The much-anticipated, Margaritaville-fueled renaissance along the beach may have to wait a bit longer.
Signs point to the $138 million project missing a city-imposed April 10 deadline to get construction permits and provide a detailed financing plan.
Developer Lon Tabatchnick plans to seek a deadline extension of 60 days in a special meeting at City Hall at 5 p.m. Wednesday, city spokeswoman Raelin Storey said. He is also expected to give an update on the Jimmy Buffett-themed project officially known as Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort LLC.
The 350-room, 17-story resort would rise on 5 acres near Johnson Street and the Broadwalk, with the developer leasing the city-owned land for 99 years. Key components of the deal include Hollywood's redevelopment agency kicking in $23 million and investment group Starwood Capital investing $75 million.
Tabatchnick could not be reached for comment Monday.
"Hollywood beach needs Margaritaville," said Frieda Dragif, vice president of the Hollywood Beach Business Association. "I believe in giving it more time. It's just too important. It has the potential to act as a catalyst for the redevelopment of Hollywood beach."
But at least two commissioners were frustrated by the delay.
"I don't know what's taking so long," Commissioner Peter Hernandez said. "I want to find out why they need more time. I think they've had ample time to do whatever deals they need to make."
Commissioner Kevin Biederman said he wasn't at all surprised by the request for a deadline extension.
Still, he's hoping for the best.
"Some people think it's the wrong the deal for Hollywood," he said. "But even the ones who are suspicious think it needs to happen."
Tabatchnick met Friday with City Manager Cathy Swanson-Rivenbark to ask for more time, Storey said. The city manager told him it was up to the commission.
"It's a very complicated business deal and there is a lot of due diligence and things they are looking at," Storey said. "They are getting close, but they need more time."
So far, the developer has paid Hollywood $420,000 for the option to build on the land -- or $20,000 a month since July 2011.
Tabatchnick is expected to pay more than $1.2 million in city permits and has agreed to reimburse the city $300,000 in consulting fees, Storey said.
Resident Richard Valdez says he is keeping the faith that Margaritaville will be built.
"Margaritaville will move forward," he said. "The developers are continuing to expend monthly costs to keep this project alive. They have not abandoned it."
The city expects to reap an estimated $1.8 billion over the course of the 99-year deal. That translates to about $69 million when adjusting for inflation and other factors.
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