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.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Controversial and completely-incompatible Chateau Square project in Hallandale Beach deferred until Wed. Sept. 7th; some recent dealings with the Hollywood Police only add to the negative reputation they have in much of the nearby community

I'm re-printing my email of yesterday to Real Estate reporter Brian Bandell of the South Florida Business Journal because it offers me a chance to share with you all some very useful news that I've wanted to share all week, but had put off because I had necessarily planned on doing a number of posts this week on the controversial Chateau Square project, and how I and many other careful observers of this part of Broward County believe it would NEGATIVELY affect the residential and business community of our area if allowed to be constructed exactly as developer Chateau Group wants done.

That is to say, the developer wants this city of under 45,000 people to allow him to construct two forty-story towers on top of a number of floors of retail in a part of Hallandale Beach where the nearest large building within a quarter-mile in any direction is no more than 6-7 stories.
In short, to me, this particular project looks more like something that would be more acceptable or appropriate in the business area of Chevy Chase, Maryland, in suburban Washington, D.C., where similar sized buildings are allowed in their high-density transit-oriented area near various Metro train stations, than it would in small Hallandale Beach, Florida, where the current zoning cap for this particular location is twenty stories. 

Yes, the developer, Chateau Group wants to erect not one but TWO buildings that are TWICE the current height limit under the city's current zoning rules.
And that on top of a few floors of retail
At what is already the busiest intersection in the entire city!

Where the traffic gridlock in this traffic-centric city already has a longstanding home.
Really. 

All photos appearing on this page are by me, South Beach Hoosier, August 2016.
(c) 2016 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Developer Chateau Group has offered this artist rendering to the city, which has a point-of-view looking SE at the SE corner of US-1/Federal Highway to the right and Hallandale Beach Blvd. to the left. 
Did you notice that the rendering actually shows very few cars on the two roads that actually carry the vast majority of the area's traffic? Accident or intentional? 

It's hard to say, but you'd be surprised at the large number of Hallandale Beach residents and business owners who mention this fact after they are first presented with a copy of this rendering and asked what their initial thoughts are.
They mention it because they actually live and work here and know the reality of what the city's existing terrible traffic gridlock -even in August, sans snowbirds!- can do to your mood and spirit when you want or need to go somewhere.
It's omnipresent.

Holland & Knight's Debbie Orshefsky is clearly a very smart and capable attorney, as I know from personal experience over the years, but no matter how hard she tries to spin the facts about the traffic to her client's benefit, or tries to mis-characterize the everyday reality of life here, there's no way the centrality of daily traffic upon everyone's life in this city can be minimized or ignored by the five members of the Hallandale Beach City Commission when they vote on this important matter in the coming weeks.
And two of the five Commissioners are running for re-election in November: Bill Julian and Michelle Lazarow.



Above, the southern border of this project would be US-1/Federal highway and Hibiscus Drive, the latter of which is a one block road that ends prematurely because within the past ten years the Hallandale Beach City Commission foolishly allowed Gulfstream Park Race Track and Casino to build their employee dorms right where the road could have been extended to 14th Avenue, behind the exiting Publix super market, and serve as a local traffic only road -with No Trucks- for people on Us-1/Federal Highway heading east towards Golden Islands. 

Instead of showing some foresight and long-range vision, since the road extension has been discussed for decades by City Hall because of the growing traffic gridlock problem, the HB City Commission, including two members of the current City Commission -Mayor Joy Cooper and Comm. Bill Julian- voted to approve the three dorms in their current site, instead of requiring Gulfstream to locate them elsewhere on its massive property, which for those of you who don't know the area, is located across the street from... Hallandale Beach City Hall.

What's directly south of the proposed Chateau Square project? Gulfstream Park Race Track and Casino and the Village at Gulfstream Park retail complex.

 Looking west on Hibiscus Drive towards US-1/Federal Highway.

Did you know that yet another large retail and office complex is planned for directly across the street (US-1) from this proposed development in the site of what was formerly the Acquo 124 restaurant?

Not many people do judging by the startled looks I've received the past few weeks from usually observant people hereabouts when I've told them that something called Peninsula 124 is trying to get built there.

Here's the artist rendering of the proposed Peninsula 124 building, which is on a large sign posted outside the now vacant restaurant. 

But with the news I heard Wednesday night at Hallandale Beach City Hall that voting on Chateau Square had been postponed until September 7th, it gives me some time to get something else off my chest.

So below is my email to Brian Bandell, though I did not have the photo of the Hollywood Police squad car in the email. 
----

Just saw your tweet to me.

Tried to call you last night from outside of HB City Hall after the decision was made to defer the agenda item, apparently, per the developer, but the cell phone that had your phone number was the same Samsung phone that was stolen recently in Hollywood, along with my dependable SONY Bloggie camera, not the cell phone I'm using now. :-(

By the way... Police presence on Hollywood beach is getting very problematic and disconcerting.

An award-winning chef and restaurant owner from New Jersey whom I met a few weeks ago and have since become friends with -who's considering opening a location in the SE Broward area- actually had his wallet and cell phone stolen on Hollywood Beach this past Sunday afternoon, even though he was only a few feet out into the water when it happened.

When a Hollywood Policeman FINALLY showed up, he was very matter-of-fact about the theft, and despite the fact that my friend could give a very thorough description of the person who stole it, the Hollywood cop on the scene was very disinterested in getting any details, seemingly more interested in heading on to whatever was the next call that came his way.

The wallet had his NJ drivers license, credit cards and ATM cards, CASH, and most heartbreaking, some photos of his young daughter that were one-of-a-kind, and could not be replaced. 
My friend was positively distraught about that, and understandably so.

The cop even said something along the lines of, "What do you want? There are only two police cars on all of Hollywood Beach, so what do you want me to do?"
#dismissive

In the end, my friend was more upset by the cop's attitude than he was by the robbery, esp. when the cop told him that yes, he was going to have to walk a few miles to where he has been staying, since he couldn't do anything to be of help.
My friend, obviously, being in no position to pay for a cab or use Uber because of the robbery/theft.
By the time I saw him when he got back, he was boiling mad and distraught.

Once he was a bit more calm, I shared some fact-filled stories and anecdotes with him about the recent history of the Hollywood Police and how their current not-so-favorable reputation got the way it is today.

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Me in the Summer of 2016

Me in the Summer of 2016
Above, me in June, pre-recent haircut, near acres and acres of orange groves off Scenic U.S. #17 in Frostproof, FL, while visiting hot/humid Central Florida, which I'm convinced is where heat/humidity goes in the Summer to get away from it all... The oppressive heat & humidity there is literally everywhere you go. :-(

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.

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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