Tag Archive for: public-private partnerships

brightline train 770x320

Downtown Boca Raton’s new Brightline station is being positioned as catalyst for growth — with the goal of building up a transit-oriented destination that will offer more new housing, stores and plenty more.

The Boca Raton station, at 101 NW 4th St., and a station in Aventura each opened in December last year, increasing the number of South Florida stations from three to five. Resembling the babies of the family, the newer stations are expected to mimic their sibling stations, which opened in 2018 in West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Miami. The older stations already have drawn growth and redevelopment around them.

“The Brightline is hugely instrumental into the growth of Boca Raton because now you can have somebody who’s working down in Miami who can live ‘in the suburbs’ up here,” said Scott Gerow, the executive director of luxury sales at the Cotilla-Beresh-Gerow Luxury Team at Compass. “Now it makes it more of a commutable region, like Long Island or Connecticut would be to Manhattan.”

Jenni Morejon, the president and CEO of the Fort Lauderdale Downtown Development Authority, added, “Every city that has a Brightline station either today, or ultimately a commuter rail station in the future, is going to see tremendous mixed-use development because it is truly a driver for investment.”

Here’s a look at how growth is bound to come near Boca’s Brightline station.

A 13-Story Building Proposed

Evidence of a future defined by development already may be making an appearance: A proposal, recently filed with the city, calls for a 13-story multi-use project called Modera Boca Raton that would feature a 358-unit apartment building near the station.

The plan calls for about 6,500 square feet of retail space, as well as nearly 490 parking spots. The planned amenities would include a clubhouse, fitness center, courtyard, rooftop pool and sundeck.

The project would be located immediately south of the Brightline station specifically west of Northwest Second Avenue, east of Northwest First Avenue, south of Northwest Fourth Street, and north of Northwest Third Street. The Boca Raton Public Library sits nearby.

A Consultant’s Help

“The city is seeking a consultant to guide the creation of the transit-orientated development that the area currently lacks,” said Marc Wigder, chair of the Boca Raton Community Redevelopment Agency. “Such a consultant would help the city design a sustainable, transit-oriented district with a mixture of uses that would highlight the transit hub, would highlight the government center hub, and would highlight the ability to not be so vehicular dominated. That’s kind of what you want, transit-oriented development that enables neighborhood feelings without vehicular dependency.”

The aim is to achieve what Wigder said is called an “internal capture,” wherein people don’t have to drive everywhere, underscoring the live, work, play concept he and other members of the council have continued to push for in Boca Raton’s downtown scape. Public input will also play a role, Wigder said, and will be gathered over the next several months.

Other Stations’ Successes

Thriving examples of growth around Brightline stations exist both north and south of Boca’s station. Take Fort Lauderdale, for example: Since its station opened in 2018, the city’s downtown population has seen an increase of more than 10,000 people and 5,000 new rental units, according to data from the Fort Lauderdale Downtown Development Authority.

In November, the Broward County Commission voted to build a new government center next to the Fort Lauderdale station, bolstering the potential growth there.

“A transit-oriented development takes care of any and all needs of the residents or employees living in that area,” said Morejon, the Downtown Development Authority’s president. “And while Fort Lauderdale experiences a similar issue to Boca Raton in terms of finding land to develop, a solution to that is developing more efficiently. You really have to go vertical. A lot of it is about redeveloping properties that already have existing development. And that’s not a bad thing because it makes for more compact cities, more walkable cities, cities that have a lot more amenities in close proximity.”


Source: SunSentinel

Hollywood, sandwiched between Miami and Fort Lauderdale, has seemed quaint and sleepy compared to its big-city neighbors, despite impressive community assets.

The 30-square-mile municipality’s amenities include an airport, a walkable downtown, 7 miles of oceanfront and a beachfront pedestrian walkway called the Broadwalk that’s lined with independent restaurants and hotels. Inland are golf courses, residential neighborhoods and the Seminole Hard Rock Resort & Casino. Port Everglades is partly within the city limits.

“Soon, a new wave of development is poised to transform Hollywood. The city currently has $1.2B in real estate development planned or under construction,” City Manager Wazir Ishmael said during a Bisnow webinar last week.

Ishmael outlined some of the major projects around Young Circle, the downtown city center with a 9-acre outdoor amphitheater and arts park, where Hollywood’s main east-west corridor meets north-south artery US 1.

On the southwest quadrant of Young Circle, the $60M Block 40 project is planned from GCF Development. It will have 166 residential units and 103 hotel rooms. On the southeast quadrant, a mixed-use project by BTI Partners will bring 366 luxury rental units and ground-floor retail. The east side of Young Circle is slated for matching towers with two levels of restaurants and retail, also by BTI. South of Young Circle, Hudson Village, a 108-unit mixed-income affordable project by Housing Trust Group, broke ground last year, and Pinnacle at Peacefield, a senior housing community, was recently completed.

Further east, on Hollywood Beach, Related Group last year completed the 41-story Hyde Beach House on the Intracoastal Waterway. In 2019, voters approved a $165M general obligation bond to finance more than 30 projects.

