The highly visible Dania Beach Hurricane, one of the United States’ 112 wooden roller coasters, will be sold for scrap to help fund a local charity, a spokeswoman for the owner said.
The proprietor, Jerald Holland, wants to choose the right charity to provide the coaster to as a donation. on the grounds that announcing the trip’s destiny last month, he’s gotten emails and calls from about 15 charities thinking about taking advantage of the demolition and sale of the coaster, said Allyson Goodwin, an lawyer and spokeswoman for Holland.
“He’s not just going to pick any charity, though,” Goodwin said. “It’s got to be a good one. It’s got to be one Jerry would want his name associated with, with a good cause and a good background.”
Charities that have shown interest in funding their operations by selling the wood and steel from the roller coaster situated along Interstate 95 near Griffin Road include the Office Depot Foundation and Rebuilding Together Broward County Inc. A few local private and parochial schools and churches also have thrown in their hats, Goodwin said.
Holland hopes to make a decision and get the paperwork signed by Dec. 31, Goodwin said. Interested charities may still email her at [email protected]
The tallest picket curler coaster in Florida closed in April 2011, with Holland’s company, Dania Woody LLC, in chapter. The roller coaster, which opened for business in 2000, used to be constructed with more than a million board feet of lumber and 8 million kilos of concrete.
It closed after more than 10 years of operation. 5 couples have been married on the coaster, and it used to be featured over time in several T.V. ads.
The attraction closed after 18 months of financial losses staunched by checks Holland wrote to Dania Woody LLC, Goodwin said. The 3,200-foot long, 100-foot tall coaster’s financial trouble seems to be a result of years of recession, when people weren’t spending on entertainment as much, Goodwin said.
The hurricane will be replaced through a big box retailer, a strip mall or an indoor environment. Holland and Boomers of greater fort Lauderdale, the laser-tag and cross-kart topic park next door, will mix the hurricane’s land and some unused Boomers parcels to make a 18-acre piece of land so as to be marketable to retail builders, Goodwin stated.
“It’s going to be upper-scale retail, something nice,” Goodwin said.
The switch is in step with important Dania seaside’s redevelopment from an business district broken up best by way of Boomers and the roller coaster to a industrial space that specialize in inside layout galleries, stated Jonathan Kingsley, senior vp of Jones Lang LaSalle real property firm in Miami.
“The area has been more industrial than retail over the years, because the area just wasn’t right for retail yet,” he said. “There wasn’t demand for that. The amusement-park style use was a good place to park the land until there was. And now because of population growth, the market has cycled now and there’s demand in that area for retail.”
The city of Dania Beach is pushing for that switch. It changed the zoning of the area from industrial to commercial earlier this year, said Jeremy Earle, executive director for the Dania Beach Community Redevelopment Agency. Two new hotels have been built there in the past two years.
“There’s already a push for uses that might go well with tourists staying in those hotels,” he said.
The roller coaster, Kingsley said, was nice while it lasted. But land along a tremendous interstate in a place as densely populated as South Florida is prone to end up industrial.
“A higher and better use was always going to come along for that land,” Kingsley said.