Huge Project Proposed for Glades Road

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.
And next the homes section:
PDF of the project plan is below:
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Repeat Offender Recklessly Injures Deputy on 441

Traffic on US-441 was blocked from Glades to Yamato this morning after a serious accident near Kimberly Road. Hector Mauricio Mazariegos (age 31, Coral Springs) was arrested and charged with several offenses.
According to the Sheriff’s report:

P-1 (the deputy) was working a traffic enforcement operation on State Road 7 just south of Kimberly Blvd with several other deputies. P-1 obtained a speed reading of 97 mph on V-1 (Mazariegos on the motorcycle) in a 45 mph zone.
P-1 stepped into the center lane, faced southbound and was waving V-1 over. According to witnesses the deputy had been out in the roadway for more than enough time for the rider to see him and stop. The deputy was wearing a neon green reflective vest at the time. V-1 slowed and tried to drive around P-1, but at the same time P-1 feared V-1 was going to run him over and moved slightly to his right.
V-1 impacted with the deputy, then made a heavy brake applicated (leaving a lengthy skid mark) and overturned. V-1 slid to final rest at Kimberly Blvd.

Mr. Mazariegos has quite a history in the courts, as explained below the scene photos.

Reader photo of accident scene
Reader photo of accident scene

Reader photo showing what we believe to be the deputy on the ground at the scene.
Reader photo showing what we believe to be the deputy on the ground at the scene.

By our count, Mazariegos has had 9 traffic cases (7 of them criminal) in Broward County dating back to 2007:
He also was arrested in 2015 in Palm Beach County for driving without a valid license. Despite his lengthy history, that charge was resolved with a fine and “adjudication withheld.”
Similar to a case we reported last year, the prosecutors and courts in Palm Beach and Broward County seem to have a policy of going easy on serious repeat traffic offenders. In the previous incident three young males were badly injured. Now it’s a deputy taking the hit.
State Attorney Dave Aronberg is running unopposed in this year’s election so we can expect another four years of lax enforcement. Mr. Mazariegos has probably run out of luck.
PBSO reports the charges against Mazariegos as:

  • Reckless Driving resulting in serious bodily injury
  • No Driver’s License causing serious bodily injury
  • Driving without a motorcycle endorsement
  • Driving an unregistered vehicle
  • Attaching an unassigned tag to a vehicle

Mazariegos’ Facebook page indicates he works (or worked) for Fit Foodz Cafe, which is on Clint Moore near 441.

Boca Italiana Review: Excellent

There’s a new Italian restaurant in West Boca and it’s excellent. Boca Italiana is located in Piccadilly Square (north side of Glades just west of the Turnpike), close to Jimmy the Greek and not just in physical distance. The Karaloukas family runs both restaurants.
Boca Italiana replaces Armadillo Café. The interior layout is the same, but the design changed. When you walk in the door you enter a smaller bar area:
The hostess will greet you and then seat you in the larger room:
There are about 15 tables, some for two or four, and a few larger tables for big groups.
And that brings us to the food, where a restaurant should shine and Boca Italiana does. Entrees include soup or salad plus garlic rolls. My companions had pasta fagioli and said it was good, with beans, pasta, carrots and celery. I had a salad which was fresh and colorful:
The garlic rolls were also good, and notably different from some other places as they’re not covered in oil.
We also ordered the garlic cheese bread, which was unnecessary but reasonably priced and enjoyable.
Service was also excellent. Before the entrees they offered to replace silverware and otherwise were readily available and responsive.
For entrees one companion had the veal parmigiana. It was a nice piece of meat, well prepared and with a traditional sauce.
Our younger companion was delighted with the angel hair pasta, which came with diced tomatoes and plenty of garlic.
I had the chicken scarpariello. The chef did a solid job of balancing sweet with spice, using two or three different kinds of peppers and better quality sausage than typical.
There is no standard dessert menu with the menu saying to ask the server for desserts of the day. We chose the blackberry cheesecake, which was outstanding.
Boca Italiana looks like a winner. While not cheap, the prices are competitive with other sit-down Italian restaurants in the area, and include soup or salad. A good example of the pricing is the veal parm at $19.95. There is also a lunch menu with most dishes under $10, and there’s a kids menu with dishes at $6.95.
Make reservations or call ahead. This is an especially good place to go ahead of a night at the Boca Black Box.
Boca Italiana is at 8221 Glades Road. Their website isn’t operational yet but their Facebook page is up and running. Phone is (561) 430-3170.

Corner Bakery Cafe Near Town Center

All photos copyright Warren Redlich 2016; free to share if you credit West Boca News.
All photos copyright Warren Redlich 2016; free to share if you credit West Boca News.

