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Fort Lauderdale land sale endangers beloved Riverside Market

March 21, 2012 04:30PM

Jesse Gaddis and Riverside Market and its adjacent lot

Fort Lauderdale residents are up in arms over the city’s plan to transfer land next to the popular Riverside Market to taxi czar Jesse Gaddis, the Broward-Palm Beach New Times reported.

The city had opened up the site to a bid and Gaddis had gained control of the site for $15,500. But the owner of the adjacent Riverside Market, Julian Siegel, said the move might force him to close. That’s because without access to the lot or changes to city’s parking requirements he would not be able to comply with regulations.

Supporters of the restaurant, at 608 Southwest 12th Avenue, said its popularity increased land values and was a boon to the community. As a result, they stormed last night’s City Commission meeting and urged officials to reconsider the bid on the grounds that it was too open a process and bids should have been better sealed. Mayor John Seiler acknowledged that though Riverside would not have obtained the land the process should have been fairer.

Gaddis, meanwhile, said he needed the land for parking, but testified that he was told there were no other bids when he entered his. [New Times]