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By Marie Puleo
Plans for a makeover of The Shoppes at Beacon Light took another step forward last month when the Planning and Zoning Board approved a site plan for the project. The Community Appearance Board gave its approval in August.
The exterior renovations that were approved include new colors, textures, and lighting that will create a more contemporary look for the shopping center, located at the northeast corner of Federal Highway and NE 24th Street. The addition of new outdoor dining areas was also approved.
“A retail property like Beacon Light should be refreshed every 20 years, and we are at that point,” said Michael Colon, the developer of the shopping center. “We’re trying to take the property in a whole new direction for the next 20 years.”
The concept is to provide the type of modern environment that consumers and retailers want today, which includes indoor-outdoor dining and bold color palettes, Colon said.
“There’s a lot of work that still needs to be done to make this a reality,” said Colon. “It’s a work in progress.”
Under the approved site plan, the developer can extend the outdoor dining area in front of Offerdahl’s restaurant to the Ginger Sushi/Thai Express restaurant, which is scheduled to open in mid-2019. The outdoor dining area in front of the recently completed new section of the Sicilian Oven restaurant can be expanded and shaded by a canvas awning. As both of these dining areas are adjacent to Federal Highway, they would be situated behind a 2-foot-high garden wall that serves as a safety barrier.
The plan is to add new outdoor dining areas in front of Fetta Republic restaurant and Lito’s Turf and Surf. They would be shaded by umbrellas and protected from vehicles by bollards, or short posts.
Each outdoor dining area would be an “enclave” surrounded by landscaping. These eating terraces would be created on sand-set pavers, and would seat about 20 people each.
The idea is to make the shopping center more walkable and urban by creating “nodes of interest” where people can stop to enjoy an outdoor dining experience. They are meant to give customers another reason to walk around and explore the various opportunities at the center, said Colon.
The shopping center will be repainted, and the Community Appearance Board has approved a bold application of contrasting earth-toned colors, which is a departure from the current salmon and green color scheme. There will be a move away from monochromatic signage, which Colon said is outdated.
Decorative panels with abstract, laser-cut patterns that are accentuated with backlighting are planned for some of the architectural elements.
“The artistic features we are adding at Beacon Light will enhance the upscale image of the shopping center,” said Colon.
The last time the shopping center underwent major renovation was in 1999, when façade and landscaping improvements were made and a Publix was added. In 2002, the building adjacent to Publix was added. It is currently occupied by a preschool. A few years ago, the old Dairy Queen, a stand-alone building fronting Federal Highway, was torn down so the north building of the shopping center could be extended. The new space was occupied by Menchie’s frozen yogurt shop, but recently became the lounge area of the expanded Sicilian Oven.
The shopping center dates back to the 1960s. In 1997, it was purchased by Beacon Light Partners, which is headed by Colon, and the name was changed from Beacon Light Shopping Center to The Shoppes at Beacon Light.
The upcoming renovation work is anticipated to begin this summer, and should take 3-4 months to complete.
“Beacon Light is Lighthouse Point’s upscale boutique retail opportunity, and we want it to remain that way for the next 20 years,” said Colon.