Pompano Beach seeking developer for 30 empty acres

Pompano Beach seeking developer for 30 empty acres

Source: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/business/fl-bz-pompano-thirty-acres-downtown-20180724-story.html

Pompano Beach development

Hadar Homes is proposing 15 townhouses for a project called Patagonia, situated in what Pompano Beach hopes will become a future downtown.The two-story homes could rise along Northwest Seventh Avenue and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. The project — much of it on publicly owned land — would be built alongside 1,800 square feet of commercial space, since “we’re trying to create that pedestrian corridor,” said Nguyen Tran, director of the Pompano Beach Northwest Community Redevelopment Agency.

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The townhomes, which are still in the early planning stages, are part of a bigger picture of creating a downtown in that area.

An ambitious plan to attract more developers is underway: In February, the CRA contracted with the real estate services firm, Cushman & Wakefield, to conduct a national search for a master developer or a series of developers to build on 30 acres in the downtown. The land is not contiguous and is owned by the city and the CRA. Broward County owns a couple of proper

Cushman & Wakefield also is tasked with assembling another 30 acres of privately owned properties. Though some of the land is vacant, there’s also a funeral home and other commercial properties.

These 60 acres combined are dubbed the “Innovation District,” an area downtown that is intended to become a hub for high-tech companies.

“That’s enough critical land mass to get any developer interested,” Tran said of the 60 acres. “There are very little land assemblages like this left in Broward.”

The 60 acres make up the “largest number of vacant and undeveloped properties in Broward County,” Tran said.

Tran said the CRA is hoping for developers interested in building mixed-use residential development with ground-floor retail shops, “high-density residential,” or commercial space that would attract high-tech companies. Class A office space is also desirable “because Pompano doesn’t really have any Class A office and, if they do, it’s very little — there’s a lot of industrial warehouses,” he said.

A sale of the city- and CRA-owned land could come later. “A sale will only occur when [Cushman & Wakefield brings] somebody to the table, [and the city can ask], ‘Is this the type of development we want?’” Tran said.

The Innovation District would be east of Interstate 95, west of Dixie Highway, south of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and north of Atlantic Boulevard.

“The downtown is not really defined, we’re trying to define that area, we’re building a downtown,” Tran said. “How many opportunities do you get to build a downtown from scratch?”

The 260-acre downtown as a whole has been years in the making. The city in 2014 turned a falling-down hotel into Bailey Contemporary Arts, a place for artist studios and exhibitions. In 2015, it opened the Ali Building, now used for concerts and dance instruction. After that, it opened the $20 million Library and Cultural Art Center across from City Hall.

In 2016, a 46-townhome development called Koi opened. And, more recently, City Vista Apartments, a seven-story, mixed-use project of 111 rental apartments with office space on the ground floor, is now almost fully occupied.

Private landowners are also planning big in the downtown. This includes submitted plans for 279 rental units in a 10-story building, with businesses on the ground floor. There’s also Heritage at Pompano Station, which will have 116 one- and two-bedroom apartments where at least one household member must be age 55 or older.

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