By Marie Puleo, Pompano Beach News Reporter

A1A POMPANO BEACH PARKING GARAGE: Pompano Beach plans to build a 750-space public parking garage, a 300-room hotel and a beach grocery store on the site of the Oceanside parking lot took another step forward last week when the Planning and Zoning Board voted to recommend approval of a land use plan amendment for the City-owned property.

The 4.2-acre site, located at 109 N. Ocean Boulevard, just southwest of the Pompano Beach Fishing Village, east of the Sands Harbor Resort and Marina, and right next to the A1A Fire Station is currently designated as “Open Space Recreation” on the City’s Land Use Plan, and as “Parks and Recreation” on the Broward County Land Use Plan. The City wants to change the land use designation to “Commercial” on the City’s plan, and “Commerce” on the County’s plan, to allow for the redevelopment of the parking lot, which has 279 existing surface parking spaces.

The City used the same approach for the development of the Pompano Beach Fishing Village next to the pier, which will include the 663-space Pier Parking Garage, several restaurants, retail space and a Hilton hotel. In 2013, the City obtained approval to change the land use designation for that area, which included a municipal parking lot, from “Open Space Recreation” to “Commercial.”

The City Commission is expected to cast a first vote on the land use plan amendment in July. The request for the land use change will then be reviewed by the County and the state of Florida, and brought back to the City Commission for a second vote with the whole process taking about a year to complete.

The development of the Oceanside parking lot, which lies within the East CRA (Community Redevelopment Agency) district, proposes up to 50,000 square feet for commercial use, including retail or office space, as well as the grocery store. The maximum building size on the site would be 182,952 square feet, and the maximum allowable height would be nine stories.

Jean Dolan, of the city’s Development Services Department, told the Planning and Zoning Board that one of the reasons “we’re packaging all this together is so that we can attract a developer, like we did for the pier,” to come in and build it at their expense, and then use the retail and the hotel to help finance the whole project.

“Right now, we don’t know if the developer is going to want to build the hotel on top of the garage or next to the garage,” said Dolan. “It just depends on what their proposals show.”

The City issued a Request For Qualifications (RFQ) for a master developer for the Oceanside parking lot site, and received six proposals by the June 17 deadline. Sometime this month, a selection evaluation committee is expected to review the proposals and create a shortlist of firms based on qualifications, not cost, according to Assistant City Manager Suzette Sibble, who oversees parking, budget and finance operations.

The City Commission is expected to vote on the ranking of the short-listed firms in September. The City will then issue a Request For Proposals (RFP) for the short-listed firms to submit their detailed plans for the commercial uses and public components of the project, including infrastructure improvements, such as drainage and the creation of a through road connecting A1A to Riverside Drive. Based on those proposals, the City will be able to finalize the cost of the parking garage.

Sibble anticipates that the rankings from the RFP will be presented to the City Commission in January 2020 at the latest, which would then authorize City staff to proceed with master developer contract negotiations with the highest-ranked firm.

“We would then hope to bring back a contract for Commission approval by March 2020,” said Sibble.

Throughout the design process, input on the project would be solicited from the City Commission, the East CRA Advisory Committee and the public. The goal is to submit a site plan and get a building permit between September 2020 and January 2021, and to have the Oceanside parking garage completed in December 2021.

“The City has always envisioned potential for a second parking garage on the barrier island to accommodate new development,” said Sibble.

The Pier Parking Garage, completed in 2016, has been meeting the parking needs generated by the Fishing Village’s first beachfront restaurant, Beach House, which opened in spring 2018. The City expects parking demands to surge with the opening of the second beachfront restaurant, Oceanic, by early fall 2019, and with the development of all the remaining Fishing Village parcels by the end of 2021.

The proposed beach grocery store is intended to replace a grocery store that used to be in the Oceanside Shopping Center, on the corner of Atlantic Blvd and A1A, which was redeveloped as the Plaza at Oceanside Condominium in 2007. The grocery store’s location on the barrier island is meant to serve residents and visitors who would otherwise have to travel west over the Atlantic Boulevard Bridge to get to the Publix at NE 26th Avenue and Atlantic Boulevard.  There is also currently a smaller convenience-type store on the far end of East Atlantic Blvd., near the Briny Pub.

According to the City’s application for the land use plan amendment, the local grocery store will “foster a sense of community” and make the barrier island more sustainable and resilient during times when the Atlantic Boulevard Bridge is inaccessible, particularly during storm events.

The idea is to create “a nice walkable area” that connects with the whole pier development and the water taxi stops, said Dolan.

The City is contemplating either a traditional self-parking garage or a hybrid structure, which has both self-parking and automated components in order to maximize the number of parking spaces.

“Given the City’s embracing of public art over the past years, the City would love the new garage to include artistic elements,” said Sibble.

Currently, the City leases 120 monthly parking spaces in the Oceanside parking lot to the Sands Harbor Resort. Some residents of neighboring condominiums without sufficient parking rely on the parking lot for the parking needs of their overnight guests or for their own usage, and are able to purchase monthly parking permits.

The City is exploring ways to accommodate users of the parking lot while the new parking garage is being built, and to continue the monthly parking passes in the future, but no final decisions have been made yet, said Sibble.

Dennison Parking, which operates the Pier Parking Garage could also run the new parking garage. It’s subject to discussion, but “is something we would certainly support, just for efficiency,” said Sibble.


For more Pompano Beach news and events, read Pompano! magazine or visit our website[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_gallery interval=”3″ images=”8387,8388″ img_size=”large”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”8389″ img_size=”large” add_caption=”yes”][/vc_column][/vc_row]


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