October 19, 2015, 11:34 AM
Tamarac has moved closer to making its vision of a downtown a reality.
The City Commission signed an agreement with a master developer, JKM Developers, for the construction of Tamarac Village, along Northwest 57th Terrace between Pine Island Road and Northwest 94th Avenue. The project, which will be spread over 23 acres, will include 13 buildings comprising 400 residential rental units, 35,000 square feet of commercial space and a 0.79-acre public park.
The residential portion of the project constitutes 80 percent of the project. The decision to limit the amount of commercial space in the mixed-use district to 35,000 square feet was made following a market assessment study. The developer will have 365 days to submit a site plan for the project and 30 months to decide if it does not want to develop the commercial parcel.
The estimated value of the total project is $100 million, Finance Director Frank Mason told city officials. Once completed, the project is expected to provide the city with about $728,990 in additional tax revenue, he added.
The project was made possible because the city purchased 17 properties in the area, at a total cost of $16.6 million, over the last few years.
"Our wish lists are always way more grandiose than what you eventually end up doing," he said.
"We are taking what the market will give us, especially in terms of the proportion of commercial to residential. It is rational. It makes sense."
"I hope the commercial component of the project stays," said Vice Mayor Pamela Bushnell. "We have waited a long, long time for somebody to present a product that is right for the demographics of the city and right for the economy of the times. This seems to satisfy both. This will make Tamarac a destination, which is something that we have really been looking for."
It will be the responsibility of the master developer to find tenants for the commercial space. Although there is a clause that the developer can opt to do something else in the space that has been set aside for commercial, company officials do not see that happening.
"I am very bullish on the commercial," said John Markey of JKM Developers.
"The retail is going to be a great success. I just don't see how we couldn't attract great tenants with 500 rooftops at Hampton Hills and 400 rooftops coming here. It just is not fathomable, to me, that this would not be a success."
After acquiring properties in the area, the city created the Tamarac Village Trust in 2013 and transferred the properties it purchased in the area to the trust. In February 2014, it formed the Tamarac Village Community Development District that includes all of the parcels that comprise the Tamarac Village area, as well as those along Northwest 57th Terrace between Pine Island Road and Northwest 94th Avenue. After only one company responded when the city put the project out to bid, the city decided to initiate talks with three master developers before finally picking JKM Developers.
The selected company has completed similar mixed-use projects in places like Delray Beach, Coral Gables, Doral and Port St. Lucie. "I am a firm believer that when the public sector and the private sector work together, good things happen for the community," he said. "Good things happen for business as well; it is a mutually beneficial relationship."
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