From the Miami Herald: “Quaint Hollywood beach on the cusp of change”
On Wednesday, Hollywood commissioners gave their blessing for Margaritaville, a vast 17-story resort hotel that promises to change the face of the beach.
The Jimmy Buffett-themed resort won’t break ground for another year, but visitors and locals already are waking up to the clatter of saws, hammers and construction trucks.
Hollywood beach has been on the cusp of change for three decades. While some would like to see its tacky shops and deteriorated properties disappear, old-timers want the beach to retain the quirky personality and small-town character that has been attracting retired Northerners, North Miamians and Canadian tourists for generations.
That said, beach regulars are torn about whether Margaritaville will be, as Buffett might say “Heaven on Earth with an onion slice.”
Over the years, city leaders have spent millions to polish the beach’s bedraggled reputation. They’ve spent $400 million to rescape its 2 ½-mile Broadwalk, bury power lines and turn side streets into artsy thoroughfares with sculptures, fountains and towering palm trees.
Lon Tabatchnick, developer for the $130-million Margaritaville, believes that the Jimmy-Buffett-themed hotel/resort will finally be the catalyst that the beach needs to make it a sought-after vacation destination — and, in time, lure other investors.
The resort, to be built on a six-acre stretch at Johnson Street and the Broadwalk, will have 350 rooms, a pool with a wave simulator, restaurants, a 22,000-square-foot banquet room, parking garage, shops and event areas.