…but it turns out it’s part of The Plan…
Under construction [in Dania Beach] are a 100-room Best Western Hotel on the corner of Stirling Road and I-95, a Fairfield Inn and Homewood Suites with a total of 282 rooms plus a 50,000-square-foot office building at the northeast corner of Griffin and Ravenswood Roads, and a Hyatt Summerfield Suites with 250 rooms north of Stirling east of I-95.
A building permit is expected for a 140-room Cambria Suites hotel on SW 19th Court north of Stirling Road, and also approved were plans for the Atlantic Village Marina, which will include 419 hotel-condo units and 130,000 square feet of office space on Griffin Road east of the existing Hilton. In addition, the city in October approved plans for a 127-room Towne Place Suites, also on SW 19th Court north of Stirling Road. Sun-Sentinel
I get Ellen R. Rigby on the phone. Ellen is Director of the Dania Department of Downtown Deconstruction (formerly the Bureau of Urban Removal).
“All part of the plan,” she tells me confidently. “Phase 3, in fact.”
Let me guess. Phase 1 involved lots of condemnation, closing, and plywood.
“Yes, that was the first step. There were too many viable, functioning businesses in Dania, especially on US-1, the main drag. We moved aggressively to drive them not just out of business, but completely out of town, then boarded up their windows to make entire neighborhoods ugly and undesirable. Worked like a charm!”
And here I always though Dania’s “main drag” was a transvestite.
“Only out in front of the airport. ‘Hooker Hollow,’ we call it. But that’s mostly Hollywood and Ft Lauderdale anyway.
“Phase 2 was repaving US-1 and putting in median strips to make it impossible to turn off. Nice smooth road, syncopated traffic lights, no reason to stop anywhere inside city limits. That helped drive traffic north and south, out of town and into REAL cities like Lauderdale and Hollywood.”
I think last year the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce awarded the City of Dania “Best Business Plan for Downtown Hollywood,” right?
“Sure did! I have the plaque in my office, right next to the one Ft. Lauderdale gave us the year before!
“Anyway, we’re in Phase 3 — knock down abandoned structures, clear vacant lots, and bring in the gigantic hotels. Commission unanimously waived every environmental and zoning ordinance on the books to accommodate them! This was associated with our successful 10-year campaign to expand the airport, ruining neighborhoods, discouraging new residential areas, and increasing noise and traffic. These new hotels provide additional revenue for tourist services like police, brochures directing people out of town, advertising amenities north and south of us, shuttle service to the airport, etc. Oh, and street paving and sewer maintenance, but not to residential areas. That was explicitly spelled out.”
Damn, Ellen. If you’re going to convert the city into a gigantic airport service area, catering exclusively to transient tourists who want no part of the city and whose dollars go toward national hotel and car rental chains instead of local enterprise, and do everything you can to make life miserable for residents, why not just change the codes and make living in Dania illegal?
“Oooh, you must have peeked! That’s Stage 4!”