Redevelopment set for Lauderdale’s Tropicana Motel

The Tropicana Motel in Fort Lauderdale
The Tropicana Motel in Fort Lauderdale

A mixed-use development including a hotel and two residential buildings will replace the Tropicana Motel in Fort Lauderdale.

The motel long has served as a popular place for tourists on tight budgets. It also is a property that has attracted homeless people, drug dealers and criminals trying to elude law enforcement.

Michael Solari, the Tropicana Motel’s operator, who bought the property with a partner for $610,000 in December 2002, told the Sun-Sentinel “it was rather unsavory, very rough and desperate. Just before we got here, we heard it was like a drive-through for drugs.”

Shortly after Solari and his partner bought the motel, he discovered that one of the initial episodes of the “Cops” television show was filmed behind the Tropicana.

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In 2005, Solari and his partner sold the land beneath the Tropicana to a developer for $2.4 million.

In 2014, an entity called Flagler Village Land Trust bought the land beneath the 20-room Tropicana Motel at 711 North Federal Highway. The trust has ties to Hollywood-based Prime Hospitality Group.

Flagler Village Land Trust also bought several other parcels in an assemblage from 701 to 723 North Federal Highway, and the trust filed plans with the city to build a mixed-use development on the land called Quantum at Flagler Village with a one-story retail building, an eight-story hotel and two residential high-rises.

Flagler Village Land Trust estimated that the total cost of the Fort Lauderdale development including land costs would be $87.3 million.

Solari told the Sun-Sentinel he expected the trust to schedule demolition of the Tropicana soon. [Sun-Sentinel] — Mike Seemuth