By Jeff Levine, Pompano Beach Editor-at-Large
Pompano Beach Construction Update: The Good, The Bad, The Lovely (Commentary)
My most recent column in Pompano! Magazine, “Pompano Beach: Heading in the Right Direction?” was about the stagnation Pompano Beach went through for several decades and the major efforts to perk things up more recently. If you already read (and remember) that commentary, feel free to skip six paragraphs down for the latest info.
We reviewed the initial City CRA efforts such as renovating the beach area and creating the Old Downtown arts district. These had met with mostly positive reviews from the community.
Now we’re seeing dozens of new commercial and residential projects, representing thousands of new housing units. Some plans seem to be making some residents nervous, particularly about development near their homes. (Tsk-tsk, NIMBY curmugeons).
I offered three important suggestions to help insure the project best meet the needs of the existing community while allowing for the type of sustained growth Pompano Beach needs in order to thrive in the coming decades:
1- Make sure current residents feel they are part of the growth. a) Residents shouldn’t have to worry they will be priced out of and forced to move away from their homes. b) Increase communication with residents. The city does many public meetings but communicating though e-mail blasts, social media, videos are essential to reach more residents.
2- Don’t overdo the high rise buildings. Yes, some zoning statutes need revision allowing for greater density, to create opportunities attractive to developers. However, open space and visible blue skies need to be an important part of the mix, too. We are a beach town. It shouldn’t feel like a big city or worse, Hallandale.
3- TRAFFIC! TRAFFIC! TRAFFIC! With new development, comes more cars and congestion. We need to look at every option to keep traffic moving. Public transportation is great, but is only a small piece. More highly synchronized timing of traffic lights; Better turn lanes (or no turns at certain intersections); Even flyovers at certain intersections need to be quickly put into place.
Readers offered terrific feedback via Facebook, so, based on these objectives, how are we doing? Let’s take a look at a few upcoming construction projects making a large impact on Pompano Beach.
McNab House/McNab Park
This involved moving historic McNab House to McNab Park; Building 300+ residential units plus retail space in its place (up to five stories tall); Turning the moved McNab House into a restaurant; Adding two small hotels; And perhaps closing the park. Residents objected. The city compromised: no hotels; a portion of the park remains.
The new residential/retail buildings will be primarily on Atlantic Blvd. It meets zoning standards. Parking and Traffic could be an issue. It is another green grass and blue sky space disappearing but it is saving an historic building and creating an attractive notable destination spot.
Isle Casino Redevelopment
Potentially the most important project in the city’s history. Goodbye harness racing. Hello a cinema, a concert venue, perhaps an ice rink, 4,100+ residential units and lots of commercial space including buildings as high as 35 stories. This could be really amazing. Thus far, communication has been sketchy. Plans keep changing. 2,000 units turned into 4,000 and now maybe more.
The developer has been slow providing promised community meetings and e-mail follow-up. Private city meetings without minutes were held, so we don’t know what is being discussed. A project this big needs better communication. The biggest concern is traffic. Thousands more cars and a traffic study that seems solution thin. We love this one, but …
Aquamarina Hidden Harbor
The space near N. Federal and 14th Street is underused. Is 302 housing units plus a marina, restaurants, retail, and a parking garage the answer? The Zoning Board seems to think so. They rejected an earlier 309 unit plan with a 9 story building. The new plan loses SEVEN units and part of the 9 story building will be 6 stories.
This will be a beautiful complex. But, it seems like too much for the limited space. A traffic study still needs to be conducted. We’ll reserve judgment but color me skeptical.
Oceanic Restaurant/Lucky Fish Bar and Grill
What’s not to love. Great Food. Unbelievable Atmosphere. Amazing service. (Drinks could be a little stronger perhaps). The new beachfront restaurant, combined with next-door neighbor Beach House Pompano seems poised to offer Oceans 234 and JB’s in Deerfield Beach a run for its money for hottest ocean side twosome in Northern Broward.
The addition of the soon opening outdoor Lucky Fish Bar and Grill, one of the only public hot spots right on the sand in all of Broward County, will be a huge hit. Pompano Beach isn’t that sleepy old town with nothing to do anymore!
Just one concern on this one. I hope the live music at the Lucky Fish isn’t too loud. And, what is the overarching reason for this concern? Simple. I live right by there and like my quiet. Hey, I never said I wasn’t a NIMBY curmudgeon, too.
For more Pompano Beach real estate and development news, Pompano Beach construction updates and things to do in Pompano Beach read Pompano! magazine and search our website.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”8551″ img_size=”large” add_caption=”yes”][/vc_column][/vc_row]