By Jeff Levine, Pompano Beach Editor-at-Large (Pompano! Magazine)
LOVIN OVEN CATERING HALL: The recently announced potential addition of a catering facility has alarmed some residents in the A1A/Pompano Beach Blvd. area. The spot on the southeast corner had been expected to be occupied by several restaurants and/or shops. The biggest concern residents seem to have is that the new building has a peak roof line of 58 feet, considerably higher than they had anticipated. (Full disclosure: I live right by the Fishing Village although am not directly affected by the building).
Tim Hernandez, the developer of the Village, shared his thoughts with me via e-mail: ” No surprise there, those same people were opposed to the entire Fishing Village redevelopment…. The height of the roof deck is 41’-10”…[and] the open air roof deck is 58’. The AOD allows a height of 105’ but in an effort to be good neighbors [all development] has been limited to 58’… The height is similar to…Oceanic, the new Hilton Hotel, and Beach House.”
Hernandez reminded me, “One thing lacking in the community is a quality event space [for local community events…The] operators also expect to bring corporate meetings and retreats to Pompano … now being held in NYC, Boca, Miami or Fort Lauderdale. This will benefit local entertainers, florists, furniture rental and many other small businesses.
I also asked Hernandez if he was concerned that a rather large building primarily used for private events might hurt the “Delray-like” walkability that was an important part of the project’s goals. He responded, “the whole development was designed to be walkable with narrow streets, wide sidewalks, small blocks and buildings pulled close to the streets. Whether we put one more restaurant or this venue won’t change that.”
The Lovin Oven Catering Hall will be discussed along with other Fishing Village developments at the East CRA Advisory Committee Meeting tomorrow night (Thursday February 6th, 2020) at 6 PM at the Emma Lou Olsen Civic Center in Pompano Beach, The meeting is open to, and accepts feedback from, the public.
The catering hall/event space is being created by New York-based Lovin Oven Catering, operators of high-end properties in Tribeca and Long Island, and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
The Pompano Beach Fishing Village includes the Pompano Beach House restaurant, which opened last year, and the recently opened Oceanic restaurant. Still under construction are Lucky Fish Beach Bar and Grill, Alvin’s Island beach goods store, BurgerFi, Kilwins, Cannoli Kitchen and a dual-branded Hilton hotel. The hotel, which is slated to open in December 2020, has been progressing rapidly. The long delayed opening of the adjacent Pompano Beach Fishing Pier is expected in the coming month or two.
So far, the CRA, Hernandez and his team have done an impressive job with complex. They have also expanded the size and scope of the project from what was originally presented to the community.
The concerned residents are hoping to scale back the plans and are requesting the south east corner be used for green space instead of a catering hall. I am not sure that is realistic at this point in the development of the Fishing Village. I do hope their apprehensions will be addressed and some sort of compromise will be possible, as we have seen with other recent controversial construction projects in Pompano Beach .
I also hope the end result will provide enough activity and gathering spot type places for people from around the county to decide it is worth the drive to Pompano Beach.
All opinions expressed in this column are those of the author. Additional reporting provided by Marie Puleo, Pompano Beach Real Estate and Development Reporter.
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