Arts Garage Wins Fight to Stay in Delray Beach
After a pretty bruising back and forth, Delray Beach finally made a decision on what to do with the Arts Garage. In front of a pro-Arts crowd packing the house, the city commission last night voted three to one to let the nonprofit stay put. The decision put a win in the column for supporters who had repeatedly cried foul over the last few months over how the whole process was moving forward.
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The commission had three options to vote on last night, according to the Palm Beach Post: sell the 10,000-foot space to law firm Kanner & Pintaluga for $2.5 million; hand the space over to a Arts Garage board member for the same asking price; or go the way to Solomon -- basically cut the space in half for both parties.
A final option emerged last night: give the Arts Garage a two year window to raise the necessary money so the nonprofit can purchase the space themselves. This was the happy ending supporters had hoped for.
For awhile there, a positive resolution didn't seem like such a lock. Arts Garage employees originally felt city leaders were working behind the scenes to put the law firm in the Arts Garage's sought-after real estate. Former Mayor Tom Carney called the whole issue a "manufactured crisis," and garage supporters launched an aggressive web campaign to protect the nonprofit.
Even though the agenda item before the city commission is settled, there are still some aftershocks here. The government agency behind the Arts Garage is now the target of a state audit.