The Dania Beach City Commission has approved a new hotel project on Federal Highway over the objections of some residents worried about traffic, noise and construction debris.
The property is located on the east side of North Federal Highway, south of NE 3rd Street, and adjacent to a residential community.
Corrine Lajoie, the city’s planning and zoning manager, presented the site plan at the May 24 Commission meeting. The property developer, Dania Development Group, LLC, requested approval for a 7-story, 105-unit Comfort Inn and Suites with one residential dwelling unit. The Commission approved the project by a vote of 4-1.
The developer requested 66 parking spaces, down from the 87 required under code guidelines, and to be exempted from having to provide loading space for vendor and hotel deliveries.
According to Lajoie’s report, the developer also asked for a number of variances, including allowing access to and from Federal Highway when the code only permits access from secondary streets and alleys, and asking to be exempted from having retail space.
Commissioner Chickie Brandimarte said she was uneasy about the possibility of long construction period. However, the commissioner made the motion to approve the plan, calling it a “puppy” in comparison to the city’s other projects.
Not all residents are convinced, however. Rochelle Rice, who has lived in Dania for 19 years said she is concerned about traffic and parking.
Scott Backman, an attorney for the Dania Development Group, attempted to calm concerns, noting the hotel will be the developer’s fourth in the city.
“He intends on coming in, building upon approval and getting it going,” said Backman, referring to his client.
According to Backman, the hotel could take approximately 12-14 months to build, and the project will employ approximately 100 people. At the meeting, Backman said variances were requested with residents’ comfort in mind.
“A 3,000 square foot retail use will probably drive more traffic and create more issues than a 105-room hotel,” said Backman.
At the meeting, Mayor Mario Salvino, Sr. said the city needs new businesses to fill empty lots and create revenue.
“In the next five years, the city will progress aggressively, I see multiple buildings being built, and one of our biggest projects yet, Dania Pointe being finished,” said Salvino in a later interview.
The Dania Pointe project includes two hotels, 1,000 luxury apartments, twin 10-story office buildings, retail stores and restaurants. The Commission is scheduled to discuss progress on that project in June.