The outgoing city commissioners made sure to give the one and only bidder and developer of downtown Coral Springs a going away present. They have allowed the developer to start construction on the project on the office complex located at the South East corner of Sample and University Drive. The project will consist of 5 building and a parking garage for a total area of 100,000 square feet. The project allows the developer to go ahead with the most lucrative part of the development while leaving the amenities and other more costly areas to the future.
The developer has convinced existing companies now renting space in other buildings not within the CRA to move to the new buildings. This will create additional vacancies that will be hard to fill given the government tax incentives to the downtown core. With exiting tenants of other commercial buildings moving to the new government subsidized development, building owners with empty spaces will be allowed to reduce their assets values based on large vacancies. The taxes collected from these developers will drop thereby increasing the Burdon on the residential sector and increasing taxes.
Current list of tenants include Merrill Lynch moving from the University Drive location, as well as Exit Realty moving from the 2850 University Drive.
This move by the outgoing city commissioners allows the developer to get off the hook with regards to costly amenities and allows him to build the lucrative office spaces.
The city is spending money and going ahead with a massive ambitious plan 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 only one company responded….and was promptly given the project. The developer owns The Walk on University Drive, as well as other properties in and around Coral Springs. The city then moved to include all of this developer’s properties within the boundary of this new development.
Several problems exist with this development namely:
1. Since only one company responded to the call for bids, why didn’t the city review the ambitious project and find out why most of the developers in this country looked at it as risky?
2. Since the city is already considered to be built-out, where are the additional customers for the more than 1,000,000 square feet of stores and 750,000 square feet of offices going to come from? There are already vacancies in offices and stores closing in coral springs ( including the Burger King at Magnolia) .
3. The increased traffic with be hazardous to the Charter School located at the same corner.
4. With an already burdened police force and fire department, where will the funds come from to increase the protection?
5. What happens if the project fails? These ambitious concepts have already failed in adjacent municipalities like Weston, where the citizens are now having to pick up the tab?
6. Is there a better way to spend the more than $2,000,000 of taxpayers money given out to date on other projects within the city to improve the quality of life and protection?
7. Why did the city commissioners vote for this project even though the report that they themselves had commissioned indicates that no one really know s what the final cost of this project will be?
There are many more questions regarding this Los- Mizner project to answer so many in fact that we need responsible commissioners to re-exam the real facts and either cancel or modify the plans.
After all, when have you ever heard of a “One Bidder” project of this magnitude ever going ahead without proper due diligence?