When the current economic recovery began several years ago, investors and developers seemed to be laser-focused on urban opportunities. Today, while urban demand remains strong, there is renewed excitement surrounding certain suburban markets in South Florida.
CapasGroup Realty Advisors summarizes several suburban mixed-use and commercial development projects below that are expected to have a significant impact on west-central Broward County:
Major Office Development – American Express Finds a New Home
American Express plans to consolidate its Plantation, Weston and Miramar operations into a new corporate headquarters facility in Sunrise. Positioned on the east side of NW 136th Avenue, just south of Sunrise Boulevard, the 40-acre, 400,000 square foot campus will house over 3,000 employees. Construction is targeted for completion toward the end of 2016.
Suburban Mixed-Use Development is Redefining Western Broward
Three proposed, suburban mixed-use developments could drastically change how we think about suburban living in west-central Broward County. All three of the projects detailed below involve the creation of intense live-work enclaves in key suburban locations.
• Fashion Mall Site Gets A Second Chance
The former Plantation Fashion Mall was recently purchased by Encore Capital Management who plans to convert it into a walkable “small town.” Encore paid $37.7 million for the 37-acre site and intends to invest $300 million to tear down and redevelop the property. The current plan calls for 700 apartments, 224,104 square feet of commercial and retail space and 247,305 square feet of offices, including an existing office building that will be completely renovated. According to published reports, Encore expects 40% of the retail space to be occupied by high-end food and beverage tenants with the balance occupied by traditional retail stores.
• Metropica Promises Huge Investment in Sunrise
Metropica, a $1 billion suburban mixed-use community proposed adjacent to the Sawgrass Mills Mall occupies 65 acres. The project will include 1,900 residences in eight towers, 650,000 square feet of offices, 400,000 square feet of retail space, and a boutique hotel. Other project amenities will include landscaped parks, a health and wellness center, a resort-style beach club and recreational amenities. Metropica is being developed by an affiliate of Aventura, FL-based K Group Holdings.
• Big Ideas Being Considered for Land Surrounding BB&T Center
When Broward County agreed to grant $86 million of public money to the Florida Panthers for arena improvements and to subsidize operating expenses, the team relinquished control to the County of the stadium’s surrounding land, consisting primarily of surface parking lots. The County recently engaged the Urban Land Institute to, with input from independent real estate experts, evaluate the land and create a conceptual master plan. The final recommendation reflects a major, suburban-mixed use development consisting of: a 120-room boutique hotel, 400-room family resort hotel, 500-room casino hotel, 1,000+ rental apartments, 180,000 square feet of entertainment space and 1.12 million square feet of office space. Recommendations contemplate a public-private partnership with one or more developers. The projected development period is expected to span over 20 years.
West Broward Suburbs Thriving
The scale and density of these active and proposed developments are arguably the most ambitious the Broward County suburbs have experienced in many years. Together they comprise approximately 3,600 residential units, 3.2 million square feet of commercial space and over 1,000 hotel rooms that, in theory, could be added to the already established communities of Sunrise and Plantation. The questions of how much of this space actually gets delivered and when, remain to be determined. Regardless, these projects send a clear signal that west-central Broward is still a thriving investment and development market.
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