Hollywood Homeless Shelter Demolished

Demolition began Tuesday on a Hollywood building that was once home to a large population of homeless people in the city.

Demolition of the former Homeless Voice building at 1203 North Federal Highway began at 10 a.m. Tuesday. Some residents have called on the city to tear down the buildings for quite some time, many calling it an eyesore. Others tell NBC 6 they were sad to see it go.

Sean Cononie, who ran the Homeless Voice shelter for more than a decade, accepted $5 million from Hollywood officials to vacate the property and turn it over to the city.

"It's a sad day for me, and a sad day for a lot of our friends who lived here for many years," Cononie told NBC 6. "But it's good for the city of Hollywood, they're trying to redevelop this area and this is the first step in trying to bring in other new businesses"

The city contracted with Thunder Demolition, Inc. of Miami to demolish the two-story building and its foundation. The complete demolition is scheduled to take four weeks to complete.

Hollywood officials are currently seeking proposals for the purchase and redevelopment of the roughly 0.45 acre site. There are four major projects either under construction or in permitting in the area surrounding the site, representing more than $345 million in private investment in the area.

Cononie has reportedly purchased a 125-room former Howard Johnson motel in Haines City, located in central Florida, for $2 million where he will continue renting rooms to homeless people.

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