www.groupon.com/deals/monkey-joe-s-coral-springs-2
$50 for $100 of art classes for kids in Logger’s Run
https://www.groupon.com/deals/creative-elephant-art-studio
$20 oil change at Jiffy Lube in Sandalfoot
https://www.groupon.com/deals/ace-for-jiffy-lube-parent-7
$11 deal on crepes in Royal Palm Place (Federal Highway south of Palmetto)
https://www.groupon.com/deals/crepe-cafe-6

Toys R Us Closing in Mission Bay; Dick's Sporting Goods Coming

Update: See response from Toys R Us at bottom

 Toys R Us in Mission Bay Plaza; image by Google
Toys R Us in Mission Bay Plaza; image by Google

We’ve heard persistent rumors that Toys ‘R Us in Mission Bay would be closing and we can now confirm that. We called and talked to store employee, who identified himself as Tony Sandals. However we received a phone call from a man named Tony Sandals who says it wasn’t him, and he had quit before Christmas.
They started a store closing event yesterday. Everything in the store is up to 40% off and there are no returns allowed. The store employee expects that the store will be completely closed by the end of January. He was not able to tell us if the store will open in another nearby location.
The store employee also confirmed another rumor, that the spot will be filled by a new Dick’s Sporting Goods store. We would guess it will take at least a couple months for Dick’s to get going, and maybe not until the summer.
We had previously attempted to confirm these rumors with the firm that manages Mission Bay Plaza. The leasing agent did not respond and the property manager hung up on us.


Toys R Us responds:
I wanted to reach out as we had seen your story on our Boca Raton, FL Toys“R”Us store closing and wanted to correct/verify some of this information.
The Toys“R”Us store located at 20429 State Road 7 in Boca Raton will be closing at the end of the company’s lease term for this property, which is at the end of January.
Items purchased during the liquidation sale cannot be returned. As indicated on receipts, all sales during this time period are final. Items purchased prior to the liquidation sale on Saturday, December 26 can be returned under our normal return policy guidelines (including to the Mission Bay store). For more information and to view our full return policy, please click here.
Gift cards can be redeemed at the store until it closes. After that, customers can use their gift cards at any other Toys“R”Us or Babies“R”Us location nationwide, or online at www.Toysrus.com or www.Babiesrus.com.
At this time, we do not have any plans for a new store in the Boca Raton area. We’ve enjoyed serving the Boca Raton community for many years. We continue to operate a number of stores throughout the state of Florida, including a Toys“R”Us/Babies“R”Us store at 6001 West Sample Road in Coral Springs and a Toys“R”Us store at 601 N. Congress Avenue in Boynton Beach. Customers can also shop 24 hours a day on www.Toysrus.com and www.Babiesrus.com.
–There is also a Babies“R”Us store in West Boca Square (aka the Target plaza).–

Shooting at Shadowood – Scene Photos & Video

All photos copyright Warren Redlich unless otherwise marked. Media may use but please attribute to @WestBocaNews.
All photos copyright Warren Redlich 2015 unless otherwise marked. Others may use but please attribute to @WestBocaNews.

This morning we were alerted to a shooting with one person dead in Shadowood Square, at the European Auto Service Center at 9787 Glades Road.

•••WEST BOCA•••
SHOOTING
9787 Glades Rd
PBCFR & PBSO onscene of a subject that was shot in the head at a business, unknown circumstances or suspect information, Advising confirmed “Signal-7” dead at scene, Crime Scene units enroute

It is on the east end of the plaza by the traffic light and close to Einstein Bagel.

9787 Glades Road; image and map data by Google.
9787 Glades Road; image and map data by Google.

As you can see in the video below (on the right side in the background), paramedics attempted to enter the premises but were turned away. The victim had already passed away.

It appears this was a suicide rather than a violent crime. Police secured only the area inside the building, even allowing a pedestrian to walk through the parking lot. An anonymous source also confirmed this was a suicide.
Police and others were talking to one young man, wearing a Batman t-shirt, who may have witnessed the shooting or found the body.
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A gentleman (in the grey shirt and red shorts) approached us and identified himself as the owner. He did not offer any comment.
manager
He then went to the witness and, along with first responders, offered comfort.
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scene-comfort
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comfort
First responders from PBSO and Palm Beach County Fire Rescue remained on scene for a substantial amount of time.
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Before we left the scene we shot one final video:

The Western Beef Mystery: Why Is It Closed?

Second Update: We have heard from multiple sources that the reason Western Beef closed was a listeria problem was found during an inspection. We have NOT been able to verify this with government agencies despite a significant effort including calls to the FDA and the county. We did learn that listeria contamination is a potentially significant problem at deli counters and one of our sources did say that the problem was at the store’s deli. We do not think the store’s explanation (see below) is credible but we don’t have any solid proof that it’s false.


