Developer’s Existing Buildings Now Included in Los Mizner Project
by Joe Citizen
To no ones surprise the City of Coral Springs Commissioners will vote on Tuesday to approve the Community Redevelopment Agency Plan (CRAP) which will use taxpayers money to redevelop a portion of this city that doesn’t need redevelopment. To make matters more suspect, they have now decided to include an already brand new building owned by the very same developer that was given the project on a silver platter.
The City last year decided to develop the University and Sample Road area into a large ambitious Los Olas – Mizner Park type of concept. They declared the area as a slum entitling them to public funds available for the redevelopment of undesirable areas. They put the entire project out for bid and gave it away to the only bidder on the concept. Then over the past few weeks they have decided to include the developer’s brand new building, The Walk on University Drive, in the plan. This decision can be viewed in many ways including:
1. That the developer has influence on the city that allows him to incorporate a brand new building that does not need support of public funds or tax breaks into a project that will give him tax breaks. This gives his current building an obvious advantage over all other commercial space in the city.
2. The City had to give this concession to the Developer or he might have pulled out of an obviously risky Los Mizner.
3. The city commissioners hand picked members of the CRA are complete idiots that have no idea of what is going on.
4. Retiring Commissioners may be looking for work in the future.
5. All of the above
6. None of the above. Everyone involved are doing this as a result of their real concern for the citizens of Coral Springs and not themselves. In other words, they believe in this CRAP.
Any smart individual can question why would a fully developed property like the Walks built last year would be in need of public support. How is it possible that this plush high priced building is in need of public funds or tax breaks?
Why stop the CRAP at the developers building which is just north of Royal Palm Boulevard on the west side of University Drive? Why not continue the boundary to University and Royal Palm. There lies a real eye sore in the form of an old shopping center that is bad need of renovation. It is obvious that the only benefit of this move is the developer of Los Mizner who owns the Walks property.
The entire process can be viewed to be tainted. Perhaps there should be an investigation into the levels of influence that now exist within city decision making policies. Perhaps the citizens of Coral Springs should look a little harder into the campaign contributors and follow the money trail that can possibly lead to the beneficiaries of this CRAP.
A CRA forces the taxes collected in the CRAP to be used only in the CRAP. The taxes do not benefit the other areas not in the CRAP. It is carved out of the city tax revenue budget. The CRAP also gives tax breaks and other incentives to people owning property with the CRAP. There is a lot to this CRAP that meets the eye.
So how do these people get away with it? Simple. We all let them do it by not voicing our opinion to the City and Broward County Commissioners. Now, the question is will this plan get rubber stamped by Broward County that must approve this CRAP.
The only hope for the citizens of Coral Springs rests in Commissioner Brook who can affirm himself in this mess and filibuster the proposal until a proper investigation into the obvious influence can occur. New in office, he was not part of the ‘Gang of Five’ original commissioners that rammed this CRAP down the throats of the citizens of this city. The question is of course, will he do it?
(CRAP comes from the name of the individual that patented the first flushable toilet, Thomas Crapper. Don’t believe me…go to the CRAP Link by clicking here.)