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Another waterfront tower could tie up public land for centuries. And it might be a bad deal anyway |

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HOLLYWOOD, Florida. A chic 30-story luxury condo might come to Hollywood Beach, join a parade of soaring skyscrapers in a town known for its beach vibe. Only this one would bypass height restrictions and could lock the city into a bad deal for nearly a century.

The 4-acre plot, currently valued at $ 35 million, would be transformed into a chic new destination as part of a proposal orchestrated by one of South Florida’s most prolific developers, The Related Group.

Related would be to build a new park and community center right next to the primo condos that would sell for up to $ 2 million. Details are still being worked out, but the developer is proposing to lease the city-owned property for 99 years, and development would revert to the city after that.

Critics say the new 365-foot condo, seven times the height allowed on private property, would dominate an oceanfront lot that now houses a small park and community center less than a mile south of Hollywood Boulevard. After the South Florida Sun Sentinel raises questions about funding, city officials are analyzing whether Related should pay more.

Eric Fordin, senior vice president of the Miami-based company, said the project could start as early as next year and be completed by 2024.

A longtime Hollywood resident, Fordin said he had been monitoring the site at 1301 South Ocean Drive for a while.

I knew it wasn’t in great shape and thought we could build them a new community center, a new park and on the private side we could build an amazing development, said Fordin, who is leading the project with Nick Perez, vice president of the company. and son of founder Jorge Perez. All the stars have aligned.

The new development would bring new energy to a quiet section of Hollywood Beach without destroying its relaxing vibe, Mayor Josh Levy said.

A new park and playground and a fresh new vibe for those who use the center, Levy said. And they would have a meeting place that would include a restaurant. This is something they don’t have at the moment.

The project is not without criticism, however.

Geoffrey Pearson, a kayaker who frequently launches into Hollywood from this beach, fears losing a piece of public land to a private developer for nearly a century.

Once you give up a property, you will never get it back, he says. If its developed, it will be developed forever.

At the end of the lease, Hollywood taxpayers will inherit the condominium.

As part of the deal, Related plans to replace Harry Berry Park and the Hollywood Beach Culture & Community Center with a new park closer to the ocean and an updated two-story community center. Also in the plans: a 5,000 square foot restaurant; an extension of the Broadwalk by the seafront by another one-and-a-half block; and a three-story parking garage with 109 public spaces on the ground floor. When 49 street spaces are included, the project will add 37 spaces to what currently exists, according to city officials.

Details of the deal will be worked out behind the scenes over the next few weeks, with commission approval in a few months.

Some activists fear worried city officials may give up the farm.

It’s a good vision, but the devil is in the details, said Peter Hernandez, a former city commissioner who was still in office when The Related Group launched the plan.

As long as the powers that be do not cede home, the city can benefit, he said. I don’t like 99-year leases. I don’t think the city should give up or sell oceanfront properties for 99 years.

Hernandez urged city officials to negotiate the best deal possible.

If the developer is the only one making money in 50 years, we shouldn’t be doing this deal.

As for the terms of the lease, here’s what we know so far: related plans to give Hollywood up to $ 35 million up front, a mix of cash and public improvements.

The developer has offered to pay Hollywood the same annual rent of $ 400,000 for the entire 99 years of the lease, a proposal experts say is unusual because it lacks the traditional rent hike based on benchmark interest rates. . The city would also receive 30% of the gross income of the restaurant in the form of participation rent.

The payments would amount to $ 40 million in base rent and an additional $ 44 million in equity rent over the term of the 99-year lease, assuming a 3% annual increase in equity rent, the door said. word of Hollywood, Raelin Storey.

But those numbers don’t take inflation into account, says Adam Von Romer, senior investment partner at Fort Lauderdale-based real estate firm Fitzgerald Group.

It could potentially be a big deal for Hollywood, he said. But the numbers must be correct.

You can’t use simple arithmetic to calculate the value of the lease, said Von Romer.

Over 99 years, the base rent payment of $ 400,000 would equal $ 3,193.89, he said. The lease would be worth just under $ 8 million in cash today.