Update: We received a call from the main office in New York (Ben Petrofsky – general counsel). He said that the fire in late August required a lot of work to be done and that it should be open again this weekend (roughly October 25th). He did not have an explanation for the lack of public notice, and he denied that there was any emergency closing on October 15th.
Western Beef in Sandalfoot Square, West Boca Raton, Florida; Image by Google
Western Beef in Sandalfoot Square, West Boca Raton, Florida; Image by Google

Several days ago readers notified us that the Western Beef store in Sandalfoot Square was closed. We have made substantial efforts to find out what is going on and have not come up with anything solid as of yet. We don’t know if the closure is temporary or permanent, and we don’t know why.
One reader's photos of the Western Beef "closed" signs.
One reader’s photos of the Western Beef “closed” signs.

We have tried calling the store several times and there is no answer on the phone, not even a machine. Today we spoke with the Pembroke Pines store manager. He said he knows nothing about it. We also tried the Lake Worth store but could not get the manager on the phone. We called the main office in New York, a few days ago and again today. We could not get a live person on the phone and left a few messages.
Our first notice of this was October 15th, from a reader:

Shopping at western beef tonight & we had to leave before we were finished. They said they had to close because of an emergency. It was only 8:00 & they close normally at 10:00.

Readers have advanced a wide variety of theories to explain the closure. One reader said it was due to health inspectors. We don’t think that’s it, but we did see that they failed a health inspection in late September.
We searched that inspection database and this was the only failure we could find for any store in West Boca in the records. But that was late September so it doesn’t seem like an explanation for the store closing over two weeks later.
Another theory relates to a fire that happened in the store, and perhaps that they’re remodeling. But that was even longer ago, in late August.
One of the more popular ideas is that the closure is somehow mafia related. That one is mildly amusing, but doesn’t make a lot of sense to us because other stores in the chain remain open. Organized crime allegations about Western Beef have been made before.
One regular reader advanced a “gas leak” theory:

There was a gas leak. They have to replace all the pipes. No mafia stuff.

Responding to another reader’s questioning, the reader asserted it was “it was in the paper. Try reading it.” But we have searched and searched and haven’t found anything like that. And as was pointed out in response, gas leaks typically cause an evacuation of entire plazas. There was no such incident. With that said, the gas leak idea does fit with the original reader telling us it was an emergency.
Readers also offered another theory – that the closure is related to the Loxahatchee animal cruelty bust. The timing for that one is close. The scandal involves selling horse meat for human consumption in South Florida. But considering that the Pembroke Pines store remains open, this doesn’t quite fit.
For now the Western Beef closure remains a mystery. Why is it closed? Is it temporary or permanent?
Why would a chain supermarket close suddenly with no public notice other than a handwritten sign taped to the door? Why isn’t the store’s main office responding to inquiries?
Hopefully we will get answers soon.

ALDI Grand Opening in West Boca Square

aldi-front-wide
ALDI had its grand opening yesterday. We stopped by, bought a few items, took a few pictures, and talked to company management. The store is located next to Hobby Lobby in West Boca Square, near Chili’s and the corner of 441 and Palmetto Park Road.
aldi-inside-up-wide
It’s not big inside, much smaller than a typical grocery store. We’ve had a lot of comments from readers, including positive, negative, and confused. So we’ll do our best to explain ALDI’s model and why it works for some consumers.
aldi-bagging
The first things most people notice relates to service and convenience. At ALDI no one bags your groceries for you. There’s a bagging shelf right after the cash register where you bag your own stuff. And they don’t give free bags. You bring your own reusable bags or buy bags from the store.
Another example of this is the cart system. Unlike other stores you have to pay a quarter in order to get a cart, and you get the quarter back when you return the cart.
The idea behind this is to lower labor costs. If the store spends less money having workers bag your groceries and chase down the carts, that allows them to lower prices.
Another big thing along with this – they don’t take credit cards. They mainly take debit cards and cash.

We accept cash, PIN-based debit cards, the Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) and Link cards. At this time, we do not accept checks, credit cards or the Women, Infants and Children program (WIC).

aldi-cheerios
The last big cost saving measure – the products are mostly store brand. Looking around the store you see an occasional branded item, like the Honey Nut Cheerios above. But right next to them they’re selling their store brand version of the same product for a dollar less per box. We also saw Coca Cola and a shelf with regular brand wines. As part of this strategy, they do not take manufacturer coupons.
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We noticed a lot of gluten-free items. They also have a significant sections with fresh produce, meats, and refrigerated items.
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The VP seemed very proud of the produce section and encouraged us to take photos, so we did.
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So, is it a good deal? We bought a few items and thought the prices of what we bought were less than other stores.
We saw several neighbors and friends, and talked with one couple in particular who are very budget-conscious shoppers. They felt that some prices were better but not all and they were not sure how often they’ll go to ALDI.
One other thing is an issue for a lot of shoppers. Because they have so many store brand items, people are worried about the quality. The chain is confident that their store brands are high quality and ALDI offers what they call their “double guarantee”:

If, for any reason, you are not 100 percent satisfied with any product, we will offer a Double Guarantee where we will gladly replace the product AND refund your money. To receive the Double Guarantee, the product packaging and any unused product must be returned to your local ALDI Store Manager.
The Double Guarantee does not apply to non-food Special Buy items, alcohol, national brands and non-quality related issues.

