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Palm Springs council paves way for improvements at PSP

More improvements are coming to the Palm Springs International Airport.



a airplane that is driving down the road: An American Airlines flight takes off Palm Springs International Airport, November 19, 2019.


© Jay Calderon/The Desert Sun
An American Airlines flight takes off Palm Springs International Airport, November 19, 2019.

The Palm Springs City Council on Thursday unanimously approved an amendment to the airport concession lease agreement and concept designs related to a demonstration garden and future turf conversion projects.

An extension of the concessions agreement with Paradies Shops, which has operated at the airport since 1999, will be in effect through April 2023, according to the city.

It will include a $512,000 investment from Paradies to improve food and bar spaces with proposed concepts such as Santa Rosa Kitchen and Spirits, PSP Coffee House and The Wine Bar at PSP in lieu of the 12th Fairway, Starbucks and California Vintage. 

Approving the amendment will allow Paradies to begin working on design plans, acquiring equipment and hiring staff in hopes of opening some locations by mid-November, according to a staff report. 

The deal with Paradies comes as more airlines announce flights to and from Palm Springs. On Thursday, Southwest Airlines announced it will begin flying out of Palm Springs on Nov. 15 to Phoenix, Oakland and Denver.

“I think it’s important that when people come into our airport, they have a good experience so they’ll want to return,” Councilman Dennis Woods said. “Part of that experience is having vendors available for food and drink as they pass through, especially if they’ve been on a long flight.”

The agreement also comes several months after HMS Host, which used to manage food and beverage sales at the airport, terminated its operations there effective July 31. 

“HMS’s termination of operations eliminated food service, bar service, and the two licensed Starbucks operations at PSP,” a staff report stated. 

In addition to concessions, the council unanimously approved

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Popular West Palm eatery Kitchen set to open second location at Alton Town Center



a man and a woman standing in a room: Aliza Byrne and Chef Matthew Byrne own and operate Kitchen restaurant in West Palm Beach. [Photo by LILA PHOTO]


© [LILA PHOTO]
Aliza Byrne and Chef Matthew Byrne own and operate Kitchen restaurant in West Palm Beach. [Photo by LILA PHOTO]

PALM BEACH GARDENS — Seven years after opening their popular American brasserie Kitchen in West Palm Beach, Chef Matthew Byrne and his wife, Aliza, are preparing to debut the sequel. 

The West Palm Beach residents will unveil their second Kitchen restaurant early next month at Alton Town Center in Palm Beach Gardens.

The eatery, which will seat 150 with ample outdoor space and a private room, joins a growing list of new restaurants at the 360,203-square-foot retail complex on Donald Ross Road.

More: Gardens McDonald’s reopens dining room after $450,000 contemporary renovation

More: Miller’s Ale House to open next year at Alton Town Center in Gardens

The location was a perfect one for the Byrnes, who were eager to expand into an area where many of their regular customers live, including nearby Jupiter.

“It’s such an amazing community there,” said Aliza Byrne, who has grown familiar with the area since her teenage sons began attending The Benjamin School. “A lot of our clients live nearby. There was such a huge demand from people who said they wished we were closer. We feel really good about it.”

Byrne said she expects to draw more year-round diners to the new Alton Town Center location, whereas the original Kitchen, at 319 Belvedere Rd., is more seasonal.

That restaurant, which has drawn a steady stream of locals and visiting VIPs since it first opened in October 2013, seated just 36 people initially and served only beer, wine and champagne for the first three years.

The Alton Town Center restaurant will have a ‘proper’ bar, Byrne said, which will allow for a bar menu and happy hour.

“We were never able to have

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Palm Springs leaders discuss airport concessions, downtown park

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An American Airlines flight takes off Palm Springs International Airport, November 19, 2019. (Photo: Jay Calderon/The Desert Sun)

More improvements are coming to the Palm Springs International Airport.

On Thursday, the Palm Springs City Council unanimously approved an amendment to the airport concession lease agreement and concept designs related to a demonstration garden and future turf conversion projects.

An extension of the concessions agreement with Paradies Shops, which has operated at the airport since 1999, will be in effect through April 2023, according to the city.

It will include a $512,000 investment from Paradies to improve food and bar spaces with proposed concepts such as Santa Rosa Kitchen and Spirits, PSP Coffee House and The Wine Bar at PSP in lieu of the 12th Fairway, Starbucks and California Vintage. 

