Editor’s note: Throughout 2020, the Seminole Tribune will highlight different projects that are underway throughout the Tribe. We start here with the Hollywood Reservation.
HOLLYWOOD — While the glitz and glamour of the new Guitar Hotel and massive casino expansion attracted most of the attention in recent months, it didn’t mean other projects weren’t in progress on the Hollywood Reservation.
The Seminole Tribune checked in with Hollywood Councilman Chris Osceola and Derek Koger, the executive director of Tribal Community Development, for an update on projects on the horizon and nearing completion.
Betty Mae Jumper Medical Center
In January, the Tribe broke ground on the Betty Mae Jumper Medical Center on a plot of land near the Seminole Estates clubhouse.
The existing medical center was built in 1984 on the reservation and has largely been outgrown. Councilman Osceola said it will eventually be demolished to make room for more housing.
At the groundbreaking, Councilman Osceola said that it was always his intention to house as many medical services as possible for Tribal members in one facility.
The new center is two-stories high and about 40,000 square feet.
It will essentially provide the services that fall under the Tribe’s Health & Human Services Department, including a pharmacy, according to Dr. Paul Isaacs, who heads the department.
Councilman Osceola is planning an April 2020 ribbon cutting event at the new facility – which marks an on schedule completion date.
New housing options
As the Tribe grows, so does the need for new housing. New home inventory and options will soon expand on the Hollywood Reservation at Old Seminole Park, where a trailer park used to be.
Through a partnership with Miami-based homebuilder Lennar, 179 new units will soon be constructed.
The future residential units include 105 townhomes and 74 single-family homes.
Site development and infrastructure work is being completed now. The early stages of building are expected to begin in the first quarter of 2020.
Koger said there will be several options for Tribal members, including rentals, rent-to-own and purchasing.
There are six single family home options that range from 1,936 to 3,433-square-feet. Tribal members can choose from bedroom/bathroom options, including garages and even an in-law suite.
Koger noted that the style of homes offered by Lennar on the Hollywood Reservation will also be available throughout the Tribe.
New preschool: Councilman Osceola said the design for a new preschool that would serve the Hollywood community for the “next 50 years” is underway now.
It would be located next to the new medical center.
Hollywood ‘splash pad’: Water playground manufacturer – Water Splash – is building a “splash pad” in Seminole Estates near the pool area.
The project is expected to be completed by April 2020.
Traffic tunnel: In conjunction with the opening of the new medical center, the Hollywood tunnel is being transformed to accommodate two lanes of traffic.
The reconstruction is expected to be completed in time for the medical center’s ribbon cutting in April 2020.
Wastewater treatment plant, water tower: Koger said a new wastewater treatment plant is about 85 percent complete and is currently undergoing testing.
In addition, a new water tower is being erected – both projects are designed to accommodate the Tribe and the Hard Rock development.
Okalee Village/outdoor event area: In October, the Okalee Village – which will feature different aspects of Seminole culture and history – held a soft opening.
Located just south of Seminole Media Productions, Okalee Village also includes an outdoor park area that will eventually accommodate Tribal events.