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Here’s The Scoop … Flashback To Hapimag … Land Swaps and Redevelopment In Lauderdale-By-The-Sea …


RMA rendering of Town Plaza Redevelopment at LBTS presentation April 5, 2011….

Dear Readers …as we face yet another meeting to discuss the Master Plan and redevelopment in LBTS on Monday night (April 25, 2011 6:30 pm) …prev. post) ..this writer was reminded and has informed some of those now in charge who were unaware of the not so distant past of where the parking originally was located for the beach east of Town Hall… A fast Google provided a few tidbits from back then…(see below) … The letter writer in the last Sentinel article was (is?) a member of the CIC who credits their PAC for the Hapimag defeat in their historical summary… Any thoughts of a sitting commission deciding on big ticket redevelopment such as a new Town Hall Complex which would include changing the current El Prado Parking lot to a Town Square … parking garages …and underground utilities on El Mar Drive without the voters having a say can kiss their future goodbye…
Remember the original text written by George Santayana, who, in his Reason in Common Sense, The Life of Reason, Vol.1, wrote “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” …and in LBTS that means at the March Municipal elections! …

Sentinel articles…

Sales history

“N/A on Oct. 1, 2009 / New Construction New Construction
B: Vbs Condominium Assn Inc
S: Minto Villas By The Sea Llc
N/A on July 30, 2007 / New Construction New Construction
B: Minto Villas By The Sea Llc
S: Minto Communities Llc
Price reflects a multiple-parcel transaction.
$14,500,000 on Dec. 22, 2003
B: Village By The Sea Dev Llc
S: Hapimag Vacations Corp
Price reflects a multiple-parcel transaction.
$1,000 on May 16, 2001 / ForeclosureForeclosure
B: Hapimag Vacations Corp
S: Broward County Circuit Court, Glenn H Friedt
Price reflects a multiple-parcel transaction.
N/A on April 10, 2001
B: Vsp Partnership Ltd, Lbts Partnership Ltd
S: Cambridge Resort Group Llc
Price reflects a multiple-parcel transaction.”
“`Dream’ Project Gets Dose Of Reality
November 26, 1999|By LANE KELLEY Staff Writer

The March vote will be essentially a vote to take another vote should Hapimag continue to push the project. That’s probably a long shot, considering that the Swiss company already has started pulling back from the project.

The company redrew its plans after a wave of protest in July. Town Manager Bob Baldwin, who originally called the project a “millennium event,” said Hapimag officials told him in October that they would get back to him, but gave no date.

Hapimag’s attorney for the project, Debbie Orshefsky of Fort Lauderdale, said a new chief executive at the company’s Swiss headquarters has put the project in limbo.

“It’s kind of sitting there,” Orshefsky said.

However, Parker isn’t ready to declare victory yet. He says there is even a way he could support the project: if it abides by height restrictions and doesn’t require a land swap with the city. That would require Hapimag to go back to the drawing board and design a totally different project.

The sizes of the building and the land regarding the El Prado project in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea were wrong in an election story in Community News on Feb. 27 on page 10. Although the project initially was slated to be 70 feet high, or seven stories tall, it was modified to 44 feet. Also, the project is about two acres.
We regret the errors.”
“Beachfront Land Deal Making Waves
Dispute Brews In Resort Town
November 13, 2001|By Karla D. Shores Staff Writer

Growing discord in this breezy resort town is becoming more tangled than the seaweed that washes ashore.

From now until next spring, residents, city leaders and lawyers will throw themselves into spats over semantics, platting histories and, simply, the value of a nice ocean view.

The argument centers on a plan for a Swiss vacation club to swap 1.95 acres it owns for 1.3 acres of prime beachfront now used by the city as a street and for parking.

The company, named Hapimag, wants to build a $24 million project of four upscale suite hotels on an area off State Road A1A just north of Commercial Boulevard, known as El Prado.

Some, including the mayor, want the swap. Others don’t because they think their low-rise community’s open view of the sea will be blocked by the three- and four-story buildings.”
“Hotel Firm Backs Off Resort
Ocean View To Remain For Now
December 18, 2001|By Karla D. Shores Staff Writer

Residents fighting to keep El Prado an untouched vista from State Road A1A to the ocean will get what they want, for now.

The Swiss hotel company that had plans to build a members-only five-star beach resort off State Road A1A just north of Commercial Boulevard decided last week to pull out of the deal.

The company, named Hapimag, has worked with the town for two years to build a $24 million project of four upscale suite hotels on the area known as El Prado.

Now the company is holding back for several reasons, including a slump in the tourism industry, said Hapimag attorney Debbie Orshefsky.

Hapimag executives also want to re-evaluate the project before moving on, Orshefsky said. She shared no specifics but said Hapimag plans to come back to the town with a new request early next year”
“Don’t Let Developer Write Regulations
January 03, 2002

Re “Hotel firm backs off resort in Lauderdale by the Sea,” (Dec. 18): Hapimag will be back and it may decide to live without the land swap. However, they also want to rewrite our zoning regulations relative to height and density regulations, thereby doubling the number of units currently allowed per acre and increasing the current height limitation.

Recent history teaches us that when the citizens object to what the mayor and commissioners want, scare tactics are subtly introduced. First, vote for this building height limit charter amendment or you will have 15-story hotels all along the beach. Then: If we don’t annex the Intracoastal/beach area, Fort Lauderdale will annex us. Now, the latest: If we don’t give Hapimag what it wants, they will sell the land. Would you rather have Hapimag or — (Fill in the blank with your worst nightmare)?

The fact of the matter is that with or without the land swap, if we allow the height and density changes and grant the variances, Hapimag could then sell the land to whomever they want, recoup their architectural and legal fees, and still return to Switzerland with a hefty profit. The reality of this possibility is evidenced by Hapimag’s refusal to give the town a guarantee that they will, in fact, build the planned resort on the land.

Applying for zoning variances is one thing, but rewriting our zoning regulations and thereby forever altering our height and density restrictions is unacceptable. Hapimag is welcome and encouraged to build a resort in this town — on the land they purchased and in compliance with our current ordinances, codes and regulations.

Diane McSweeney

Lauderdale- By-the-Sea”


more to come….

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