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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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