Beach mayor is Hollywood-bound to share success story
By Sherri C. Ranta
Miami Beach Mayor Neisen O. Kasdin will travel to Hollywood, CA, this week to share his experience as the head of a city that Urban Land Institute officials call a renewal success story.
Mr. Kasdin and former West Palm Beach mayor Nancy Graham will join the institute's 10-member advisory service panel in Los Angeles March 11-16.
Fifteen years ago, Miami Beach was struggling through revitalization efforts and since has become a success story that other cities such as Hollywood are trying to emulate, said Nancy Beth Corrigan, managing director for advisory services at the Urban Land Institute.
She said Miami Beach has enjoyed one of the most remarkable and successful urban revitalizations in the country during the past two decades.
The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce requested assistance from the institute, Ms. Corrigan said. At the end of the week, the Urban Land Institute panel will make recommendations, she said.
The team will work nonstop at the conference, meeting with city officials and interviewing about 75-100 people from all areas of development and planning, she said. They will then compile recommendations.
"It will be a very intense week," she said.
Hollywood officials are then free to follow some, all or none of the recommendations, she said.
Mayor Kasdin said he will share knowledge he gained through the many years of revitalization and redevelopment on Miami Beach.
"I would like," he said, "to take some of the knowledge that I gained, having been a participant in that revitalization over the past 20 years and see what can be applied to Hollywood."
Mr. Kasdin served as chairman of the Miami Beach Development Corp. in the 1980s and participated in redevelopment plans for South Beach from 1985-90.
Mr. Kasdin called the Hollywood assignment exciting, saying his selection was a recognition of the success Miami Beach has achieved.
A member of the Urban Land Institute, Mr. Kasdin said he has written for the organization, but this is his first experience as a member of an institute advisory panel.
Ms. Corrigan said an Urban Land Institute panel is unique in that every participant is screened and should be totally unbiased. Members do not have any vested interests in Hollywood redevelopment, she said.
The Urban Land Institute is a nonprofit group providing assistance to cities on land use and planning.