West Palm Beach tries to brighten Broadway

The city of West Palm Beach has a plan to help brighten Broadway.

One of the main city corridors is in need of help due to crime and rundown and vacant buildings.  

For years, Broadway has attracted all the wrong kind of attention.

“There are prostitutes, there have been a couple of instances of shootings," said James Arape with Ice Marine, Inc.

Some businesses are struggling to survive.  

But nearly one million dollars in grant money and matching funds will be provided to business owners who stayed and those moving in.

“Now we have some money to say, look we can help you renovate one of the buildings on Broadway if you want to move in. We can help you redo a storefront. We can help you attract more people to our city,” said West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio.

The city's model of success, nearby Northwood, has undergone a huge transformation.

But not everyone is buying into the promises for Broadway.

“A million dollars - that's two Jaguars, that's nothing,” said Anthony Hoti with Manhattan Pizza.

The Broadway business owner has spent six years making pies and hearing promises. "We're going to protect you, we'll have security, we'll have more policemen, more people businesses, it never happened."

After ten years of waiting for Broadway's boost, Anthony's landlord Varughese Mathai is packing. "I spent a lot of money in West Palm Beach, one by one I'm moving out of here."

"I understand the feeling of skepticism because there has been promises before and I think this is the first time however that we've gotten some real money to put behind this," said mayor Muoio.

Changes will get underway soon.  The city is about to acquire the other half of one lot and will begin making it more appealing to buyers immediately.

 


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