Corner Bakery Cafe is a nice little spot just east of Town Center Mall on the south side of Glades Road. If you’re familiar with Panera, it’s similar in style but it’s a step up in atmosphere and quality.
Image and map data by Google
Image and map data by Google

We were invited to try out some dishes there and as usual we liked it. Their most popular item is the Chicken Pomodori sandwich (they call them Panini). Here are a couple pictures, from above and inside the sandwich:
The Chopped Salad was huge, fresh and delicious. They had me at bacon.
Please note that although the salad was very good at the time, it doesn’t keep for long if you bring it home. That’s a problem with any dish that has fresh tomatoes. We brought most of this home and ate it that night, and it was still okay but it would not have been any good the next morning.
The Cuban Press sandwich, on the other hand, was still good the next morning when I ate the second half of it. This is not a traditional Cuban but I liked it better. Both the cheese and the ham seemed to be a better grade than what I’ve had in Cuban places in Miami. The bread was also excellent.
We also got a “trio” of sides including hummus, cavatappi pasta salad, and Southwest Avocado. The avocado was our favorite.
There’s a lot of room inside for dining, and a few tables outside as well.
We also understand that they like doing fundraisers for local schools and groups, especially at dinner time.
Corner Bakery Cafe is at 2240 NW 19th St, Boca Raton, FL 33431.

Dastjerdi Arrested Again for Aggravated Stalking

Update: Mr. Dastjerdi appeared in court on Wednesday. Prosecutors moved for pre-trial detention and the court granted that motion, meaning he will be held without bond. The case has been assigned to Judge Charles Burton.
The Sun-Sentinel reports that Dastjerdi targeted his former business partner, threatening to rape the man’s wife and blow up their house. Court records indicate the offense (or one of them) occurred in late November, with the case filed and warrant issued on December 9th.

According to website, former West Boca resident Ahmad Dastjerdi was arrested Tuesday on three counts of “Aggravated Stalking – Follow, Harass, Cyberstalk, Credible Threat to Person.”
We reported on Dastjerdi’s previous arrest for similar charges back in 2013.
Mugshot from 2013
Dastjerdi mugshot from 2013

Dastjerdi was convicted in early September and sentenced to 60 days in jail for harassing phone calls to his former neighbor in the Escondido community. In that trial the jury rejected the felony aggravated stalking charges.
Escondido is on the east side of Lyons south of Glades. Dastjerdi now lives in East Boca. He is a certified electrical contractor and owns a business called Remote Electric, Inc.
The Sheriff’s booking blotter shows, at this writing, that Dastjerdi remains in custody without bond.
In researching this story we noticed that someone purporting to be Ahmad Dastjerdi posted comments on a story we wrote in January of 2013 about a local tire store. These point to an Ahmad Dastjerdi Facebook page that contains comments similar to those he was accused of in the trial. We cannot verify if this is actually Dastjerdi.

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.

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.
A gentleman (in the grey shirt and red shorts) approached us and identified himself as the owner. He did not offer any comment.
He then went to the witness and, along with first responders, offered comfort.
First responders from PBSO and Palm Beach County Fire Rescue remained on scene for a substantial amount of time.
Before we left the scene we shot one final video:

Sweet Dewey’s Will Become “Boca’s Best BBQ & Smokehouse”

Our favorite BBQ place is expanding and changing its name. The soon to be renamed Sweet Dewey’s is on the north side of Glades Road west of Lyons, between Stallone’s and Bamboo Wok. It will be renamed Boca’s Best BBQ & Smokehouse.

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

They are taking over the space formerly occupied by a nail salon adding about 1500 square feet. The new area will have seating for 60 customers. There will be a half-wall with a counter between the two spaces with an additional 10 or so bar stools to sit at the counter. This will more than triple the seating.
On the cooking side they will be adding a 10-foot smoker inside the existing space. This will allow them to prepare more types of food at the same time, quintuple the total amount they can cook, and will also include rotisseries.
The menu will expand. Most notably they will open for breakfast with omelets and more, and they are adding fried chicken to the lunch and dinner menus. Of course they will continue to feature the Sweet Dewey’s sauces.
The restaurant will close this Sunday through Wednesday for final remodeling, and will reopen on December 20th. They are hoping for a grand reopening on January 1st.

Benihana Coming to Westwinds of Boca

We’ve heard rumors for years now and it’s finally true. Benihana is coming to Westwinds of Boca (aka the Home Depot plaza) on the southeast corner of 441 and Glades. Originally we heard this what was going into the new building that now has Pei Wei and a few other stores.

The old Denny’s; photo by Warren Redlich

While we heard all those rumors, people also kept asking us “what’s going on with the Denny’s building.” Now we have the answer. There is a proposal pending before the county, titled “Benihana at Festival Shoppes of Boca Raton” (the old name of Westwinds). The essence of the plan:

The Applicant is requesting to reconfigure the Site Plan and add square footage. The Preliminary Site Plan indicates the existing Type II Restaurant (3,154 sq. ft.) to be demolished and a new (8,060 sq. ft.) restaurant to be constructed.