Storey says the terms of the lease are not final and still subject to negotiation. But Levy said he believed the developer was planning to pay higher rent. When told otherwise, he said he planned to ask for accelerated payments to keep pace with inflation.

Renting acceleration is something I’ll definitely be looking for, Mayor Levy said.

Steven Naron, who lives next door in the Summit Towers condo, chairs a neighborhood committee that worked with the developer to address concerns on everything from dune preservation to construction noise and traffic.

It is one of the most amazing properties on the beach, he said. It would be a shame if the city didn’t get a good deal on this.

An artist’s illustration of a 365-foot-high condo tower planned on city-owned land at 1301 South Ocean Drive on Hollywood Beach. Under the agreement, the developer would lease the land for 99 years.

An artist’s illustration of a 365-foot-high condo tower planned on city-owned land at 1301 South Ocean Drive on Hollywood Beach. Under the agreement, the developer would lease the land for 99 years. (The group bound / courtesy)

Hollywood would be paid 12.5% ​​in condo sales, after the developer slashed $ 10 million in public improvements on estimated revenue of $ 280 million. This represents an additional $ 3.375 million.

The city would also collect $ 1.7 million in annual property taxes after construction of the project.

They have no property tax at the moment, Fordin said.

Hollywood would raise about $ 400,000 a year from public parking lots, nearly double the $ 230,000 it currently collects, Storey said.

Hollywood has been working on the deal since June 2020, when Related submitted an unsolicited proposal to develop the beachfront plot. As required by state law, the city has opened the bidding process. to other promoters. In the end, Related got the top spot out of three other deals.

Real estate expert Jack McCabe has warned that rising sea levels could potentially threaten the new tower as well as those already built.

There could be 20 feet of water in this area in 99 years, he said. The first four floors, you’re going to need a scuba tank to live there. It will be like living in an aquarium. People are still clamoring for properties by the sea, even knowing that 10 years from now many of these buildings may be severely affected by rising sea levels.

Hollywood resident Cat Uden questioned the wisdom of building another tower when this section of the beach is expected to be underwater by 2040 due to rising sea levels.

I haven’t heard any residents say that a 30-story condo tower is a good idea on Barrier Island, Uden said.

Others remain worried about noise, traffic and long shadows on the beach.

This includes Mary Alex, a Hollywood mom who has fond memories of raising her three children at Summit Towers just north of the site.

The beach was our backyard, and it’s still the beach I go to, she says. I will be heartbroken if this happens.

Alex isn’t the only one worried that the tall tower will shade the beach and block the view.

But if something needs to be built, most neighbors prefer a tall, slender tower like this because it won’t block their view like a short, squat tower, Fordin says.

Associate will build the tower as close to A1A as possible to help avoid shading on the sand, he said.

A lot of people said they didn’t want to be the next Sunny Isles and I said you weren’t going to be the next Sunny Isles, Fordin said.

In Sunny Isles, developers can build up to 750 feet and 100 units per acre, Fordin said.

I wasn’t looking to do a 450-foot tower, Fordin said. But a taller, more slender building would look better on the city’s rooftops.

Still, the project will be five to seven times larger than the current code allows. Height limits cap buildings between 50 and 65 feet for this area of ​​the beach. And the condo will have more than double the 25 units per acre allowed under the code.

Because the project would be built on public land, it is exempt from the rules, Levy says.

Fordin says the new tower, which has yet to be named, will have more than 200 condo units selling for between $ 1 million and $ 2.1 million.

A two bedroom would have 1,427 to 1,490 square feet; a three bedroom would have 2,300 square feet; and a four bedroom would be 2,600 square feet.

Despite all the height concern, the new tower would not be the tallest on the south end of Hollywood Beach. This honor goes to a condo hotel 2 km away, the Hyde Beach House. This tower, also built by Related Group, rises to 483 feet.

Ann Ralston, an outspoken Hollywood activist, fumed at the idea of ​​another tall tower on the beach.

They want to ignore their own rules, density, height, zoning laws, she said of city officials. All they want is to take some green space and make it concrete. I didn’t move here to watch skyscrapers go up and look like Sunny Isles.

2021 South Florida Sun Sentinel. Visit to sun-sentinel.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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