Plans are moving forward to build a 356-unit multi-family residential development on a portion of property at Pompano Citi Centre, the shopping center located at the southwest corner of North Federal Highway and East Copans Road.

The City Commission, at its Feb. 23 meeting, approved on first reading the developer’s request for a land use plan amendment for 12 acres of property currently occupied by the now-empty Macy’s department store building and the surrounding parking area. The Planning and Zoning Board approved the request at its meeting in January.

The land use plan amendment – which also needs to be approved at the county and state level, and by the City Commission on second reading – would change the property’s land use designation from commercial to residential.

According to the current plans, the property is being developed as a rental apartment complex, consisting of seven 4-story buildings. Six of the buildings would have 48 units each, and one of the buildings would have 68 units.

Amenities include a 1-story 10,000-square-foot clubhouse, a pool and a small park. The project site is bordered by the city’s municipal golf course to the south and west, and the residential buildings on those sides would face the golf course.

Sterling Organization, owner of Pompano Citi Centre, has a contract with The Morgan Group, a multi-family developer, to build the project. Macy’s owns the site of the former Macy’s store, and is going to sell the land to the developer. The store, which went into liquidation in January 2020, will be torn down to make way for the residential project. The developer will also purchase a portion of property from Sterling Organization.

The proposed residential development would be gated and fenced, with pedestrian access points to the shopping center and the multi-use trail that runs along the perimeter of the golf course. 

The gated entrance would be located at the northwest corner of the residential development, near the intersection of Copans Road and NE 12th Terrace. Dennis Mele of Greenspoon Marder, the attorney representing the developer, said it’s too early in the process to know if any changes would need to be made to the intersection, “but if something’s identified as being needed, we’ll have to address it.”

Mele said the developer will be working to make sure that traffic circulation through the mall property “still works well for everyone.” Currently, many people use the road that runs along the golf course as a “shortcut” between Federal Highway and Copans Road. Mele said traffic will be able to circulate along the edge of the residential development, thus preserving the shortcut.

The developer may add a vehicular entrance to the east side of the development, which would allow residents more direct access to and from Federal Highway. Mele said the entrance would also be for emergency vehicles.

Fifteen percent of the proposed residential units will be reserved for affordable housing in the moderate-income range, which is between 81% and 120% of the area median income for Broward County.

Redevelopment of the property will benefit the existing shopping center, as well as other local businesses, by providing new patrons, according to The Morgan Group. In an application submitted for the land use plan amendment, The Morgan Group stated that property tax revenues will increase and the project could stimulate redevelopment of other properties in the area.

Mele told the Commission that turning portions of shopping centers into residential developments “is a trend we’re seeing nationwide,” and similar projects have recently been completed in Pembroke Pines, Sunrise and Coral Springs.

Commissioner Rhonda Eaton of District 2, where Pompano Citi Centre is located, said the residential development “presents an opportunity to enhance the area,” and could be something “really special.”

The land use plan amendment approval process is expected to take approximately one year to complete. The project site will also require rezoning to allow for the residential units.

Construction is anticipated to begin by the third quarter of 2022, “assuming everything goes per plan,” said Hugo Pacanins, South Florida Regional Partner of The Morgan Group.

For more Pompano Beach real estate and development news and things to do in Pompano Beach read Pompano! magazine and search our website.

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