Hollywood, Fla., Endorses Second Developer's Plan for Beach Hotel

By Robert Nolin, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News

May 20--HOLLYWOOD, Fla. -- For the second time in a month, developers announced plans for a high-scale, multimillion-dollar beach hotel project, and for the second time, have won a bear-hug of a welcome from city officials.

On Wednesday, the City Commission resoundingly endorsed the Hollywood Grande Hotel, a $30 million project planned for the central beach district in the 300 block of Pierce Street. It will feature 148 rooms, five-, four- and three-story buildings, a 170-vehicle parking garage, enclosed courtyard garden, two swimming pools and 5,000 square feet of retail shops.

"A new benchmark for what we're looking for on the beach," is how Richard Sala, director of the beach Community Redevelopment Agency, termed the new hotel. "We definitely kissed a lot of frogs along the way here, and now we finally got a prince."

Sala said developer Fabrizio Passalacqua of Coral Gables expects to attract "the right clientele" from Europe and South America.

The Hollywood Grande would straddle Pierce Street where it meets State Road A1A at the Intracoastal Waterway. Two architecturally unique towers, almost Mediterranean in style, will bracket a pedestrian bridge that links the hotel's two wings on either side of Pierce Street. Officials predicted the bridge, as well as the streetside shops, would act to slow traffic along A1A.

"I would say anybody driving along that street, and they see a bridge, they will slow down considerably," commissioner Sal Oliveri said.

Also unique to the hotel, at least in Hollywood, is the rental structure of its rooms. Sixty-five of the 148 rooms will have kitchenettes, and be designated as privately owned condos.

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(c) 2004, South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News.



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