Wilton Manors Residents Knock New Resort Location

Some residents and city officials are coming out against the location of the city's first gay-oriented resort. The 130-unit G Resort is slated for a 4-acre lot at the site of the First Church of Religious Science, 1550 NE 26th St. Hailed as a potential economic boom to an area that is a gay magnet, the resort drew fresh opposition at Tuesday's commission meeting.

Developers had planned on a different location, the Middle River Trailer Park off Northeast 24th Street, between Dixie Highway and 15th Avenue. When plans fell through earlier this month because of a dispute between the land owners, the company quickly signed a $3.7 million contract for the smaller, church site, in a residential section.

Some residents said they fear the resort would increase the noise level in bordering neighborhoods.

"You'll hear that noise for blocks and blocks," Fiore said. "It's just absurd. The people who will come here don't care about the neighborhood."

The site lies outside the city's entertainment district, where many think it should be, said City Manager Joseph Gallegos.

"I don't see it happening there," said Commissioner Scott Newton. "I think they should've come to us first, before they went to spend that money on that piece of property."

The city's development review committee will meet with developer G Worldwide representatives in mid-August to discuss a new preliminary site plan. Plans also must be approved by the planning and zoning board and the city commission, said Peter Dokuchitz, acting director ofcommunity development services.

"They have really not submitted anything at all to the city in terms of new plans," Gallegos said Wednesday.

The company has already downsized its original $80 million, 700,000-square-foot plan to 250,000 square feet to fit into the neighborhood, said G Worldwide attorney Dean Trantalis.

"We are very respectful of the people in the area," he said. "We don't want it to be a problem. We want to be a good neighbor. We're trying to enhance the quality of life within the community, not to take away from it."

G Worldwide remains hopeful the resort will help the city, Trantalis said.

"It's going to be a landmark destination," he said, "not just for Wilton Manors, but also for South Florida."

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