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Interesting article about browards proposed town centers and condo buildings.

Images that go along with the story: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/lo...6620991.photogallery?coll=sfla-home-headlines

From the Sun-Sentinel
http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/lo...may13,0,597188.story?coll=sfla-home-headlines

Broward's housing will be multistory, not single-family

By Robin Benedick and Buddy Nevins
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

May 13, 2007

Broward County is growing up. High up.

As land runs out and population continues to climb, developers in almost every city are proposing multistory condo towers, anchored by ground-floor shops, offices and restaurants.

Already flourishing in eastern cities such as Fort Lauderdale, such big-city development is for the first time spreading to the suburbs. In Sunrise, for example, a 26-story condo tower near Sawgrass Mills is slated for completion at year's end. An 18-story complex is planned for Plantation near the Fashion Mall and a new downtown is taking shape in Coconut Creek with construction of The Promenade at Lyons, an eight-story mall with about 60 stores and restaurants, offices and condos.

There are enough such projects in the pipeline to remake Broward's skyline and redefine how people live.

"As a virtually built-out community, future housing cannot be of the same single-family sprawl which has characterized our community the past 30 years,'' said Debbie Orshefsky, a Fort Lauderdale lawyer. "Rather mixed-use, multifamily development needs to become the norm.''

By 2020, planners expect Broward's population to grow by nearly 400,000, to almost 2.2 million.

Finding places to put the newcomers is the challenge. While developers and city officials see the mixed-use philosophy as the answer, the current jittery real estate market could delay some projects.

Soaring construction costs, taxes and property insurance, coupled with the slowdown in real estate, already have put some projects on the back burner. Still, several cities are going forward with land-use changes so they are ready when the market rebounds.

Lisa Curtin, of Pompano Beach, a 25-year resident, is grateful for any delay, especially when the region is in the midst of a drought.

"This overdevelopment scares me to death,'' said Curtin, 47, owner of a paralegal service. "They're telling us we're running out of water and we can't wash our cars and we can't water our lawns, so let's put up another 40-story condo tower. We're destroying our ecosystem.''

Those favoring denser development say the idea is to allow people to live near where they work and shop. Developers say they are catering to young professionals, people going through a life change such as a divorce and empty nesters looking for smaller digs.

Lauderhill resident Jackie Hudson says these projects remind her of New York, where she lived before moving to Broward in 2005. She embraces the urban energy and hopes to one day own a condo in such a complex -- if she can afford it.

"It's the melting pot atmosphere you get when you have people of different cultures and different styles living together,'' said Hudson, 35, who works in financial reporting.

Most of the new growth is a result of the most recent land-use rules adopted by the county and cities that encourage taller, denser buildings at major roads with mass transit, such as State Road 7 and Federal Highway. The goal: Access to high-speed buses and trains would convince significant numbers of people to leave their cars at home.

However, Broward has no money to build a light rail system and while new express buses are running on State Road 7, they share the same crowded streets. Last year, Broward voters rejected an extra penny sales tax for transportation.

That has County Commissioner Kristin Jacobs calling for a timeout on allowing mixed-use projects.

"It isn't working as it was planned," said Jacobs, a transit supporter. "I think it's time to halt these high-density new developments until the transportation system is there."

Charles Siemon, whose law firm, Siemon & Larsen, consulted on the mixed use Mizner Park project in Boca Raton, sees it differently.

"This is a chicken and egg problem. If you start building urban places, you're not going to have transit. But if you keep waiting for the demand for transit before you build transit, you're never going to get there,'' he said.

The city of Margate agrees. To spur mixed-use development, it is buying up old strip shopping centers on State Road 7 and Margate Boulevard and getting the proper zoning in place for a developer to come in and revitalize the area. So far, it has assembled 35 acres for sidewalk cafés, upscale shops and apartments or condos.

Despite the lack of mass transit, Nova Southeastern University in Davie is moving ahead with plans for a state-of-the-art research center, 22,000 housing units and 11.7 million square feet of office and industrial space.

In Lauderdale Lakes, Bella Vista features 450 condos and townhomes, a library and cultural center on Oakland Park Boulevard near State Road 7. Completion is slated for early 2009. "We're over a year out ahead of everyone and that is important when there's so much competition for mixed-use,'' said Community Redevelopment Administrator J. Gary Rogers.

"I think it's a really exciting time in Broward going from a more suburban landscape into a more urbanized landscape,'' said Carolyn Dekle, executive director of the South Florida Regional Planning Council.

Though the county won't look the same in the future, its single-family neighborhoods should remain as they are.

"Right now you've got a high-rise strip on the beach, a second one on U.S. 1 and now you're going to have a third one on S.R. 7,'' said Don Giancoli, director of Lauderhill's Community Redevelopment Agency, where several multimillion-dollar projects are proposed around Sunrise Boulevard and State Road 7. "We won't have islands of development popping up in the middle of nowhere like in the past.''
 

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Found in one of the pictures, has anyone heard of this project?

Paviyon Kreyol USA at the CARISHOCA in Lauderhill Florida
http://www.vistahaiti.com/vccc_main.php

Featuring the Tap Tap tower (????). Is this a real proposal?

It looks more like some bizarre Disney project where a giraffe sticks its head into your hotel room but cool nonetheless.
 

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"This overdevelopment scares me to death,'' said Curtin, 47, owner of a paralegal service. "They're telling us we're running out of water and we can't wash our cars and we can't water our lawns, so let's put up another 40-story condo tower. We're destroying our ecosystem.''

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please tell me someone else saw the irony in that statement, by him having to water his lawn everyday he is damaging the environment...but if we can house 200 people in a condo tower thats atleast 200 lawns that won't be watered everyday, and by doing it in an urban environment it will mean 200 less people driving an excess of 5 miles to get to work. stupid suburbanites.
 

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This article put such a big smile on my face. It's basically in retrospect everything I've been trying to explain to people for such a long time, and it's a reassurance that I'm making the right decision to study civil engineering in college. South Florida (particularly Broward County) is the reason I want to be an urban redeveloper. It makes so much sense and solves so many problems... and it's really reassuring to see how many communities in SoFlo have realized this and are finally practicing smart growth (*and green building, as noted by the Promenade in Coconut Creek). You can't get greener in SoFlo then going Urban and getting people out of their cars and onto their feet.

Urban Mixed-use Development + Multiple Mass Transit opportunities + Nature preservation/rejuvenation = higher quality of life, shorter commute times, and greater economic potential.

Kudos to the community leaders of Broward County.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
They're still behind and building more single family than condos.

Here's some stats from: http://censtats.census.gov/bldg/bldgprmt.shtml

2007 (as of March): 558 single family; 24 buildings (5+) with 514 units (45% of all units)
2006: 3550 single family units; 116 buildings (5+) with 3,002 units (45% of all units)

Miami-Dade was 63% multifamily last year.
 
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