HOLLYWOOD (CBSMiami) – For years, one of the main entrances to Hollywood, North Federal highway, has been home to the homeless, frequented by people dragging luggage behind them and dealing with a host of issues.
Many stay at the nearby shelter operated by the Homeless Voice. For people who live in the area, it’s frustrating.
“I think it’s unfair that we, the residents of downtown, have had to put up with these alcoholic drug induced people who lay in our front yards or are hidden in the trees,” said downtown resident Christine Corbo.
Residents complain property values are stagnant. City officials said in a year and a half period there have been more than 600 calls for police and fire to the shelter.
In a unanimous decision, Hollywood City Commissioners voted on Wednesday to buy the shelter and several other buildings for $4.8 million dollars. Sean Cononie is the current owner.
“It’s a win-win for re-developmental purposes and it’s a win-win financially for the city,” said Cononie. “The city will gain tax money on these properties we own, which right now, they’re not getting a cent.”
Many people like the idea of the shelter going away, but question the city spending millions to buy the property.
“This is going to set a precedent so every hooker hotel on US-1, are we going to buy it?” asked resident Ann Ralston.
Supporters said ripping down the homeless shelter is a major part of redeveloping the area.
The new vision for Federal Highway calls for more upscale use along with buildings and businesses.
“We’ll probably be seeing five story, six story residential and office, some mixed use.” said Hollywood City Manager Cathy Swanson Rivenbark. “We’ll also be seeing first floor retail and in time, be seeing cafes outside as well.”
The August demolition of low rent townhouse apartments began a sprucing up of the area around Young Circle.
A new 25 story luxury apartment and hotel building will go up in that spot and across the circle, a new 19 story residential tower will be built.
The homeless shelter should move out of the building with in the next 6 months. After that, the shelter will be ripped down.
Several companies are already looking at the area for redevelopment.