The zoning commission has scheduled a hearing for December 4th, and then it will go in front of the County Commissioners on January 7th. Sometimes these dates get pushed back, but it appears to be coming soon. One reader even tells us she saw workers at the building.
There are already a couple of Japanese steak houses in West Boca, with Tempura House at Clint Moore & 441, and Saito’s at Lyons and Glades. Benihana is may be a step up in quality, but we’ll see if and when they open.

Benihana to replace Denny’s in Westwinds of Boca, southeast corner of Glades and 441; image and map data by Google.

Overall the parking in that plaza can be a nightmare, though the worst of it is closer to Home Depot and Publix. Doubling the size of this building will bring in a lot more cars, but we think there’s room for it. Plus we’re excited to try it.
It’s always a good sign for the local economy when businesses want to open and expand.
The full zoning application is below:
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Burglaries in Boca Falls & Boca Madera; School on Lockdown

Update: A homeowner in Bayberry (Boca Winds) said she saw two black males in a older white pickup “casing the neighborhood”. They were not young, perhaps in their 30s or 40s, and she saw them two or three times. The location is very close to the Boca Falls burglary in this story and the description seems to match what the homeowner saw when she walked in on the burglars.

Two burglary incidents attracted a lot of attention in the past 24 hours, one yesterday afternoon in Boca Falls and early this morning in Boca Madera.

Mystic Cove in Boca Falls; image by Google
Mystic Cove in Boca Falls; image by Google

Readers alerted us to an incident yesterday in and near Boca Falls at the west end of Glades Road and Palmetto Park Road. Several police cars were seen, some on Glades Road near the Boca Falls entrance with others on or near Palmetto. Readers also saw a police helicopter. We arrived on the scene about an hour later and saw one police car at Palmetto and Riverside along with the helicopter.
One of our readers described the incident as he heard it:

[The homeowner] walked into her house and her house was being robbed! She saw them and they saw her and then they ran out the back and she ran out the front. They did take items from her house. From what she said, they came in by piggybacking through the gate.
Hopefully word will get out and our neighborhood will take precautions and this doesn’t happen again!

Various sources tell us that police were looking for two black males in a white pickup; the pickup “piggy backed” through the gate near Waters Edge Elementary School; Waters Edge went on a “Code Yellow” lockdown for about an hour; and that Boca Falls was already considering measures to improve gate security and this incident is likely to accelerate changes.
The reference to piggy backing is when an unauthorized vehicle follows closely behind an authorized vehicle to get through a gate before it closes.
Another reader forwarded us this notice from Waters Edge Elementary:

Please know that for everyone’s safety, we were on a Code Yellow today from approximately 12:25-1:25 pm due to some unusual activity in Boca Falls– we are now “All Clear”. All students and staff remained in the building and they did a fabulous job following our expectations. We appreciate everyone’s support during this time.

So far there’s no indication as to whether the burglars were caught or not.
We should note that crime maps show incidents like this are rare in gated communities, and West Boca has one of the lowest crime rates in Palm Beach County and South Florida.

Boca Madera entrance; image by Google
Boca Madera entrance; image by Google

Early this morning there was a burglary in the Boca Madera neighborhood which is on the east side of Jog Road north of Glades near the St. Andrews School. It’s inside the city line but still what we consider West Boca (west of Military Trail). Boca Raton Police notified the community (via Facebook and Twitter) of the incident and warned residents to stay inside.
Not too long after they followed up with an all-clear notice:
WPTV reports that two men were arrested after a search was conducted by Boca Raton PD and a PBSO helicopter. We do not see any blotter entries that fit yet, but it was only a few hours ago and usually takes longer than that for them to show up.
Note that the correct spelling of the neighborhood is Boca Madera (Madera is Spanish for wood), not Madeira (a Portuguese wine).

New Comedy Theatre in West Boca: Boca Black Box

Conspicuously hidden behind the Dunkin’ Donuts on Glades Road (just west of the Turnpike, near the International Jewelers Exchange), is a new space for comedy, theatre, comedy theatre and more. Boca Black Box fills a space that had been empty for a while, and at some point years ago was a comedy club. There’s a new vision for the place driven by the partners behind it, especially Randy Singer.

Scott Levine and Randy Singer
Two of the partners, Scott Levine and Randy Singer

As local media we were invited to attend an event that included a local comedian named Sarge.
Sarge had the audience laughing hard and often. His material ranged from the deli counter at Publix to the chairs in the theater (allegedly harvested from a DMV office that closed in Deerfield Beach).
The chairs were actually comfortable and laid out well so every seat has a good view. It’s a big room, with chairs in the back elevated a bit. There’s also a bar area in the back serving various drinks, though no food.
At this particular event there was some food provided, from Jimmy the Greek and Armadillo Cafe, both in the same plaza. If you’re going to a show here these restaurants would be a good place to eat beforehand.
We look forward to more coming at Boca Black Box. This month they have 11 events scheduled and we imagine it will get busier as they grow and develop their shtick.