The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on January 9, 2000 · Page 74
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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 74

West Palm Beach, Florida
Issue Date:
Sunday, January 9, 2000
Page 74
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SUNDAY, JANUARY 9, 2000 The Palm Beach Post SECTION F B SNESS 6 1 1 I I mr '- 1 '' 1 2 -- I 5 " ? k .... t i sit Opposite sides of the street Businesses near Donald Tramp's new private golf course expect little benefit from their new neighbor; Trump and others say big things could happen there By Paul Owers Mm Beach Post Staff Writer Deli owner Vince Fabozzi has been serving Italian subs and tuna salads to a mostly working class crowd at Congress Avenue and Summit Boulevard for 19 years. Two months ago, developer and part-time Palm Beacher Donald Trump opened a private golf club across the street, asking and getting $300,000 a person for memberships. The contrast between the two businesses cannot be overstated. "We probably will get some of the (golf course's) employees over here for lunch maybe some of the caddies and ground-skeepers," Fabozzi said. He.added: "I'm not expecting to get any members." The $40 million Trump International Golf Club which celebrated its grand opening Saturday after a so-called soft opening on Nov. 1 was expected to improve a rundown section of suburban West Palm Beach known for, among other things, low-income housing, the Palm Beach County Jail, a shabby strip shopping center and another kind of strip center Ts Lounge. But the reality, real estate brokers and local business owners say, is that while the 215-acre course hidden behind royal palms and lush landscaping might encourage new development and improve the area's appearance, it won't dramatically change the neighborhood's fortunes. That golf course is an island in and unto itself," West Palm Beach broker Neil Merin said. "It doesn't impact the surrounding neighborhood. It's not going to change the people who live there." But don't tell Trump his course, probably the most expensive ever built, won't help the downtrodden neighborhood just south of Palm Beach International Airport. That area is one of the great sleepers I've ever seen," he said last week from his New York office. "It's three minutes off the - 1 u -v i l ' -J in - ;i . I ' - ) Y ' X y r : --r ) - MARTINXO MIM 0 BEACH ca BROWRPCO West Palm , Beach IT- I 0) rslm Heach t" International Airport Southern Blvd. Gun Club Hi Rd. SHERMAN ZENTStaH Photographer Vince Fabozzi, owner of Vince's Deli & Sub Shop on Congress Avenue just south of Trump's new golf course, imagines he'll get some patronage from groundskeepers and caddies but not club members. STAFF GRAPHIC bridge from Palm Beach, and we're bringing in some of the wealthiest people in the world to that area. I think it will benefit by the tremendous success of the course." Trump points to a number of planned developments nearby as proof the area has a bright future. A few blocks east of the course, the Croquet Foundation of America is preparing to build 12 public courts, a clubhouse and headquarters for the U.S. Croquet Association. Across the street from Trump's club, at the northeast corner of Congress Avenue and Summit Boulevard, developer Mark Rowan is planning a high-end retail and hotel center. Rowan has said he intends to buy 17 acres and build a 10- to 12-story building with offices, That area is one of the great sleepers I've ever seen. It's 3 minutes of the bridge from Palm Beach, and we're bringing in some of the wealthiest people in the world to that area. I think it will benefit by the tremendous success of the course.' DONALD TRUMP . 1 shops and an extended-stay hotel. The latter, he hopes, would cater to members of Trump's golf club. Merin said those projects might be the only upscale devel opments in the area. "From a real estate perspective, Rowan's the only one who has bought into Trump's dream," Merin said. The croquet group probably would have bought the land even if Trump's club wasn't nearby, he added. Landowners in the area have-' raised their asking prices for " '. parcels near the club since its '. ' soft opening on Nov. 1. But so far, there has been no increase.; in sale prices, brokers say. ; West Palm Beach Commorjs; the shopping center just south of the course, has been vacant and deteriorating since the 1980s. In 1997, Memphis-based Storage ' USA paid $1.9 million for the 70,000-square-foot building once occupied by an Ames depart- ment store. Michael Siciliano, owner of Bingo Magic, bought the cen- -ter's remaining 45,000 square feet and is planning renovations. But he concedes the center can improve only so much, given the demographics of the surrounding community. "I don't expect this to be a high-end plaza," Siciliano said. Longtime broker Joe Fearnley said a Southern BouW vard overpass to be built during . the next couple of years will have more of an effect on the area than Trump's club. Fearnley has owned 7.4 acres on Congress across from the course for nearly three decades. The land is zoned for commercial development, and he hopes the $27 million overpass project designed to link Congress and Australian avenues over Southern Boulevard to eliminate traffic congestion at the south end of PBIA eventually will improve the flow of traffic in front of his proposed project. "We're just waiting for the road to open up," Fearnley said. "We need more nortlvsouth traffic. "I look for big things from this area. It's been laying dormant, but I think it can come back nicely." Fabozzi, the deli owner, can only hope so. "It's a pretty nice course to look at from my store," he said. "Maybe Trump will buy the whole street and make it all like Fifth Avenue in New York. "You never know." j Inside PERSONAL FINANCE Decade might change, but that doesn't mean financial advice will do the same. JAFFE, 2F PERSONAL TECHNOLOGY Church sites in cyber space help believers extend the reach of their religion. STORY, 4F HOW RICH IS BILL GATES? Here's a breakdown of the wealth of Microsoft's Bill Gates, as compared with the rest of the world. STORY, 5F Delta spending millions to reduce lines at airports The goal is to match the rest of the industry in using new technology to improve service on the ground. By Frank Swoboda lie Washington Post ATLANTA If there's one thing travelers don't like, it's airport lines. They dislike them so much that the major airlines are making extensive investments in technology to speed the delivery of passengers to their planes. For example, Delta Air Lines has spent $1.5 billion on new technology in the past 2xh years and expects to spend $500 million more on airport technology this year. "The less time in the system, the better," said Vicki Escarra, Delta's executive vice president of customer service. Delta's goal is to catch up with the rest of the industry in the use of new technology to improve customer service on the ground. "We have been behind in technology for 20 years," she said. Delta's effort involves touch-screen computer monitors that print tags, confirm t seat assignments and issue boarding passes during curbside check-ins for passengers with electronic tickets. It also includes a two-stage security system that whisks travelers through the metal detectors and X-ray machines twice as fast as before by using bigger monitors and faster conveyor belts. Soon, Delta the biggest carrier at Palm Beach International Airport will catch up indoors as well, with the help of technology long used by car rental companies outdoors: wireless, hand-held devices to reduce passenger check-in lines. Agents using these won't wear the traditional red Delta blazers. Officials said they don't want bands of passengers following agents around; they hope a more anonymous agent can spot congestion, not create it. "The whole game plan here is to attack lines," said Joseph Serratelli, Delta's customer services director. "I never met a person who likes to stand in line." Some new technology amounts to nothing more than big computer-controlled signs over the ticket counters that show which reservation agent is free. I That's not a new concept for anyose 1 -1 1 i i a jlJL : s'.i ,M y h i, AHMAD TERRYThe Associated Press Travelers wait for buses at Denver International Airport after the subway broke down. standing in line at a bank, but the change meal service, the kind of aircraft being has cut as much as 25 percent off waiting used, boarding times, row numbers being time at Delta counters. boarded, the movies being shown and any A large electronic screen above the check-in counter is to answer the most frequently asked questions: tlje type of ilease see DELTA, 5F

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