Margate Signs Contract To Build Downtown City Center

Written by on 07.19.16 in Investment Trends, Land, MultiFamily, Office, Retail - No comments

Margate has signed a deal to build its first downtown, a City Center of 968 apartments, 100,000 square feet of retail and restaurants, a hotel and an amphitheater — all along or within walking distance of State Road 7, and City leaders said they are excited.

“We have never been this far,” said Commissioner Lesa “Le” Peerman of the much-talked about creation of a downtown. “The plans can always change, but it’s a start.”

Downtown Margate City Center rendering

Margate Downtown City Center rendering

Since 2004, Margate spent more than $30 million to purchase 36 acres around Margate Boulevard and State Road 7 to create a downtown city center. Last year, it selected a developer to create a mix of homes, shops, entertainment and a new community activity center. On July 12, the city’s Community Redevelopment Agency signed the contract with New Urban Communities.

The CRA will receive $10,041,750 for the sale of the property, but the closing isn’t final until the developer has building permits. The proposal also calls for a community center, waterfront promenade, an amphitheater, a canoe and kayak launch and a parking garage. The project could peak at three stories. Construction is expected to begin in late 2017 and could take five to seven years.

Diane Colonna, executive director of the Margate Community Redevelopment Agency, said the Margate City Center is destined to become a destination place.

“It will create a new central downtown in the suburbs,” she said. “It will give Margate a distinctive look, a sense of place.”

Margate Downtown City Center rendering

Margate Downtown City Center rendering

Some details still need to be worked out. Like how people living in mixed-use homes — shops on the bottom and apartments on top floors — can safely get across a congested thoroughfare. Colonna said the CRA has ruled out building an overpass because of the cost, but is considering creating bigger medians in the road, and buffering pedestrians and bicyclists from vehicles with landscaping.

“It’s definitely going to be a big challenge,” she said. “It’s an ambitious endeavor but I think we can do it.”

Mayor Tommy Ruzzano voted against the contract, saying the CRA is receiving less money than it is getting back. But Colonna said she has no regrets, saying when the city bought the land, there were deteriorating properties that had to be demolished.

“We’re not just selling property,” she said. “Someone will partner with us and implement Margate’s vision. It’s not your typical arms-length transaction.”

 

Source: SunSentinel

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