Hollywood city commissioners thought the city made a $28 million loan to help finance the development of the 17-story, Jimmy Buffet-inspired resort.
But the $28 million loan changed to a grant between the third draft and final draft of a 99-year agreement by the city to lease five city-owned acres where Margaritaville was built.
City commissioners Traci Callari and Peter Hernandez said they were duped into thinking the city made a $28 million loan to help finance the development of the 349-room resort.
Hernandez was the only city commissioner who voted against leasing city land for the development of Margaritaville.
Three other commissioners – Kevin Biederman, Dick Blattner and Linda Sherwood – also said they were unaware that they approved a $28 million grant instead of a loan in the 2013 lease agreement.
City commissioners Biederman and Blattner said the city already has received a payoff from Margaritaville in the form of lease payments and property tax income.
Lon Tabatchnik, who developed Margaritaville in partnership with Starwood Capital, told the Sun-Sentinel the $28 million grant is “not a big surprise” and the resort “would not have been built without it.”
However, city commissioners were unaware that the $28 million was a grant until April 18, when they approved the $190 million sale of Margaritaville to KSL Capital Partners.
Hernandez says the city is entitled to 5 percent of any profit on the sale of Margaritaville.
Hollywood spokeswoman Raelin Story told the Sun-Sentinel that city has 60 days from the date of the sale to determine what amount, if any, the developers owe the city. [Sun-Sentinel] – Mike Seemuth
For more details from The Real Deal MiamiThe Real Deal Miami, visit https://therealdeal.com/miami/2018/05/12/margaritaville-cost-hollywood-taxpayers-28m-more-than-expected/