Kinsloe pulls out of garage; city looking at the CRA for deal

By David Sedore, Palm Beach

DELRAY BEACH — A Delray contractor has removed himself as a potential buyer for the 10,000-square-foot retail space in the ground floor of the Old School Square parking garage.

Meanwhile the city is moving to explore a deal essentially with itself: Leasing the space to the Delray Beach Community Redevelopment Agency.

Tom Kinsloe, a Delray Beach resident and general contractor, wanted the space as a home for a live music venue, an eatery and various small speciality food markets. The city, which has been trying to sell the space for two years, has been slow to move on his offer of $1.44 million.

“We just couldn’t get an answer from the city,” Kinsloe said Tuesday. “Our proposal has been out there for four months just hanging.”

old school square garage retail space

The Old School Square garage retail space.

The city had two buyers vying for the space in 2007, Boca Raton-based King’s Market and Twin-Star International, a maker of bathroom vanities and electric fireplaces, which wanted the space for its corporate headquarters.

It accepted King’s $2.3 million bid for the space but negotiations broke down after the grocer deemed the space too small for the gourmet deli it wanted to establish.

Potential buyers would pop up from time to time and just as suddenly disappear. Along the way, the bottom dropped out of the commercial real estate market. A recent appraisal put the value of the retail space at $1.3 million.`

Kinsloe initiated his bid in May. He proposed leasing the space for four years, with an option at the end to buy the space. He also agreed to spend about $500,000 to finish the space as part of his down payment.

Another potential occupant, the Artists of Palm Beach County, emerged in September but the nonprofit wanted the city to fund the rough build-out of the space — pouring a concrete floor, installing rough plumbing and electrical systems. The group also would pay token rent for five years, with an option to buy at the end.

There also has been some sentiment among the commissioners to hold on to the garage space until the real estate market recovers.

Kinsloe said he still might try to work out a deal with the city.

“We’re still interested in the space, but the city needs to decide whether it wants to subsidize the space or sell it,” Kinsloe said.

He has not looked elsewhere for a site to put his club.

“This was a one-time shot. We thought that was the ideal location for what we want to do,” Kinsloe said. “Looking around, we have not found anything lese that fits the bill so to speak.”


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