Margaritaville developer plans another Hollywood hotel despite opposition

Hollywood’s planning board has refused to recommend city approval of a land-use change tied to the 200-room hotel project

A conceptual rendering and Lon Tabatchnick
A conceptual rendering and Lon Tabatchnick

Lon Tabatchnick, the developer of the Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort, plans to co-develop another oceanfront hotel, despite opposition from the city’s planning and development board.

The Margaritaville developer plans to build a 200-room hotel bearing Marriott’s Element brand at a 1.9-acre site on North Ocean Boulevard in a joint venture with the owner of the land, an Aventura-based company led by Ryan Weisfisch.

In January, the developers expect to formally ask the Hollywood City Commission to approve a land-use change that would increase the maximum number of hotel rooms at the Ocean Boulevard site to 200 from 100, Tabatchnick said.

“If we only built a 100-room hotel, it wouldn’t be a full-service hotel,” he said. “It would be something much less that wouldn’t really benefit the neighborhood.”

But about a dozen residents of the neighborhood publicly opposed the proposed land-use change at an Oct. 10 meeting of the Hollywood Planning and Development Board. The board voted 5-1 to recommend that city commissioners reject the proposal. The protests centered on the size of the planned hotel and the vehicular traffic it would generate.

If approved at the city, county and state levels, the proposal would change the municipal land-use designation of the Ocean Boulevard site to “commerce” from “medium high residential.” The site previously had a “general business” land-use designation.

Even with approval of the land-use proposal, the developers would need city approval of a rezoning proposal and a site plan before they could start building a 200-room Element hotel, which would be about 230 feet tall, including a building podium that would be 57 feet tall. The number of rooms, the height of the hotel and other details of the project could change. “We have some concepts, but we haven’t finalized exactly what we’re doing,” Tabatchnick said.

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The potential development site is just south of the Dania Beach Boulevard drawbridge over the Intracoastal Waterway on the east side of Ocean Boulevard, next to a two-tower, 18-story, oceanfront condominium called Renaissance on the Ocean.

The Aventura-based owner of the site, 6085 Ocean LLC, paid $4.65 million for the property in November 2012, according to records. The company subsequently won city approval for a 48-unit condominium on the site in 2014 but never built it.

“The market didn’t accept it,” said Tabatchnick, who was not involved in the condo project. “It’s a tough location by the bridge, the access. It’s not on the sand. So, it has some challenges … Maybe if it was part of Renaissance, it would have worked as another tower.”

The development site, located between the ocean and the Intracoastal Waterway just north of 56-acre Hollywood North Beach Park, is well suited for an Element hotel because Element is an active-lifestyle brand of Marriott, Tabatchnick said.

The new hotel would be built about two-and-a-half miles north of the Margaritaville hotel, which Tabatchnick and his partner, Starwood Capital, sold last year for $190 million.

Tabatchnick and Starwood Capital later filed suit to prevent the city government from taking $1.7 million of the proceeds from the sale of 349-room Margaritaville, which was built on land leased from the city.

Even as he seeks city approval of a new Hollywood hote, Tabatchnick said his legal fight with the city government over the sale of Margaritaville “is still ongoing.”