In August 1999, Hallandale created a new identity and a new name for itself -- Hallandale Beach. The new name is the most visible of several efforts to revitalize the older coastal city.

For example, low-interest loans have been given to residents and business owners in the Community Redevelopment Agency's district to renovate buildings, install new sidewalks and improve landscaping.

Also, a financial redevelopment district was established to turn East Hallandale Beach Boulevard into the "Wall Street of the South." The district calls for financial institutions such as banks and brokerage firms, new shops such as art galleries, fine restaurants, movie theaters, nightclubs and pedestrian-friendly businesses that can create an atmosphere similar to that of Fort Lauderdale's Las Olas area.

To help redevelopment, city officials are easing off zoning codes. They allow businesses and families to coexist in multistory buildings in the financial district.

The city, which is on the Intracoastal, boasts two safe neighborhood districts -- Three Islands and Golden Isle, where homeowners pay additional property taxes in return for increased security from the city. Both neighborhoods' entrances and exits are monitored by video cameras.

Efforts to attract younger families continue to pay off as more working class families with children are moving to Hallandale, a city of 34,286 people.

Area children attend Hallandale Elementary School, Hallandale High School and McNicol Middle School, just north of Hallandale's boundary with Hollywood.

There are plenty of activities designed to keep residents busy. Some are provided at the Hepburn Center, 750 NW Eighth Ave., the social service building that houses the Department of Human Resources.

The center runs an after-school program for children, a nutrition service for seniors, and social and recreational services for the entire community.

Free transportation is available to those who need the service.

The city features a well-kept beach and about recreational facilities that include the $1.5-million Hallandale Cultural Community Center, the Hallandale Adult Community Athletic Center, a tennis center, two in-line skating rinks and a municipal pool.

A city manager runs the day-to-day activities of the city, but the City Commission sets rules and regulations.

The commission consists of a mayor, a vice mayor and three commissioners. The $5.9-million Hallandale Municipal Complex, at 400 S. Federal Highway, is a V-shaped building, nicknamed the Pink Elephant. It houses City Hall and the Hallandale Police Department.

Web site http://www.ci.hallandale.fl.us/