Adios, Abortionist

Joyce Tarnow is history

Doderer says that most of the condos that have opened so far have been bought by speculators and will remain unfinished and unoccupied for years. "It would be OK if there were people in them," Doderer says. "If there were people, then you could afford to have a restaurant or a bar around here."

Her statement provoked a general growl of agreement from the regulars. "If you go down the beach to Sunny Isles at night and look at those giant buildings, you'll see maybe two or three lights," one said. "They're sitting empty."

"It's like a ghost town," another agreed.

The site of Beach Club, which was once owned by infamous tycoon Victor Posner, was caught up in probate for years. It offered open space and shady trees until Perez acquired it a year ago. Now, it's going to hell, said Sandra Canessa, who moved from New York City into the building next door to Beach Club just over a year ago. "It's not good," she said. "We chose this area specifically because there weren't as many people. When this is done, we'll probably begin looking to move somewhere else."

Even Hallandale Vice Mayor Bill Julian wasn't completely overjoyed about the project. "I wish they'd left it like it was, to be honest," he said. "The city could have had this place a long time ago, but we missed our chance."

One pocket of public green space does remain on the south side of the construction -- a small park with trees, a playground, and public parking. Beach Club developers have offered to "beautify" the area by taking out the parking and building tennis courts.

"They're not getting our trees," Julian vowed. "I'll chain myself to a palm tree if I have to."

-- As told to Chuck Strouse

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