The place was created "by a strawberry farmer named Ward Miller in the 1930's, who rented individual tracts to trailer-towing travelers for three bucks a week. In 1958 Miller offered his renters an opportunity to own their narrow tracts for $2,000 ($2,500 near the waterfront)." (Quote from Fred Grimm, "Briny Breezes Offered Fantasy About Selling Out to Trump Town," Sun Sentinel, January 5, 2020, pg. 29A).
The village became a town in 1958, as well as a corporation. Property owners became the shareholders. It was difficult for developers to work a deal for the acreage, with so many shareholders expressing opinions and casting votes...
Till 2007, that is. In January of that year the residents voted to sell the town to developers for $510,000,000. Figure it out - each resident would pocket over $1,000,000.
|"High season" in Briny Breezes|
In April, 2007, Ocean Land Investments of Boca Raton, Florida, optioned for the entire town at that price tag. It proposed the creation of a 349-room luxury hotel and marina, as well as twenty-story condos, all of which would take ten years to construct.
With single-lane (in both directions) drawbridges to the barrier island, this plan would create gridlock. In addition, the infrastructure for A1A's traffic, its sewage, and its water resources would be strained to the breaking point. Police, fire, and ambulance response, not to mention evacuation during storms, would be incomprehensible. Coral reefs offshore would be choked with sewage and beaches would be overdeveloped, while nesting grounds for sea turtles would be destroyed.
|Briny's recreation center on Atlantic Ocean|
|Path to the beach|
Fast forward to December, 2019, when according to the Briny Bugle newsletter, resident and real estate broker James Arena summoned the town population to the auditorium to hear about a possible BILLION-dollar deal to buy out the trailer lots, clearing the way for an oceanfront PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY FOR DONALD TRUMP. Of course, there'd also be a hotel.
|Briny Breezes pool|
|Shuffleboard at Briny Breezes|
Resident and broker Arena proposed the name of the town be changed to "Trump Town" for the presidential library that would house - not books - but the President's collection of 12,000 tweets! According to Timothy O'Brien, author of Trump Nation: The Art of Being the Donald, "He doesn't read at all. I'm not overstating things here." This presidential trait, or lack thereof, was also noted by Michael Wolfe, after his months-long access to the White House, in Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House. "He didn't read. He didn't really even skim."
Wheeler-dealers blow smoke. Politicians blow smoke. But those of us living on the barrier island like our air clean and pure.