UPDATE: June 21 — Hallandale Beach commissioners gave final approval Wednesday night to developer Jorge Perez’s plan to construct Beachwalk – a $100-million, 31-story hotel-residential complex on the Intracoastal Waterway.
The proposed 305-foot tower at 2600 E. Hallandale Beach Boulevard will contain 216 two-bedroom hotel-condominium suites, 84 residential units, a 1,225-square-foot restaurant and a five-story parking garage.
Commissioners also gave approval for Perez’s Related Group of Florida to spend $2.5 million to create a lush park, with a two-story restaurant and concessions, at the city’s nearby oceanfront North Beach Park.
The group will manage the facility, but the city commission said the public would still have access to the oceanfront. The term of the lease was reduced from a proposed 30-year agreement to 15 years.
In approving the project, the developer received various zoning exemptions and concessioners, including a giveway by the city of more than a third of an acre of right-of-way along portions of Diana Drive to allow for more residential units. – William Gjebre
By William Gjebre, BrowardBulldog.org
June 7 — Hallandale Beach commissioners unanimously gave a tentative green light Wednesday night to Miami developer Jorge Perez’s plans to construct Beachwalk — a $100-million, 31-story, hotel-residential complex on the Intracoastal Waterway where the popular Manero’s restaurant once stood.
At the same time, commissioners put off until later this month a vote on a another aspect of the deal that would give Perez long-term control of a nearby prime parcel of city-owned oceanfront property to develop as a park with a restaurant.
The proposed 305-foot tower, at 2600 E. Hallandale Beach Blvd., would contain 216 two-bedroom suites that could serve as hotel rooms or condominiums, as well as an additional 84 apartments dedicated to being condominiums only. Plans include a 1,225-square foot restaurant and a five-story parking garage.
Final approvals are to be voted on June 20.
The developer, PRH-2600 Hallandale Beach LLC, is a Miami company controlled by Perez, chairman of the Related Group of Florida. If finally approved, the developer will receive various zoning exemptions and concessions, including a giveaway by the city of more than a third of an acre of right-of-way along a portion Diana Drive to allow for more residential units.
Local activist and commission candidate Csaba Kulin complained the project was too massive and that the city should not be awarding a 30-year contract for the development of the city’s one-acre oceanfront parcel.
“I’m against any giveaway of the beachfront area,” said candidate Kulin.
Kulin believes the deal would give another nearby Perez development access to the ocean and the developer control of 91 public parking spaces at the nearby residential Beach Club.
Kulin previously urged commissioners to defer the tower project because many of the residents are snowbirds and won’t be back in town until the fall.
“The problem is they are trying to shoehorn too big a building on a small site,” Kulin said.
The total site is 1.68 acres, including the land from Diana Drive.
Mayor Joy Cooper said earlier that negotiations with the developer were continuing.
“A lot of things can change,” said Cooper said, who noted that a parking shortage at the tower might not be as severe as it appears.
Cooper said she was not necessarily concerned about Perez’s group developing and managing the city’s North Beach park property, especially since he will pay for the improvements in accordance with the city’s master plan for parks. The city will be paid a percentage of the revenues from the restaurant and other concessions made available in the park, she said.
Cooper said Hallandale Beach needs new hotel space, especially at the oceanfront to attract tourists and visitors. The restaurant in the park will provide a wonderful oceanfront setting for dinners, she added.
Commissioner Keith London, who is running against Cooper, agreed.
“There is a need for quality hotel space in Hallandale.”
“The park,” London said, “has not been upgraded in well over a decade; this is an opportunity to upgrade without using taxpayer’s money.”
Perez, known as Miami’s “condo king,” did not appear at Wednesday’s meeting to talk about Beachwalk.
His Fort Lauderdale attorney, Debbie Orshefky of Greenberg Traurig, told commissioners, “We are confident that it will be successful.”
London and other commissioners hope to extract some concessions before the final vote, including a pledge from the developer that the beach park project will be completed first. Another request: regular monitoring of parking around the facility.
Residents who spoke at the meeting were equally divided on both sides of the project.
City staff endorsed the project. London, however, said he wasn’t happy that it took nearly two years to reach the commission, and that some agreements between the city and developer were incomplete.
City documents say the developer has vowed to spend up to $2.5 million to reshape the rundown North Beach park area with a two-story, 4,000-square foot structure to include the restaurant, restrooms and changing facilities for both beach goers and diners. There would be an additional 3,000 square feet of patio area facing the ocean.
Plans for the full-service restaurant call for indoor seating for 80 persons and outdoor seating for 100. Patrons could rent beach chairs, umbrellas, paddle boards and canoes. A volleyball area is planned.
For the first 10 years of the 30-year lease, the city would collect a minimum of $5,000 a month or 2.5% of gross park concession receipts, whichever is greater. The percentage would go up a notch to 3% in years 11 through 20, and rise another half-percent to 3.5% from years 21-30.
The concessionaire would pay all operating and maintenance for the park facility, and also give the city $200,000 to maintain other city parks.
Prior to issuance of the first building permit for the high-rise tower, the developer would give the city another $550,000 — $250,000 to be used for public improvements and $300,000 for improvements to affordable housing.
William Gjebre can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org