By Marie Puleo
POMPANO BEACH NEWS: Plans to transform the Isle Casino Racing Pompano Park into Live! Resorts Pompano – an entertainment, hotel, dining, retail, residential and office hub – took another step forward last week when a rezoning application submitted by the developer went before the city’s Development Review Committee (DRC).
The rezoning application is on track to go before the Planning and Zoning Board on Aug. 28, Debbie Orshefsky, the attorney representing the developer, told the DRC. If the rezoning of the property is approved, it would create a Planned Commercial Development (PCD) district, providing more development flexibility than the current zoning, which allows for commercial recreation uses, commercial and industrial uses, but not residential.
Based on comments from members of the DRC, Orshefsky and the development team will follow up on a number of issues, including how the project will impact activities of the city’s Fire Prevention Bureau, which is responsible for fire inspection of buildings and new construction plan review.
Specifics regarding water and wastewater services will be provided to the Utilities Department for planning purposes. Details will also be provided to project reviewers regarding the development’s street tree program and how the requirement for 15 percent landscaping within all parking areas will be met.
Orshefsky said a rezoning package will be resubmitted to the City by July 25 in order for it to go before the Planning and Zoning Board in August.
The property is being redeveloped by The Cordish Companies in partnership with Eldorado Resorts, which purchased Isle of Capri Casinos and its 13 resorts in 2016. The Cordish Companies, a Baltimore-based firm, develops, owns and operates Live! entertainment destinations across the country.
The 232-acre project site, located on the southeast corner of the intersection of Powerline Road and SW 3rd Street (Race Track Road), currently contains a harness racing track and grandstand (which will be razed), 45,000 square feet of casino, and 112,000 square feet of commercial space.
The development of the proposed mixed-use project is planned to be in three phases. The first phase, expected to be completed in 2022, consists of 679 residential units; 102,567 square feet of casino; 188,479 square feet of commercial space; an 18-screen movie theater; a 225-room hotel; a 300-seat jai alai fronton; and a 36,750-sqare-foot Topgolf driving range.
At full build-out, anticipated to be completed in 2029, the goal is to have 4,100 multi-family residential units, a total of 950 hotel rooms, 142,182 square feet of casino, 470,000 square feet of commercial space, and 1,390,000 square feet of office use.
Concurrent with its rezoning request, the developer has submitted an application for a Land Use Plan Amendment (LUPA), which would modify the entitlements of the existing “Regional Activity Center” land use designation by adding another 2,800 multi-family residential units to the 1,300 multi-family residential units currently permitted, and by adjusting the square footage of nonresidential uses.
The land use plan amendment was reviewed by the DRC on June 5, and is scheduled to go to the Planning and Zoning Board on July 24. The rezoning and land use plan process will continue through the fall, said Orshefsky. The land use change would also need to be approved at the county level.
The project will be surrounded on all sides with multi-purpose landscape buffers that will provide for drainage, landscaping, nature, walking and bike trails. A “crystal lake,” suitable for swimming, will be centrally located within the development. A potential Tri-Rail station along the CSX Railroad just east of the site is also being explored.
Orshefsky said that, because of the size of the project, separate site plans will be submitted for various sections of development, with the first site plan not likely to come to the DRC before January 2020.
David Cordish, Chairman of The Cordish Companies, said at a public meeting held in Pompano Beach in April that a groundbreaking is expected in the summer of 2020.
In August, work will begin to put together an application to form a Community Development District (CDD) to develop the infrastructure, said Orshefsky.
The debt incurred by the CDD to build the backbone infrastructure would be paid for by future property owners through property owner association fees.
Some of the proposed heights within the development project, which could reach a maximum of 350 feet, will require review by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and an Airpark Obstruction permit from the City of Pompano Beach.
This story was prepared by our Pompano Beach news desk with additional information from various public sources and other websites.