Beachgoers planning on driving to Hollywood better pack plenty of patience as construction on the new Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort will make hundreds of parking spaces unavailable.
The Maurice Connell Parking Garage at Johnson Street will close at midnight Monday as the construction on the resort is expected to begin Tuesday. Also gone will be dozens of spaces in a lot near the garage and from nearby streets.
The garage, which opened in 1977, has 579 public parking spaces, while the lot just east of the garage has 146 spaces, according to City of Hollywood spokeswoman Raelin Storey. Of the 54 spaces on Johnson Street, 28 will be maintained until later in the construction process and six of the 24 spaces on Michigan Street will also be maintained, Storey said.
The new 349-room resort will feature 1,056 spaces - 600 public - but in the two years it will take to construct the resort, parking will be at a premium.
"We tried to do everything we can to help alleviate the parking crunch," City of Hollywood spokeswoman Raelin Storey said Monday.
Storey said developers will take possession of the property Tuesday and construction fencing will go up immediately. Johnson and Michigan Streets will go from two-way to one-way streets, though traffic on A1A shouldn't be impacted too much, Storey said.
"Every effort will be made to minimize the impact," Storey said.
Storey said some parking garages at the beach have been underutilized, and the city is taking measures to alleviate the problem. The city has already created a map showing parking garages and lots that are open to the public.
The city is also looking into increasing trolley service from downtown to the beaches. And people who don't want to ride a trolley can take advantage of the Water Taxi or bicycle rentals, Storey said.
"It will take some change in routine for people to get used to," she said.