Private College Coming To DCOTA
Times are changing at the Design Center of the Americas as it reduces showroom space in exchange for offices, and courts a private college as a new tenant.
The DCOTA is in final lease negotiations with an undisclosed school that would move into a yet-to-be-built building on the nearly 31-acre landmark site.
“We’re going to build a fourth building, half for the private college and the other half for offices,” DCOTA’s architect, Jeff Falkanger told the City Commission Tuesday. “I think you’ll be very happy with the tenant.”
Currently, the design campus is restricted to 1 million square feet of showroom space. The commission voted Tuesday to tentatively lift that restriction, decreasing the showroom requirement to 620,000 square feet with the remainder devoted to office/educational space, opening the door for the school.
Falkanger declined Friday to disclose what college is coming on board but said “a big announcement” may come in the next 10 days. City documents describe the school as a 44-year-old South Florida private college, offering Associate of Science and Bachelor of Science degrees.
“The college is going to bring a different flavor to the city of Dania Beach,” Commissioner Bobbie Grace said. “It’s going to be a welcome change for the DCOTA.”
Once billed as the largest design center in the southeastern U.S., DCOTA has seen its showrooms dwindle over the last six years from 150 to about 50.
It opened in phases beginning in 1985, catering to the high-end design community of interior designers, decorators and architects shopping for wholesale luxury fixtures, furnishings, fabrics, flooring and lighting accessories.
Construction of the new building likely wouldn’t begin for 18 months to a year, Marc LaFerrier, the city’s community development director, said.
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