We had stopped by a day earlier and shot a short video of their soft opening. The grand opening was much busier.

ALDI Opens October 14th; Grand Opening 15th

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We’ve received official word from ALDI that the Grand Opening of their West Boca store will be on October 15th.

To celebrate the opening of the first Boca Raton store, ALDI will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 9 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 15. Following the ceremony, the first 100 shoppers will receive a golden ticket, each containing ALDI gift certificates of various amounts.

Unofficially we think the store will open for business on October 14th, as shown by a handwritten sign on the front and what we’ve heard from other sources – see images below and at top.
aldi-1
The new store is located in West Boca Square, the plaza on the northwest corner of 441 and Palmetto Park Road. Target is at the north end of the plaza with Chili’s at the south end. ALDI will open next to Hobby Lobby in part of the space formerly occupied by Beall’s.
We previously wrote about ALDI coming to West Boca in May of last year. It took a year and a half, but they’re coming.
Here’s the official release:
On Thursday, Oct. 15, ALDI, the nation’s low-price grocery leader*, will offer Boca Raton shoppers a smarter alternative as it opens its first Boca Raton store, located at 21759 State Road 7. With more than 1,400 stores in 32 states, ALDI is known for high-quality grocery items at incredibly low prices.
To celebrate the opening of the new Boca Raton store, ALDI will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 9 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 15. The public is invited to attend. Following the ceremony, the first 100 shoppers will receive a golden ticket, each containing ALDI gift certificates of various amounts. Customers can also tour the store, sample ALDI exclusive brand products and enter an on-site sweepstakes for a chance to win a year’s supply of ALDI produce. ALDI currently carries nearly 70 varieties of fruits and vegetables, including several organic produce items.
“We look forward to introducing Boca Raton shoppers to ALDI, where they can find the majority of their average weekly shopping list from our exclusive brand products – including fresh meats, fruits, vegetables and bakery items – for up to 50 percent** less,” said Chris Hewitt, Royal Palm Beach division vice president for ALDI. “We are committed to bringing ALDI customers the highest quality products at the lowest possible prices in a simple and easy-to-navigate shopping environment.”
The Boca Raton store features high ceilings, natural lighting and environmentally-friendly building materials – such as recycled materials and energy-saving refrigeration and light bulbs – to ensure that customers enjoy a shopping experience that is simple and easy to navigate.
In addition to the store’s new look, ALDI will bring shoppers a wide range of new, healthier options like organic produce, USDA Choice beef and the SimplyNature line of products, free of artificial colors, flavors or unnecessary enhancers. ALDI also recently introduced its liveGfreeTM gluten-free product line.
Customers can expect to find more than 1,300 of the most commonly purchased items sold under ALDI exclusive brands for prices up to 50 percent less than traditional supermarkets. To ensure its exclusive brands meet or exceed the national brands on taste and quality, ALDI conducts rigorous testing on all products. ALDI stands behind this quality with a Double Guarantee: If for any reason a customer is not 100 percent satisfied with a food product, ALDI will gladly replace the product and refund the customer’s money.
ALDI exemplifies efficiency by eliminating overhead costs through smart practices, such as a cart rental system, through which shoppers insert a quarter to release a cart and receive the quarter back upon the cart’s return. Other cost-saving practices include a smaller store footprint, open carton displays and encouragement of customers to bring their own shopping bags.
ALDI also saves shoppers money by keeping stores open during prime shopping times. The newest location will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday. ALDI accepts cash, debit and EBT cards.
Over the next several years, ALDI plans to add an average of 130 new stores each year, expanding the ability to bring grocery savings to more people every day.
About ALDI Inc.
A leader in the grocery retailing industry, ALDI operates more than 1,400 US stores in 32 states, primarily from Kansas to the East Coast. More than 30 million customers each month save up to 50 percent** on their grocery bills, benefiting from the ALDI simple and streamlined approach to retailing. ALDI sells more than 1,300 of the most frequently purchased grocery and household items, primarily under its exclusive brands, which must meet or exceed the national name brands on taste and quality. ALDI is so confident in the quality of its products, the company offers a Double Guarantee: If for any reason a customer is not 100 percent satisfied with any ALDI food product, ALDI will gladly replace the product and refund the purchase price. ALDI was named the 2014 Retailer of the Year by Store Brands Magazine for its strong commitment to value and innovation-focused private brand product development. For more information about ALDI, visit www.aldi.us.