The Smartest Guy (No Longer) in Town

Seems as though Hollywood’s business and community leadership is growing inpatient at the lack of interest in Sean Cononie Memorial Vacant Lot, formerly known as a homeless shelter and eyesore.

fl-homeless-shelter-closing-hollywood-20150325About two years ago, the city of Hollywood handed Sean Cononie $4.8 million in return for the Homeless Voice shelter, nine other properties he owned in town, and his promise not to return to Hollywood for 30 years. Pretty good deal — and he didn’t have to retain Alan Koslow to negotiate it for him.

The city claims that the shelter was a major impediment to developing Hollywood’s northern corridor between Sheridan and Young Circle. But two years later, the building gone and dust settled, very little progress is visible.

Marco Salvino, who owns a nearby bike shop, says he’d like to see Hollywood focus on redeveloping all the empty storefronts along Federal Highway – not just the grassy vacant lot where the shelter once stood.

“It’s not just the homeless shelter site that’s the problem,” Salvino said. “It’s the whole U.S. 1 corridor that’s the problem. There’s still a lot of people standing on the street corner, sleeping on bus benches. At nighttime, this turns into Hollyweird. I think they need to clean up what they’ve already got on U.S. 1.”  — Sun Sentinel

Reached for a comment, Hollywood spokesmouth Raelin (“In The Years “) Storey says the city is making progress, and that development doesn’t happen overnight, even if that’s when many deals are cut, and skyscraper condos magically appear over the objections of homeowners and entire neighborhoods.

“We have several plans under consideration now,” she affirms. “In fact, one of them follows the lead Dania Beach carved out, prior to Marco Salvino’s tour as Mayor. We looked into condemning every mall and storefront, making the street impossible to navigate with medians and narrow lanes, and nailing up plywood on every window. This would drive down value, and spark interest among a whole new generation of slumlords and extortionary businessmen. Make Hollywood Greed Again!”

Sounds reasonable — considering how neither the state of Florida nor the President-elect’s cabinet plans to address global warming and rising sea levels, why bother?

Two years on, Sean Cononie still looks like the smartest guy in the room.

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8 Responses to The Smartest Guy (No Longer) in Town

  1. Helen Highwater says:

    I remember attending a commission meeting a while ago and one of the bright lights on the dais suggested the city step back and let the area develop “organically.” The comment was so stupid and non-productive that the entire room went silent, and the speaker moved on like it never happened. That’s the last time I attended a commission meeting.

  2. Travis T says:

    Could be worse. Could be Millennials. Or artists.

  3. Mime Your Manners says:

    * ___ *

  4. Merkin Way says:

    As a developer old enough to have shaken hands with Joseph Young, my considered take on this is that the city has no clear idea of what to do, let alone how to do it. They usually get taken to the cleaners like Cononie did, and end up desperate. Seems like everybody is smarter than they are, and residents gets the bill for their stupidity. That there’s a major urban corridor in desperate disrepair and entirely wasted just a few miles from the beach in southern Florida speaks volumes about incompetence and apathy, if not corruption. Merry Christmas.

  5. Kent Standit says:

    “A lot” not happening.

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