A groundbreaking ceremony was held Thursday at the site of the future Margaritaville Resort in Hollywood.
The Hollywood City Commission approved the $147 million complex in May. The finished project will consist of a 17-story, 4-star hotel with an entertainment complex. Starwood Capital, the company behind luxury hotels like the W and St. Regis brands, will help with the financing by contributing at least $45 million.
"It's a tremendous day for the residents in this city," said Hollywood Mayor Peter Bober. "We think it's going to transform Hollywood Beach."
Bober said the resort will provide a much needed boost for the city of Hollywood, including providing 350 permanent jobs.
"This is a storied piece of Hollywood property, the old casino property, and we're making a huge investment here that's going to bring in approximately $2 billion over the course of the long-term lease, so we're very excited," he said.
"We need the public to participate," added developer Lon Tabatchnick. "We have a great venue here with the Broadwalk, and without that public-private partnership, we would just be another hotel, but this sets us apart that not only people staying at the resort can participate but the public can participate in Margaritaville."
There will be some pain for residents during the construction. A parking garage right off the Broadwalk was already torn down.
"I have mixed feelings about it. It's a big undertaking," said Maria Halpern. "Not a lot of parking. It's going to be a problem."
"We have some concerns about parking, but just like when they did the streets and street ends -- we had some challenges with parking but ultimately it was beautiful," said John Kafouros, who owns a nearby hotel.
The resort will have a parking garage with 600 spaces once it opens in 2015.
For a sneak peek at what the resort will look like once completed, click here.