Construction hurting businesses near Margaritaville

Margaritaville Beach Resort scheduled to be open in 2015


HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – Business owners along the Hollywood Broadwalk near Johnson Street are feeling the effect of construction of the Margaritaville Beach Resort.

Elie Afriat at the Swim and Jog store said business was down more than 50 percent since construction started in August.

"It's been affecting us big time," said Afriat.

In July, the area lost 786 parking spaces when the city demolished a parking garage and lot, leaving the businesses with only a small strip of parking.

"Hopefully, they're going to help us out with the parking," said Carolina Gonzalez, who owns Pachamamma, a Peruvian restaurant. "They (customers) come here and they can't find any parking spots."

Hollywood CRA Director Jorge Camjeo said the city is doing what it can to help.

"It is the ugly part of the investment process," he said.

Some owners have asked for compensation from the CRA but have been rejected.

"We're not really set up for that," said Camejo.

"We just have to try to survive, make it past those two years, and it'll be good afterwards, but in the meantime, we'll see what happens," said Afriat.

The $147 million complex will have a parking garage with 600 spaces once it opens in 2015.