|By Alexandra Clough, The Palm Beach Post, Fla.|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
The ousted founder of Safe Harbor Animal Animal Sanctuary, now renamed
When Roca founded the rescue center in 1985, it was the
Roca led Safe Harbor for nearly 30 years, raising the center's profile with its popular celebrity dog washes.
But she was ousted in
Roca laid low for the past 16 months, but returned to the public limelight last month with a lawsuit. She is suing her nemesis
She is also suing
Roca's lawyer has declined to say how much he is seeking for Roca but has said her damages are in the millions.
As she battles to vindicate herself in court, Roca says she's still fighting to help animals. She's looking for a location on east
Keeping animal population down is a passion: "I built my foundation on free or low cost spay or neuter," she said. Safe Harbor also had a policy of not euthanizing unwanted pets.
Roca's goal is to raise six months to a year of rent on a location. The space will also contain a thrift store to offset expenses, and room for offices in the back.
In addition, Roca said she's looking for land out west for a free-roaming sanctuary for animals. She said she doesn't believe in standard shelter kennels because the cages are too hard on the animals:
Despite the bruising of her ouster, Roca said she remains as committed as ever to animal welfare. Even while she was not running Safe Harbor, she continued to receive calls for help with animals by people who could no longer afford to care for them. "To be able to help an animal is an amazing feeling," she said.
A bridge to eateries
The center bridge to
One restaurant is being planned for the downstairs space of the
Word is there are plans to build a restaurant that will occupy offices formerly used by an accounting firm, and then spill out into the outdoor space, now occupied by a fountain facing
A representative of Taylor & Mathis, which is handling restaurant leasing, could not be reached for comment by presstime.
The other new restaurant will go in the ground floor of the Class A waterfront office across the street, the Esperanté Corporate Center, at
The goal is to create a free-standing restaurant that will be built in place of the "cube" outside the office tower.
That quirky cube has been home to many businesses through the years. Most recently, it was the
The restaurant will feature a large, wrap-around patio and outside bar, said
Prakas said up to 6,500 square feet could be carved out of the area, if a restaurant wanted a large patio and plenty of space.
The restaurant is expected to be an amenity for the building, which doesn't have a sit-down restaurant. Years ago, a downstairs space was home to The Mark.
Esperanté Corporate Center this year was sold to
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