Dont MISS VINCE NEIL ROCKIN THE CENTENIAL SQURE APRIL 3 FROM 6:30  to 9:00 and a great hip FASHION SHOW Featuring the hottest syles and including many Downtown Businesses as well at DR FEELGOODS 8:30 FRIDAY APRIL 4     T he opening of Hotel and Rock Lobby did not disappoint last Thursday the 20th and they just got finished with a very busy happening opening week. You can see some of the fun yourself in the Video Gallery. The Hip and tasty temptations at Forte Di Asparino  continue to bring in the crowds and especially delight allot of lunchgoers as well. Although a large sizable increase has not been seen mainstays like Leila and Bonds are doing very brisk Dinner business as well as now open 4 months now Roccos Taccos. In Northwood mainstay Sunset Grill and new comer Café Centro are also full to the brim with reservation and patrons. New Galleries have opened there as well such as Gardenhouse, Emile Marie and Saturday March 30 join the grand opening party at All About Details . Visit   and click the banner on this site to find out more.  Be sure downtown to step in side  the new boutique retail experiences at Afrocenter on Olive right across the street in fact and This n That the super unique consignment Boutique and in the 500 block visit Sole Estate and look at the one of a kind art and new Nike styles arriving week.  . Rappaport group will be opening Clematis Social Club to fill a later night sense for upscale music and mature later night experience seekers in the Fall. Cocoon is getting close as well to coming on the seen The City Center is moving along pell-mell and it wont be long before the spades will be put in to the dirt for the beginning development of what will be come one of the hottest waterfronts on the East Coast in its  architecture and diversity. Down at the 101 Clematis Lofts across from the fountain get ready for the Pistache French Bistro. Multiple delicacies for all times of the day. Get ready for that in late March. … Stay tuned for more action news and fun in Downtown West Palm!!







The First and Oldest Neighborhood

in West Palm Beach

West Palm Beach's first historic district to be included on the National Register of Historic Places (February 1992), the Northwest neighborhood was first settled in 1894, when the black community was moved from the Styx in Palm Beach to West Palm Beach. It also served as the city's segregated black community from 1929 to 1960 (along with Pleasant City).

Northwest remains a predominantly black community but according to the city planning department, most middle- and upper-class blacks moved to other neighborhoods after desegregation. Tamarind and Rosemary Avenues were the commercial centers for blacks by 1915, but most commercial buildings have been demolished or remodeled so the architecture is no longer significant.
There are still good examples of late 19th- and early 20th-century American bungalow/craftsman-style homes in this neighborhood, which also has mission, shotgun, Bahamian vernacular and American Foursquare styles.
The Alice Frederick Mickens house, at 801 Fourth St., is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Mickens was a philanthropist and humanitarian who promoted education for black youth.

Another notable house is the Gwen Cherry house at 625 Division Ave. Cherry, Florida's first black woman legislator and a resident of Miami, inherited the house from relative Mollie Holt, who built the house in 1926. Now it is the Palm Beach County Black Historical Society.

The Northwest neighborhood was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1992. The next year the neighborhood became a West Palm Beach historic district in 1993.

New Developments and More opportunities on the way.

With the development of the Salvation Army Community Center, the widening and making two way direction of Rosemary in the past few years a definite trend is on the move to bring more business and community to the Neighborhood.  The new lower level street lamps, wider sidewalks and landscaping is helping to make this a reality as well.  Thanks to developers like Darren Gadsen and Darren Studstill new businesses like Hair Do You and Bethy`s Beauty Supply have opened in the newly renovated building on the corner of Third and Banyan joining long time Attorney Maurice Hall. You can even meet owners Bethey and Sherdina by clicking the TV Videos and hear about their shops.



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Some Financial information

Did You Know?

Did you know that the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) has grant funding available for improve-

ments to property located in the Downtown/City Center District? In November of 2005, the CRA Board

approved nine (9) incentive programs to attract private sector investment to the area and encourage

aesthetic improvements to the existing structures and sites. The programs include:

Capital Improvement Grant Program

This program encourages rehabilitation of existing commercial properties and provides funding in the

form of a grant, calculated at 50 percent of the “interest only” portion of the principle loan obtained

for rehabilitation or reconstruction of a project within the Northwest and Brelsford Park target areas.

Maximum loan amount is $350,000 from participating lending institutions.

Contributing Structure Rehabilitation Grant Program

This grant provides up to $10,000 for each primary structure and, where applicable, up to $5,000 for each

accessory structure per parcel, for a maximum amount of $20,000, provided the overall grant awarded

does not exceed 85% of total project cost. Eligibility is limited to ‘contributing’ residential properties

located within the designated Northwest Historic District for aesthetic improvements to the exterior


Facade and Exterior Improvement Program

This grant provides 75% of a facade project up to $10,000; or in a tar-

geted area, provides a maximum contribution of $20,000 for a project

totaling $25,000 or more. Improvements include landscaping, awnings,

exterior painting, signage, and any other approved exterior improve-

ments. This program is targeted to commercial or mixed-use structures in

the Northwest neighborhood; Brelsford Park areas, and properties front-

ing Clematis Street, and more specifically: Tamarind Avenue, Sapodilla

Avenue and Rosemary Avenue, north of Banyan Boulevard; and Dixie

Highway, north of Quadrille Boulevard.

