A common sense public policy overview from David in South Florida, offering a critical perspective on the current events, politics, govt./public policy, sports and pop culture of the U.S., #SoFL and Europe, esp. the #UK, #Sweden and #France, via my life in #Texas, #Memphis, #Miami, #IU, #Chicago, #WashingtonDC & #SoFL. In particular, #Broward & #MiamiDade County, and the cities of #HallandaleBeach, #HollywoodFL & #Aventura. Trust me when I tell you, this part of Florida is NOT the Land of Lincoln.

Photo in upper-left is Hallandale Beach's iconic beachball-colored Water Tower on State Road A1A, September 2008; March 2018 photo below of HB's North Beach and southern Hollywood Beach, looking left-to-right, looking north, HYDE Condominium, Etaru Japanese Robatayaki restaurant, and Hollywood Beach in the distance, with umbrellas. All photos by me, © Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Curious news regarding Florida East Coast Realty's property next to The Mardi Gras Casino proves -yet again- the prescience of Hallandale Beach & Broward County civic activist Csaba "Chuck" Kulin

Some curious development news regarding Florida East Coast Realty proves -yet again- the common sense and prescience of Hallandale Beach and Broward County civic activist Csaba Kulin

As my friend and fellow Hallandale Beach & Broward civic activist Csaba "Chuck" Kulin astutely said at the time when Florida East Coast Realty (FECR) demanded a sweetheart deal from City Manager Renee C. Miller on the huge fines they owed at a HB CRA meeting in March 2013, despite their NOT having done everything they were required to do first, as other HB businesses would have to do, FECR completely played Hallandale Beach City Hall officials and our City Commission for rubes.

They did so by selling Miller, Mayor Joy Cooper and the City Commission -but NOT the bewildered and concerned residents in the Commission Chambers- on the patently ridiculous idea that they would actually do something positive for both themselves and the community with this property located south of the eastern entrance to the Mardi Gras Casino -formerly the Hollywood Dog Trackwhere a series of produce markets have been located over the past few years, and just opposite Atlantic Shores Blvd.

This Google Maps Street View photo below is from July 2014 and looks southward at the eastern U.S.-1 entrance to The Mardi Gras Casino, where FECR's property is opposite their sign, on the south side. 

My first post about this bad deal for Hallandale Beach taxpayers and lovers of common sense:

February 8, 2013

Friday begins a very bumpy couple of weeks for real estate developer Jerome Hollo and his plan to NOT pay Hallandale Beach taxpayers the $450,000 that Florida East Coast Realty owes them. And a storm is coming...

Do you recall the vague nonsense they spouted about a "New Orleans-styled" hotel they said they'd build there, which, quite curiously, had the same exact specs as a hotel once previously proposed in the city? 
Csaba saw right through it and said as much to me sitting next to me in the Commission Chambers when it happened.
Then he said that and more when he spoke during public comments against giving them a sweetheart deal.

I can't recall whether I spoke against it before or after Csaba, but I asked the city to produce proof that FECR had met city's requirements. The first thing you'd expect they'd have produced, right. 
To nobody's surprise, HB City Hall bureaucrats could NOT produce any tangible proof -got angry that I even asked!- even while I had photos on me (which I didn't use) that showed FECR hadn't fulfilled the requirements more than three months after-the-fact.

So much for any lingering expectations of anyone in the room or watching on TV who thought that HB City Hall still clung to any notions of at least trying to appear to be fair and even-handed in its treatment of businesses in HB.

I should mention that this news about the FECR "plan" completely shocked Dan Atkins and the execs at Mardi Gras, who were VERY UPSET about being blindsided and first finding-out about "the plan" after-the-fact, instead of via one of their many pals at HB City Hall who like to whisper sweet nothings into their ears.

And now, as if we needed a big exclamation point to the whole sorry episode, we now see the proof, via the always-reliable Brian Bandell and his article on this subject Friday at the South Florida Business Journal that Csaba was right all along.

As if some of us didn't know that more than two years ago!


South Florida Business Journal
Realty profits on sale of Hallandale site to retail developer 
June 19, 2015, 7:33am EDT  
By Brian Bandell 

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