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City of Hollywood to buy homeless shelter

Owner of shelter to re-open facility off I-595 in unincorporated Broward County

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HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – The City of Hollywood has agreed to buy a massive homeless shelter on U.S. 1 that city leaders say has impeded redevelopment and residents say has been the source of many problems in their community. 

The City is prepared to pay $2,521,800 for the Cosac Homeless Assistance Center, a two-story building located at 1203 North Federal Highway.

The building is owned by Sean Cononie, a long time and outspoken advocate for the homeless who publishes a monthly newsletter called "The Homeless Voice."

The purchase price also includes seven other Cononie-owned properties in the area and two-time share units.  Cononie provides food and shelter to dozens of homeless people at his facilities. His clients also distribute his publication and accept donations for his organization at intersections all over Miami-Dade and Broward counties.

Residents and business owners along the U.S.1 corridor have long complained that the large homeless population in the area has adversely affected their businesses and property values. 

A city audit shows there have been 661 police and fire calls for services at Cononie's properties between January 1, 2013 and July 23, 2014.

The agreement, which was signed by Cononie this week, also pays him $2,298,200 in exchange for his agreement to relocate his operation outside  city limits. 

Cononie told Local 10 News last week that he intends to re-open his facility on an industrial parcel that he owns along Interstate 595 in unincorporated Broward County.

The total transaction will cost Hollywood taxpayers $4,820,000.

City commissioners will vote on the proposal at it's city commission meeting next Wednesday.

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