Tamarind Avenue Facade and Exterior Improvement Program

This grant provides 80% of a facade project up to $7,500. These smaller project improvements include land-

scaping, awnings, signage, doors, windows, and painting for commercial properties located on Tamarind

Avenue, north of Banyan Boulevard.

Housing Investment Program (HIP)

This incentive program provides development assistance for residential

projects investing up to $5 million.

Real Estate Development Accelerator Program (REDA)

This program provides incentives for large scale projects over $5 million.

Incentives can be used for land markdowns, infrastructure improve-

ments, tax increment financing, etc.

Relocation and Development Assistance Incentive Program

This program provides funding to assist with relocation of businesses for

certain uses and provides incentives for development including tenant

relocation, acquisition, buildout, and rehabilitation or renovation of

existing properties within the Northwest and Brelsford Park target areas.

Strategic Investment Streetscape Program (SISP)

This incentive program can be used to assist with streetscape improvements for

development projects up to $5 million with up to 50 percent of the cost of streetscape

construction within the public right-of-way being funded.

Strategic Investment Program (SIP)

This program targets commercial and mixed-use projects and is based on a formula that considers the

amount of tax increment generated from each project up to $5 million.

In addition to the CRA incentive programs, most of the District is located within the Florida Enterprise Zone

which offers tax incentives to eligible properties.

For more information on any of these programs, contact the CRA at (561) 822-1550.

Tell them where you saw this information  


Capitalizing on History for Entertainment and Financial Growth.

 Return to the Glory Days of Jazz

Restoration of 1930s jazz club could lead revival of neighborhood

By Michael Van Sickler, Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Sunday, March 24, 2002

WEST PALM BEACH -- Robert Saunders couldn't have picked a better place to build the Sunset Cocktail Lounge in 1933.

Segregation made 609 Eighth St. the choicest piece of real estate in the city for a jazz club. Located in the center of the Northwest Neighborhood, the Sunset was one of the only joints in town where the premier musicians of the day could play.  The resorts of Palm Beach and the white sections of West Palm Beach wouldn't allow black performers.

On any given weekend night for the next 25 years, Nat "King" Cole, Duke Ellington, Fats Waller, Ella Fitzgerald and Count Basie could be heard jamming until 2 a.m. at the Sunset, which was then the anchor of a thriving strip of restaurants, clubs and shops along Rosemary Avenue.

"When Louis Armstrong performed, more whites than anyone else turned out to attend," said Thelma Starks, who now owns the building. "We were at the center of things. Everyone dressed up to go there, it was so glamorous. It meant everything to us." The original lounge had a roof garden, service station and garage.



Today, second-floor apartments occupy the space once reserved for the dance floor and the bands. Dust from a CSR Rinker Materials concrete plant a block away hangs in the air. Broken glass sprinkles the empty field of crab grass and sand where homes once stood across from the Sunset.

"Integration was good, but what we have now is not what I fought for," Starks said. "We lost all our businesses and a sense of who we are."

That sense of loss is echoed in a report by Stull and Lee Inc., a Boston consulting company paid $170,000 by the city to study the Northwest Neighborhood. In a report released last week to city commissioners, the firm recommends restoring Rosemary Avenue's Jazz Age eminence by creating a thematic district with the Sunset at its core.

The report recommends a park opposite the building to host jazz shows. Nearby buildings would be modeled after the three-story Sunset.The report is a long way from becoming a reality.

Commissioners would have to rally behind it, and Mayor Joel Daves would have to push many of the report's recommendations, some of which come with a price tag. For instance, a recommendation to rehabilitate about 15 vacant historic buildings and 30 other buildings would cost about $2.7 million.

But the report's preservation philosophy is a marked departure from the mind-set of the past 50 years that demolitions are the remedy to blight.

Since 1953, about 300 residential structures have been demolished in the neighborhood.

Existing buildings "are the only historic link, with the exception of the church structures, between the African-American community that once lived there and the Northwest Neighborhood today," the report states.

If many more structures are lost, that link may be broken and the area will lose its historic designation as well as much of its scale, charm and uniqueness and its sense of place."

Daves likens the Sunset's potential to that of the 1926 First Methodist Church, which was restored and is now the centerpiece of CityPlace.

"Maybe we should do the same with the old club," Daves said. "It's certainly an option that the city could acquire it. But we haven't gotten to that point."

Until then, the only hint of the Sunset's historical legacy rests in the memories of the club's former patrons.

Preston Tillman recalls going there on Saturday nights, dressed in his "Sunday's best" and watching everyone in town try to show off their latest dance moves.

"It was the only place we could go for our evening's entertainment," said Tillman, 85.

"It was a beautiful place. They heard about us up in Harlem, we were so big. It was our thing."