Approving the amendment will allow Paradies to begin working on design plans, acquiring equipment and hiring staff in hopes of opening some locations by mid-November, according to a staff report. 

The deal with Paradies comes as more airlines announce flights to and from Palm Springs. On Thursday, Southwest Airlines announced it will begin flying out of Palm Springs on Nov. 15 to Phoenix, Oakland and Denver.

“I think it’s important that when people come into our airport, they have a good experience so they’ll want to return,” Councilman Dennis Woods said. “Part of that experience is having vendors available for food and drink as they pass through, especially if they’ve been on a long flight.”

The agreement also comes several months after HMS Host, which used to manage food and beverage sales at the airport, terminated its operations there effective July 31. 

“HMS’s termination of operations eliminated food service, bar service, and the two licensed Starbucks operations at PSP,” a staff report stated. 

In addition to concessions, the

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Palm Bay to reconsider allowing hundreds of homes next to FAR Chemical after judge voids meeting

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A witness called 911 to report an explosion at a chemical plant in Palm Bay.

Wochit

Back in February, disregarding warnings of danger, the Palm Bay City Council voted 5-0 to rezone land bordering FAR Chemical’s industrial plant for construction of up to 699 homes and 190,000 square feet of commercial space.

On Sept. 8, FAR Chemical was rocked by a series of window-rattling explosions, sparking large fireballs and shutting down U.S. 1 as police and firefighters converged on the scene.

Nine days later, a Brevard County circuit judge invalidated the results of the February City Council meeting, ruling that Palm Bay officials had failed to comply with mandatory notice requirements.

Now, the City Council will re-hear the 22-acre multifamily housing-commercial construction proposal during a special meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

The FAR Chemical blasts originated from an industrial storage area containing 30 to 40 50-gallon barrels of an isopropyl alcohol-based solution, Palm Bay spokeswoman Keely Leggett said. No injuries were reported.

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More: Explosions, smoke from FAR Chemical plant rock Palm Bay

More: FAR Chemical warned Palm Bay officials of hazards months before last week’s explosions

“Nobody ever wants to see an accident happen. But it doesn’t matter how well-prepared you are: Accidents happen,” Joe Beatty, vice president and general manager of FAR Chemical, said Monday.

“I can’t imagine if there were 500 or 600 multifamily home units that close — and if they had already been built? God, it’d just be awful,” Beatty said.

The 22-acre adjacent property at Robert J. Conlan Boulevard and U.S. 1 is owned by MLEF2-1, LLC, a North Miami Beach development company.

The developer’s February 2019 conceptual plan on file at City Hall depicts five future four-story buildings containing 308 housing units with a 10,000-square-foot

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Pedestrian, bicyclist safety improvements on tap for East Palm Canyon

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2019 had the second-highest number of pedestrian fatalities in a decade. The worst year was 2016, when 29 people died.

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Safety improvements, including a new sidewalk, are on tap for a stretch of East Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs.

Work is ongoing in the stretch between South Palm Canyon Drive and Sunrise Way. The $1.9 million project is expected to benefit pedestrians and bicyclists in the area.

The sidewalk is being installed along the eastbound lanes, west of Sunrise.

Other improvements include new crosswalks at various intersections and new street lights at the curve where South Palm Canyon meets East Palm Canyon, Assistant City Manager Marcus Fuller said.

The sidewalk portion in particular has caught the attention of local residents. It’s being built across a dirt lot that’s existed for years and disrupted joggers in particular.

“There’s sort of a dirt path on a small stretch and it makes running less smooth,” Palm Springs resident Alexis Linehan, 48, said as she jogged Thursday morning, briefly stopping because she was unsure she could go on the project site. “It’s an odd gap and really stands out. Everywhere else there’s pavement.”

The new crosswalks will be installed along East Palm Canyon at Sonora Road, Avenida Palmera, Calle Palo Fierro, Deep Well Road and Sagebrush Road. They will include flashing beacons to alert motorists pedestrians are trying to cross the street.

Completion is expected by mid-December.

Construction is the result of a valleywide effort to improve safety after an increase in pedestrian fatalities across the desert.

In 2016, 29 pedestrians died after being hit by vehicles across the Coachella Valley. It was the region’s highest number of pedestrian fatalities during a calendar year over the past decade.

The Coachella Valley Association of Governments announced, in response, it would issue grants

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