 “Beachfront properties farther south in Miami-Dade County are bloody expensive,” said Continuum Co. Chairman Ian Bruce Eichner, who has been looking to develop a 4-acre beachfront site in Hollywood. “But in Broward County, there’s still an opportunity in Hollywood for a beach that is certainly as beautiful as anything south, at a different price.”

Webinar moderator Raelin Storey, Hollywood’s director of the Office of Communications, Marketing and Economic Development, said the city has two opportunity zones — one downtown and one between Sheridan Street and Stirling Road near I-95. Storey said that over the past few years, the city adjusted its zoning to encourage development along its commercial corridors.

Keith Poliakoff, partner at law firm Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr, said that his client, BTI, is about to break ground on Block 58, formerly known as The Hollywood Bread Building in the downtown opportunity zone. It’s planned to include approximately 366 apartment units with 15K SF of retail.

“Construction prices had risen about 10% since the project got underway, but the opportunity zone designation was helping them draw investment to offset the increased costs,” Poliakoff said. “If you do it right, that savings, that potential tax savings in the future, can actually offset the higher construction price.”

Inigo Ardid, co-president of Key International, which owns the Eden Roc and Marriott hotels in Miami Beach, has been exploring possibilities in Hollywood and said he was very bullish on leisure hospitality.

“What we’re seeing is in places that people can get to, mostly drive markets, the hotel markets have come back stronger than ever… Our average stay has gone up well in excess of 60% from where it was before,”  said Ardid.

Related Group Managing Director Eric Fordin said that the once-stunning but long-neglected Hollywood Beach Resort might be redeveloped in time.

“We had the majority of the unit owners under contract to redevelop that property,” Fordin said. “But the ownership structure is complicated. Not only is there a condo-hotel but an estate owns the land and the parking garage. A tentative deal he’d made with it fell through at the last minute.

That’s not all that makes it complicated.

“There’s a separate owner who owns the commercial unit on the first floor and a separate owner that owns the commercial unit on the second floor, plus 360 unit owners and 36 timeshares,” Fordin said.

But that’s not to say the project won’t happen.

“It’s a site that I am laser-focused on,” Fordin said.

Fordin lives in Hollywood himself. He said some residents love Hollywood’s slow vibe, independent stores and two-story motels that cater to Canadian snowbirds. They don’t want Hollywood to be like Sunny Isles, lined with tall towers that create a canyon-like feel. But the quaintness comes with blight.

“Hollywood is always going to be more of a boutique-friendly development opportunity experience,” Fordin said. “I believe once we’re able to assemble some properties along the Broadwalk, you’ll see some great development impacts for the city, but it’s a matter of really aligning all the stars for those things to take place.”

The panelists called for more public-private partnerships, but that hasn’t always worked out great for Hollywood’s taxpayers. For a Margaritaville Resort developed in 2015 by developer Lon Tabatchnick’s Lojeta Realty and Starwood Capital Group, the city invested $23M in the development and left the city potentially liable for $84.3M in bond payments for a connected parking garage, the Sun-Sentinel reported.


Source: Bisnow

The Delray Beach Community Redevelopment Agency approved plans for AltaWest, a $100 million mixed-use project on West Atlantic Avenue.

The CRA board OK’d the sale agreement with BH3 Management for 7.4 acres at 600 to 800 West Atlantic Avenue. The developer has 30 days from the date of obtaining a construction permit to close on the land, according to the South Florida Business Journal.

Aventura-based BH3, led by Dan Lebensohn and Greg Freedman, was the winning bidder of six groups for the public-private partnership project. The development will include 43,000 square feet of ground floor retail, 21,600 square feet of professional office space, a 33,000-square-foot grocery store, 165 residential units totaling 272,242 square feet, 744 parking spaces, about 45,000 square feet of public space called “Frog Alley” and up to 30 workforce housing units, the latter of which includes 18 affordable housing units being built on an adjacent site.

The site is in an Opportunity Zone, which means the developer can qualify for a major federal tax incentive for developing the project. The federal program allows developers and property owners to defer and possibly forgo paying some of their capital gains taxes, or taxes resulting from the sale of certain assets.

While BH3 was the only bidder to not offer money in exchange for the land, the company said it plans to spend the most on development.

BH3 has to put $250,000 into escrow. The city commission still needs to grant the project final site plan approval.


Source: The Real Deal

One of South Florida’s busiest business districts could soon become the latest South Florida area to undergo major redevelopment.

A group of companies in a public-private partnership, is hoping to make some major changes to Fort Lauderdale’s Cypress Creek neighborhood.

Under the banner Envision Uptown, the group is awaiting final approval to re-zone and revitalize the area and turn it into a hub for business, entertainment, dining and housing.

Investors hope the changes will attract more companies to the area.

CBS4’s Eliott Rodriguez recently spoke to South Florida Business Journal real estate reporter Brian Bandell about the bold plans for Cypress Creek.

Source: CBS4 Miami News