Hollywood commissioners give city green-light to buy homeless shelter

City of Hollywood to purchase Cosac Homeless Assistance Center for $2.5 million

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – Hollywood commissioners approved the city's wish to buy a homeless shelter that city leaders claim has blocked redevelopment on US-1 for years.

The city of Hollywood will purchase the two-story Cosac Homeless Assistance Center on N. Federal Highway for $2.5 million from Sean Cononie. Cononie is a long-time homeless advocate and owner of the Homeless Voice.

The purchase price includes seven other properties around Hollywood. Cononie will receive an additional $2.2 million for agreeing to relocate his services outside city limits.

Despite the unanimous vote, there are still plenty of concerns from residents over the purchase.

"They're going to pay him to leave. That's profit for him on my back," said Hollywood resident Patricia Antrichan.

At the meeting, she and others also expressed concern that someone else can come into the city and set up new shelters. They argue it sets a bad precedent.

"It's a can of worms that they'll never ever be able to put back in," said Antrichan.

Residents and business owners along the US-1 corridor have long complained that the homeless population in the area negatively affects their business and property values. Cononie said this doesn't solve homelessness, but helps with redevelopment.

"They're not going to go away," said Antrichan. "They're going to stay where they love."

Cononie told Local 10 News 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.

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