Hallandale Beach Blog -A common sense public policy overview offering a critical perspective on the current events, politics, govt., public policy, sports scene and pop culture of the U.S., South Florida and Europe, especially the UK and Sweden. In particular, Broward & Miami-Dade County, and the cities of Hallandale Beach, Hollywood & Aventura. Trust me when I tell you, this part of Florida is NOT the Land of Lincoln. Pictured in upper-left is Hallandale Beach's iconic beachball-colored Water Tower on State Road A1A; September 2008 photo by me, South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Monday, October 3, 2011

October 13 Community Meeting re Beachwalk - 31-story mixed-use project at old 'Manero's' restaurant site; new gridlock-inducing plan for HB?

October 13 Community Meeting re "Beachwalk" - the 31-story residential/office/hotel/restaurant/garage planned for the old 'Manero's' restaurant site; new gridlock-inducing plan for Hallandale Beach?
Seriously, a 31-story property right across the street from the Walmart and on the west-side of the already poky, often-gridlocked Intercoastal Bridge on E. Hallandale Beach Blvd./State Road 858?
You're kidding me?

The already traffic-clogged road where out-of-town drivers (and even many locals) heading towards the beach and State Road A1A in the right/south-bound lane, CONSISTENTLY don't realize they are NOT supposed to STOP as they hit State Road A1A?
But despite the utter simplicity of the sign explaining this, STOP they do!
Oh do they ever!

That is, when they don't try to merge back into north-bound traffic at the last possible moment as they come to a stop at the red-light, often blocking both lanes.
Yes, I mean that road! Those drivers!

The only saving grace about this particular project -Beachwalk- is that it isn't that awful mess of a project called Millennium that lobbyist/lawyer and then-State Senator Steve Geller was pushing on behalf of The Related Group a few years ago that was to be located one block east at 2500 E. Hallandalle Beach Blvd.

The building and project that I've alluded to and written about here on the blog any number of times.
That's the VERY SAME building where the popular and well-regarded Padrino's restaurant is located, outside of which a horrific murder took place in February of 2006.

You'll recall that Albert Avenaim's murder was solved NOT by HB Police ingenuity or detection, but rather because but rather thru, the efforts of the alert Walmart employees at their Coral Springs location, after the guilty party, Brian Bethell, tried to use the his victim's credit cards, his second visit there.
That is, one of the credit cards of the three people Brian Bethell murdered.

You'll also recall Bethell felt so confident, he even brought along his girlfriend and her two toddlers, which, I think, tells you everything you need to know about him.,

That murder was one of the defining events that precipitated my creating this blog in the first place, and my second-biggest regret since returning from the Washington, D.C. area after 15 years up there was that I waited so long to start this blog, so that I could've done that particular story justice, given how it just disappeared from the local news media's horizon within a week or so, a fact I've mentioned on more than one occasion to many reporters down here who worked the story at the beginning.

*See more on Steve Geller and this particular murder at bottom of this post.

This one is being pushed by Greenberg Traurig's Debbie Orshefsky, who led the fight last year for the Diplomat LAC on behalf of the owners of the Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa, that was ultimately rejected by the Broward County Commission, as I chronicled here so many times.
Small comfort!

Info on the Beachwalk project, directly across from WalMart, and adjacent to Intercoastal Bridge is at Hallandale Beach Current Development Activities webpage:

Yes, this is the property that HB City Hall could've bought cheap for $2.92 Million to actually give this city's open land-starved residents public access to the water -but didn't, per my May 5th email to some of you out there.

This is the property to your right on east-bound HBB before you go over the bridge, i.e the old Manero's restaurant location, that Colliers Abood Wood-Fay has been trying to sell forver.

Yes, you're right, why didn't the City of HB snap it up and either make it a park and/or go into a partnership to have a nice public park and private restaurant there so that there would finally be one PUBLIC place in this city with access to water?
That's a good question for City Manager Antonio, Mayor Cooper and the rest of the City Commission.


South Florida Business Journal
Related Group buys waterfront site for 60% off
by Brian Bandell
Thursday, May 5, 2011, 3:42pm EDT -
Last Modified: Thursday, May 5, 2011, 4:20pm EDT

After handing over several of its condo projects to lenders, this time Jorge M. Perez and his Related Group are buying a property from a bank.

PRH-2600 Hallandale Beach LLC, an entity ultimately managed by the Miami-based developer, bought a Hallandale
Beach site along the Intracoastal Waterway from TD Bank for $2.92 million.

Read the rest of the article at:


PRH-2600 Hallandale
Beach, LLC
Beachwalk 2600 E.
Hallandale Beach Blvd
(Major Development)
(Conditional Use)
(Road Vacation)
31-story mixed-use building with
84 residential units,
432 hotel rooms and
1,225 sq.ft restaurant
Pending resubmittal addressing DRC commentsDRC

Planning and Zoning Board

City Commission

Estimated Site Plan Approval:
December 2011

This is excerpted from some past posts here and at my other blog, South Beach Hoosier.

