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$130 Million Town Center Project breaks ground in Lauderdale Lakes

LAUDERDALE LAKES – Imagine tree-lined promenades, shimmering fountains and cozy sidewalk cafes. Elegant Mediterranean-style residences peeking through private courtyards to a lush town green, where park benches beckon you to sit and enjoy a sunny South Florida day.

Where are you? You’re in “Bella Vista” — the beautiful new Town Center of Lauderdale Lakes.

The project, developed through a partnership between the Lauderdale Lakes Community Redevelopment Agency and developer United Homes International, is anticipated to be the catalyst that redefines Lauderdale Lakes as the “Heart of Broward County.” The contract was finalized Thursday, February 9 and the groundbreaking taking place at 4 p.m., Monday, February 13.

“This is a strategic investment for the City,” noted Lauderdale Lakes Community Redevelopment Administrator J. Gary Rogers. “Our goal is to establish an identity for the City, a sense of place and a new architectural standard for redevelopment.”

The nearly 32-acre project will be designed in the “New Urbanist” style of urban planning seen in other successful projects such as Mizner Park in Boca Raton and CityPlace in West Palm Beach. It will incorporate elements of “Traditional Neighborhood Design,” such as hidden structured parking, abundant landscaping and a pedestrian-friendly layout. The design was crafted with input from the South Florida Regional Planning Council and the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council, the group that facilitated Lauderdale Lakes’ city-wide planning charette in 2003 and developed the Lauderdale Lakes’ “Citizens’ Master Plan” which resulted from the planning sessions.

“Suburban corridors like this are the next frontier in development,” noted Michael Busha, executive director of the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council. “The Lauderdale Lakes Town Center project will be one of the first examples of this redevelopment concept, both locally and nationally. We are learning much from this project that will assist planning professionals across the country in successfully reviving similar areas.”

The cornerstone of the project will be a new two-story Broward County Public Library and the Lauderdale Lakes Cultural and Educational Resource Center, located at the heart of the site, along Oakland Park Boulevard. The library will be flanked by clock tower entryways, as well as nearly 20,000 square feet of ground floor commercial (office and retail) space in two new six-story buildings along Oakland Park Boulevard. Condominium residences will be built above.

Promenades will provide space for outdoor café-style dining venues and other neighborhood conveniences like dry cleaners, florists, banks and shops.

The community will be anchored by a scenic town “Green” nearly two football fields in size. Surrounding the “Green” will be over 450 luxury residential units, ranging from 700 square foot condominiums to 1,800 square foot townhomes with private courtyards and garages.

United Homes Chairman Tony Mijares explained that the traditional neighborhood design has attracted strong market interest. “The project is designed in such a way that residents can live, work and play without having to leave the community. There will be ample parking (structured and on-street), lush landscaping and brick-pavered walkways connecting the residential areas to the rest of the Town Center. Additionally, residents will enjoy amenities including a 5,000 square foot clubhouse with a fitness center, party room, indoor racquetball court, a half-court basketball court, a tot lot and an outdoor pool.”

“Upon final build out in 2008, the project is estimated to be valued around $130 million dollars,” Rogers noted. “The impact of this project will be very substantial for the City and Broward County as well.”

United Homes International, Inc. is an award-winning real estate development firm based in Miami Lakes. Since 1994, they have built over 30 quality projects in South Florida. The firm was recognized as the “Builder of the Year” by the Latin Builders Association in 2002, and by the Builder’s Association of South Florida in 2003.

The Lauderdale Lakes Community Redevelopment Agency was created in 2001, pursuant to Florida Statute 163. The agency is responsible for a redevelopment area of nearly 550-acres and is currently directing close to $600 million in redevelopment projects within this area. Both organizations are active partners of the South Florida Regional Planning Council’s State Road 7 Collaborative.

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