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Pompano Redevelopment

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By Marie Puleo

Since 2010, the City of Pompano Beach and its Community Redevelopment Agency have been working to revitalize the beachfront that stretches from Atlantic Boulevard to just north of the Pompano Pier, an area which, over the years, had become blighted and derelict. The goal was to create pedestrian-friendly areas for residents and visitors to dine, shop and enjoy the beach. After carrying out extensive improvement projects, the city is now beginning to see its ambitious plans to transform the beachside fall into place, and more and more businesses are being attracted to the area.

At the heart of this transformation is the Pompano Beach Fishing Village, a private sector development project currently underway on a 6-acre site next to the Pompano pier. It will include two new restaurants directly on the beach. The Pompano Beach House is anticipated to open by March, and the groundbreaking of Oceanic is expected to take place this month. They will be located on the spot once occupied by Fisherman’s Wharf, which was the area’s only oceanfront restaurant, but was damaged by Hurricane Wilma in 2005, and never reopened.

“These restaurants are destined to become South Florida landmarks,” said Tim Hernandez, a principal in Pompano Pier Associates, a Delray Beach-based firm that was selected by the Pompano Beach Community Redevelopment Agency to lease and develop the commercial space in the Fishing Village.

The Fishing Village will also be home to other retailers, such as a chocolate shop, a gourmet burger restaurant and a beach goods store, all of which will be breaking ground soon. The big news came when a developer recently committed to opening a Hilton hotel on the site of what is now a large municipal parking lot. Expected to be completed in 2020, it will be the first hotel to be built in the area since 1965.

Before all this could happen, the city had to lay the groundwork, based on a Master Plan for the redevelopment of the beach area that was created in 2008. In 2013, the city completed streetscape improvements to the section of Pompano Beach Boulevard that lies between Atlantic Boulevard and NE 5th Street, north of the pier. The boulevard was narrowed, the sidewalks were broadened, the landscaping was enhanced and the dune system along the beachfront was restored and made more resilient to the environment. The beach pavilions and the children’s play area next to the pier were refurbished, and “The Great Lawn” – an artificial turf gathering area with an interactive splash pad – was built at the boulevard’s south end. On-street parking was also added.

The portion of Atlantic Boulevard between Federal Highway and the beach was also improved. It went from six lanes to four lanes so that two lanes would align directly with the bridge, which only has two lanes in each direction. The lane reduction also moved on-street parking off Atlantic Boulevard and into the side streets so it wouldn’t interfere with traffic. The sidewalks were widened and nicer medians were built with more elaborate landscaping. As part of the upgrades on Atlantic Boulevard and Pompano Beach Boulevard, utility wires were placed underground and more attractive streetlights with better light coverage for pedestrians and vehicles were installed.

In order to accommodate the redevelopment of the beachside, Fire Station 11 and the beach branch of the city’s library, which were on the site of the future Fishing Village, had to be relocated to a parcel on the Oceanside Parking Lot between A1A and North Riverside Drive.

The city also built the $21.5 million Pier Parking Garage, which is part of the Fishing Village, and is being called ‘iconic’ because of its attention-grabbing design. Completed in June 2016, the 663-space garage was the “crown jewel” in terms of setting the stage and attracting developer interest, said Horacio Danovich, the city’s capital improvement program manager.

The parking garage project also included the creation of two new pedestrian-friendly, intersecting streets – Pier Street and Seabreeze Way – that run through the Fishing Village. Pier Street will be used to link the Pompano pier to the Intracoastal Waterway and the city’s new water taxi service that was launched last month. To facilitate safe pedestrian crossing of A1A, the intersection of A1A and Pier Street is being redesigned, and will include relocating an existing traffic signal at the corner of NE 2nd Street, just south of the intersection. The city plans to have the project completed by the end of 2019.

The reconstruction of the Pompano pier, which began last May, will be the last major component of the city’s beachfront redevelopment effort. The city has invested close to $70 million in the improvements, including all the planning, studies and design.

Tim Hernandez of Pompano Pier Associates estimates the new Fishing Village development will bring $40 million in private investment to the city. In addition, it is expected to stimulate significant further redevelopment on privately owned land in the immediate area, he said.

So far, there are about a handful of spaces still available for lease in the Fishing Village: a 6,100-square-foot space with ocean views that will probably be a restaurant; a 1,300-square-foot space that might be filled with a health-food restaurant; and on the ground floor of the parking garage, four spaces for restaurant and retail use directly across the street from the future Hilton hotel.

Another city project that will complement what is happening on the beachside is the enhancement of the Atlantic Boulevard Bridge that got underway last month. In addition, a private developer is building a new waterfront dining and retail complex on South Riverside Drive, at the southeast corner of the Atlantic Boulevard Bridge.

With the city’s vision for a reinvented beach area becoming a reality, Pompano is set to become a destination that’s on everyone’s radar.

Alvin’s Island

Anticipated opening date: End 2018.

Kilwins

Anticipated opening date: End 2018.

Pompano Beach House

Anticipated opening date: End January/beginning February 2018.

Pompano Beach Water Taxi

Began operating in December 2017.

BurgerFi

Anticipated opening date: Fourth quarter 2018.

Beach Bar and Grill Concept

Anticipated opening date: Early 2019.

Atlantic Boulevard Bridge Enhancements

Anticipated completion date: End 2018.

Hilton

Anticipated groundbreaking: End 2018. Anticipated opening date: 2020.

Oceanic

Anticipated groundbreaking: January 2018. Anticipated opening date: Early 2019.

Pier Parking Garage

Garage opened: June 2016.

Tourism Visitor Center to open: 2018

Harbor Promenade

Anticipated opening date: Late 2018 or early 2019.

Pompano Beach Pier

Anticipated completion date: Early 2019.

Surfside Subs

Anticipated opening date: Early 2019.

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