A new chapter is emerging for the closed Macy’s at the Pompano Citi Centre as developers have applied to replace the now-shuttered department store with a 356-unit apartment complex.
The Pompano Beach review committee on just gave an initial blessing to the proposal by the Morgan Cos. of Houston, which has developed or is in the process of building rental projects in Fort Lauderdale, Miami and Boynton Beach. Besides Florida, Morgan has projects in its home state of Texas, as well as in Missouri, Arizona and California.
The proposed luxury multi-family development in Pompano Beach is yet another installment in a trend where vast shopping complexes are giving way to new uses as consumers opt to shop online instead of driving to crowded malls and big box stores.
“I think shopping center owners are recognizing they have good pieces of land in good locations,” said Hugo Pacanins, Morgan’s regional development partner for South Florida. “Bringing residential to that existing mix accomplishes everything. You’re activating the center and bringing 24-7 people to the shopping center. It’s a trend we’re seeing nationally. You’re starting to see a lot of these projects being delivered in Pompano Beach and doing really well. I think that will bring new life to the area.”
But the face of commercial life in the Pompano Citi Centre neighborhood has changed along with a major overhaul in retailing. Macy’s shut the Pompano store last spring as part of a plan to streamline its operations amid sizable financial losses nationwide. That left an opening for the Morgan Group to buy over 12.1 acres of land — most of it from Macy’s and a portion of the mall parking lot from the shopping center owners. The developer has yet to set any prices, sizes or layouts for the apartments. But the buildings will be four stories in height with views of the nearby municipal golf course.
“We’ll have a big range of units from studios to three bedrooms,” Pacanins said.
After gaining its first green light in a lengthy approval process, Morgan will make “minor adjustments” to its application, which will then move to the Planning and Zoning Board for a public hearing in January, a city spokeswoman said.
The city’s board is currently targeting Jan. 27, 2021, for a public hearing. The full City Commission would then have to give its approval, and a Broward County land-use plan needs to be changed to reflect the proposed new land use to “irregular residential.” It is currently zoned commercial.
The review committee also has urged Morgan to communicate with residential neighbors who live north of Copans Road, which borders the northern edge of the Citi Centre.
“One of the advantages this site has is we’re abutting a golf course and it’s adjacent to a shopping center,” Pacanins said. “Traffic is always a concern, but there will be a lot less traffic than what Macy’s was generating. We’ve still got a long way to go and looking forward to getting this deal started in 2022.”