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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.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

re Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort - Sara Case of Hollywood's Balance Sheet Blog weighs in on the plausible merits of the City of Hollywood CRA's plan to increase their stake in the Johnson Street project from $10 million to $23 million; Starwood Capital Group jumps on board, but why now?

Above, looking west at Hollywood City Hall, where Tuesday night's very important Hollywood CRA meeting will be held at 6 p.m. September 20, 2011 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2012 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.
re Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort - Sara Case of Hollywood's Balance Sheet Blog weighs in on the plausible merits of the City of Hollywood CRA's plan to increase their stake in the project on Johnson Street from $10 million to $23 million; Starwood Capital jumps on board, but why now?


Over the weekend, well-informed Hollywood civic activist and blogger Sara Case posted some thought from her point-of-view on the city's new proposal to stanch the bleeding in the Johnson Street project known as Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort and mentions why she, rather counter-intuitively, supports it, despite the large number of CRA dollars involved.
I urge you to read it before Tuesday night's meeting, which I will be at.

Balance Sheet Blog
MARGARITAVILLE FINANCING
By Sara Case
September 1, 2012, 4:08 PM 
Hollywood residents in need of tax and fee reductions and City employees in need of salary increases …Time to Pay Attention!
As we all know by now, the Margaritaville project has been unable to secure funding from foreign investors as the original plan required.  So now we have a new proposal in which the CRA is to give the developer $23 million for construction financing.  When I learned of this plan, I initially opposed it as one more boondoggle — a massive developer subsidy like Radius, Hollywood Station, WSG, Great Southern, and Block 55, to name a few.
Read the rest of the post at:

My post on this topic from Friday, August 31st, was titled, Important public forum on the proposed Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort is scheduled for Tuesday Sept. 4th at 6 p.m. Chief among topics will be whether the Hollywood CRA should increase their investment in the Lon Tabatchnick project on Johnson Street and the Broadwalk from $10 million to $23 million

Saturday also brought forth this news, which is interesting in ways that I can't get into the details of now, but which I may be able to get into after Tuesday night, depending upon what gets said.

The Miami Herald
Hollywood’s Margaritaville project gets new funding source
By Carli Teproff
August 31, 2012
Margaritaville — the $130 million beach resort Hollywood city leaders have been dreaming about for years — has a new funding source: Starwood Capital, the investment group which once financed high-end hotels such as the St. Regis, W, Westin and Sheratons around the globe.
“We now have the necessary funds to complete the project,” developer Lon Tabatchnik said Thursday. “This is what we were waiting for.”
Read the rest of the article at:

After reading the above, you're more than reasonable if you ask whether or not anyone from Starwood Capital Group will be making themselves available for some serious questioning by Hollywood taxpayers at Tuesday night's meeting -besides City Manager Cathy Swanson-Rivenbark, some city staffers and developer Lon Tabatchnick or one of his reps, and, most likely, every single candidate challenging a City Hall incumbent.

Like, well... were they interested in the project much earlier and turn it down because of concerns about some aspect of the overall plan, marketing concept or the strength of the financing, or were they always biding their time in the bushes waiting for Tabatchnick and Company to get desperate enough to finally agree to meet their demands for whatever concession it was they weren't given originally?

It would also be great if someone asked Mr. Tabatchnick, given how over-confident he has appeared to many observers to be, when was the last time that he and his group actually met two of his promises, guarantees or legal deadlines (to the city and its taxpayers) in a row regarding this project?

Isn't that sort of history animating at least some of the opposition in Hollywood to this project getting more CRA funds now?
Yes, it is.

March 21, 2012  CNBC video: Maria Bartiromo interviews Starwood Capital's CEO Barry Sternlicht.
http://www.executiveinterviews.com/delivery/v1/mini/default.asp?order=U14414

http://www.starwoodcapital.com/Overview.aspx



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Hallandale Beach Blog is where I try to inject or superimpose a degree of accountability, transparency and insight onto Florida and local Broward County government and public policy issues, which I feel is sorely lacking in local media now. On this blog, locally, I concentrate my energy, enthusiasm, anger and laser-like attention on the coastal cities of Hallandale Beach, Hollywood and Aventura.

If you lived in this part of South Florida, you'd ALREADY be stuck in stultifying traffic, paying higher-than-necessary taxes and continually musing about the chronic lack of accountability among not only elected govt. officials, but also of city, county and state employees as well. Collectively, with a few rare exceptions, they couldn't be farther from the sort of strong results-oriented, eager work-ethic mentality that local residents deserve and expect. But seldom if ever see...

This is particularly true in the Broward County city I live in, the City of Hallandale Beach, north of Aventura and south of Hollywood and right on the Atlantic Ocean. Here, the "Perfect Storm" of years of apathy, incompetency and cronyism are all too readily apparent. Sadly for its beleaguered residents, HB is where even easily-solved, quality-of-life problems are left to fester for YEARS on end, because of myopia, lack of common sense and ineffective supervisory management. It's a city with tremendous potential because of its terrific location and well-educated populace, yet its citizens have almost become numb to HB City Hall's frequent outrages and screw-ups, the result of YEARS of the worst kind of mismanagement and lack of foresight. On a daily basis, residents and Small Business owners wake up and see the same old problems that have never being adequately resolved by the city in a logical and responsible fashion, merely kicked -once again- further down the road for others to solve in the future.

I used to ask myself, not always rhetorically, "Where are all the enterprising young reporters who want to show that through their own hard work and enterprise, what REAL investigative reporting can produce?" Hearing no response, I decided to start a blog of my own that could try to do some of these things, taking the p.o.v. of a reasonable-but-skeptical person seeing the situation for the first time with fresh eyes, and wanting questions answered in a honest and logical way that citizens have the right to expect.

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Singer/songwriter Full of Keys (Anni Bernhard)

Singer/songwriter Full of Keys (Anni Bernhard)
Singer/songwriter Full of Keys (Anni Bernhard) wearing the teal-colored Miami Dolphins cap I gave her in January 2013 (in Stockholm) while recording her 2nd album, "The Grazing Grounds" at Sandkvie Studios in Visby, Gotland, Sweden. Also pictured here are sound engineer and co-producer Linus Larsson and musician/DJ/co-producer Mats Jönsson, April 12, 2013.Click the photo to see her videos, read my blog posts and Tweets about her and learn more about this dynamic and original talent with personality to spare!

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.

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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.