By Francisco Alvarado
By Trevor Bach
By Chris Joseph
By Michael E. Miller
By Allie Conti
By Keegan Hamilton and Francisco Alvarado
By Jake Rossen
By Allie Conti
Are you a developer looking for taxpayer grease in Hollywood?
Koslow is your man.
He's won millions of dollars in incentives for the developers erecting Radius and Young Circle Commons, among other condo projects in downtown Hollywood.
In fact, Koslow is so good at his job that he touts his specialty. In an advertisement for Becker & Poliakoff, printed in U.S. News & World Report this month, Koslow lists one of his areas of expertise as "redevelopment incentives."
Translation: sweetheart deals.
Indeed, it's tough to find a good attorney these days. But Koslow is an exception. Recently, he's delivered what he promises:
November 3, 2004: Koslow represented JPI before the Hollywood City Commission. After the company decided to do a condo conversion at the already publicly subsidized Jefferson at Young Circle apartments, Koslow negotiated a deal with the city to purchase the downtown land at 1919 Van Buren St. for the staggeringly low-balled price of $58,000. The land sale passed unanimously.
March 16, 2005: Koslow spoke for the developers of Marriott Ocean Village on a motion to allow his client to begin negotiations to lease the Hollywood Beach Casino site. The commission voted 5-2 to rank Koslow's client as the best applicant to take over the property, clearing Marriott Ocean Village to start contract negotiations with the city.
June 21, 2005: Koslow, representing the Tamara Peacock Co., pitched a motion to allow the city to begin eminent-domain proceedings to take over the Great Southern Hotel. Despite an outpouring of citizens wishing to preserve the historic Great Southern, the measure passed 5-2.
September 29, 2005: Koslow successfully negotiated a lease deal for those Marriott Ocean Village guys to take over the Hollywood Beach Casino site. The city agreed to sign an 89-year lease for $275,000 per year. That's roughly $23,000 per month for 5.5 acres of oceanfront land in the heart of Hollywood Beach.
Stay tuned on the Marriott deal, which still has some hoops to jump through. And if, down the road, developers want to buy the land under the place for a Coke and a cheese stick, Koslow will certainly be there to lubricate the deal. Good thing for condo-crazy Hollywood that Koslow is not a quitter.
If anyone knows about blowing smoke, it's this crusty monoxide breather, but a recent call to arms by the Marijuana Policy Project gave even the 'Pipe pause. Seems the MPP is advertising for a grassroots organizer position in six congressional districts: one each in Connecticut, Texas, Wisconsin, Illinois, Virginia and in Florida's 22nd, the district of 25-year House veteran Clay Shaw. The aim is to urge voters to lobby Shaw to vote for an amendment to forbid the feds from busting people who use medicinal marijuana in states where that's legal.
Now, why would a pro-marijuana organization try to rally constituents of this particular representative? After all, Shaw's press secretary, Gail Gitcho, describes him as "extremely staunchly" opposed to drugs, and he did introduce the bill that became the Anti Drug Abuse Act of 1988, requiring minimum sentences for crack users and creating the office of the "Drug Czar." Well, the guys at the MPP think Shaw is influential enough to sway other Republican votes, and they suspect that Shaw might have a weakness for honesty. He's recovering from lung cancer, for one, and might be sympathetic to chemo patients. Also, the MPP has a copy of a 1998 letter Shaw sent to a Fort Lauderdale constituent in which the right honorable gentleman wrote: "You may be interested to know that a close relative of mine, while suffering from a terminal disease, benefitted from the medicinal use of marijuana." He's also facing a tough race against State Sen. Ron Klein, and, God knows, the pot smokers are a force in the 22nd.
Says Aaron Houston of the MPP: "We've had our sights set on him since he wrote that. The fact that he committed that to paper seemed indicative that he might vote with us."
In a moment of radically shifting forces within the Republican Party, can a conservative Republican from Broward County be counted on to support medical doobies? Let's say it's not outside the realm of possibility.
As told to Edmund Newton