How do I know that Steve Geller represented Millennium?
I was one of the select few to attend a sparsely-attended public meeting that, Millennium was forced to hold in December of 2006 in Hallandale Beach Cultural Center, behind their City Hall.

I got there early, expecting some emotional fireworks because of the rather, predictable concerns about exacerbating the already bad neighborhood, traffic-flow on HBB, the completely out-of-proportion size of the plan, etc., and sat at the table next to Miami Herald reporter Jennifer Lebovich.

Once I got there and had grabbed a donut and some coffee and returned to the table I had all to myself, my biggest thought while jotting down some, thoughts in my legal pad was making sure to leave early enough so that I could get home and not miss a minute of a new episode of LOST.
Really. I'd forgotten to program my VCR.

But then, quite unexpectedly, to my great surprise, in walked Geller and his retinue with trademark showy boisterousness, with him not waiting even two beats before continuing on a rant/harangue disparaging then-Gov.-Elect Charlie Crist in tones that would've been loud enough for everyone in the room to hear if the room had been half-full -wishful thinking- say, 150-200 people.

As it was, counting his Millennium-related crew and the interested public, such as, it was, there were no more than 25 people in that room, so his voice was bouncing off the walls.
To be so self-absorbed as to publicly belittle Crist in front of people -and a, reporter- before he'd even taken the oath of office, showed me the side of Geller I'd often read and heard about, but never seen in person for myself.

But I recognized the type, since I'd had dealings with current Chicago mayor Rahm Emmanuel in Washington before he was anybody of note, per se, over at the DCCC, and he already had that insufferable attitude and ego thing down pat.

Geller's whole shtick was so over-the-top as to be farcical, and I debated back and forth in my head whether I ought to dispense with pleasantries and the subject at hand, and simply drop my knowledge of what hadn't transpired at 2500 HBB on Geller and Millennium, in front of reporter, Lebovich, once the presentation was over and the Q&A began in earnest.

In the end, having read most of her past articles, I just didn't trust Lebovich's ability to synthesize the narrative and connect all the dots in a way that would get all the pertinent facts out.

Given my interests and background, I've been to hundreds of these sorts of meetings over the years, but listening to the sheer obfuscation and, mis-direction coming out of Geller's mouth, his Pooh-poohing of the patently obvious traffic problems, as if a magic wand had been waved overthem, rendering them invisible, well, it was all I could do to not ask him straight out if he and his colleagues even recognized the name of, Albert Avenhaim -and then go on offense.

But it all would've been wasted on people who either didn't know or who'd already forgotten how bad the safety was there at Padrino's, with parking lot lights out for months at a time and the ones that did work were largely obscured by tree branches.

Who was responsible for the property's maintenance?
Steve Geller's client.

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#HOLLYWOODFL based photographer and entrepreneur Esther Chuang with Hollywood Mayor-elect Josh Levy

Thumbs up! What a night! #HOLLYWOODFL based photographer and entrepreneur Esther Chuang with a very elated Hollywood Mayor-elect Josh Levy at his Victory Party, held at Leo Anato's Atelier3/AT3 on Harrison Street & S. 19th Avenue, Hollywood. AT3's great environment and the amazing variety of food prepared by chef Kevin Dreifuss, former owner/chef of ENDS MEAT restaurant, was SUPERB! November 8, 2016

Esther Chuang, Morro Dois Irmãos, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2015

Above, perhaps my most-favorite photo ever of Esther, which is really saying something considering the THOUSANDS that I've actually seen of her, from all over the world. But despite the fact that you can't actually see it here, trust me, her amazing smile and inner and external beauty are there. This photo is an even more amazing achievement when you know the backstory of what it took for Esther to get to the top of the mountain, since it's NOT for the faint of heart. Next time you see her, ask her about that! Morro Dois Irmãos, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on her birthday, July 10, 2015. That's the Christ The Redeemer statue way out in the horizon on the top of another mountain, to the left of her head. �� In case you forgot what the Christ the Redeemer statue looks like, up close, here's another Brazilian beauty to connect-the-dots for you: Gisele Bündchen, aka @Gisele.

Abençoado por Deus e bonito por natureza!✨ ������

A post shared by Gisele Bündchen (@gisele) on

@ETARURestaurant, Señor Café

North Miami Beach High school alumni

North Miami Beach Senior High School, the Home of the Chargers

North Miami Beach Senior High School, the Home of the Chargers
Before I was a Hoosier, I was an NMB Charger, Class of 1979.

In the Heart of a Great Country, Beats the Soul of Hoosier Nation

In the Heart of a Great Country, Beats the Soul of Hoosier Nation
"In the Heart of a Great Country, Beats the Soul of Hoosier Nation." -South Beach Hoosier, 2007.