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Developer readies condo for Fort Lauderdale’s decrepit Howard Johnson

March 16, 2012 03:00PM

The Fort Lauderdale Howard Johnson

The crumbling shell that once housed a Howard Johnson on A1A in Fort Lauderdale’s North Beach is on its way to becoming 170 condominiums with retail, a restaurant and a bar.

The Sun-Sentinel reported that the plan, proposed by Miami-based Transacta Prive Development, which bought the building for $20.6 million after it was nearly destroyed by Hurricane Wilma, earned resounding approval from the Central Beach Alliance. It calls for an 18-story building, named the Orion, with 60,500 square feet of retail space, a 4,000-square-foot restaurant and a 1,000-square-foot bar.

It’s a marked departure from Transacta’s original plan, which was to develop it into a 20-story resort with 340 hotel units. The developer was all set to move forward, before the landmarked Bonnet House, located directly to the north, sued to block construction. Once a settlement was reached, the market tanked and Transacta couldn’t find financing. But now the revised project appears ready to advance, the Sun-Sentinel said. [Sun-Sentinel]