Chamber Chair Says City “Needs to Set the Standard” to Bring Businesses In

Artwalkconstruction

Construction on the Artwalk project

By: Bruce H. Weinberg

I am writing this piece as the Chairman of the Coral Springs Chamber of Commerce and also as a citizen of the great City of Coral Springs.

There have been a great many articles written as well as campaigning about whether Coral Springs needs a new municipal complex and downtown region. From all I have seen, there is very little argument about whether or not we need a new city hall. If you have spent any time in our current city hall north (city hall south is already gone) it is an embarrassment. We are one of the top 15 largest cities in Florida and the city hall is not even ADA compliant.

Three independent studies were issued to the city from highly regarded planning entities; Urban Land Institute, Anjelou Economics and Redevelopment Management Associates. All three independent reports validate the construction and location of the new Municipal Complex, including how it will impact the Economic Development of our downtown region.

The chamber has publicly stated that we are in favor of the new municipal complex and the expansion of the downtown region as a whole. The Chamber feels that this expansion will begin the process of bringing new quality businesses into our region which assists in the continued economic growth of our city by not only garnering these new businesses but also brings more customers into our city to patronize our existing businesses.

The City of Coral Springs wants to continue to bring in more quality businesses and in turn expand its residential base, then it needs to set the standard and have a municipal complex that the city can be proud of. The creation of the Artwalk is underway and for those who have seen the plans, it should be absolutely gorgeous and begin as the initial stepping stone of the process to a beautiful downtown. In addition, the potential of a new hotel, movie theatre and urban housing complex will also add to acceleration of growth in our town.

As it relates to the amount of money to spend on city hall, the parking garage and the municipal complex as a whole, we at the chamber have been privy to not only the public presentations on the future city hall, but we have been in chamber meetings where the plan has been presented. The best part about the plan is that while they state that the entire complex, including the garage, will cost approximately $28 million dollars, there will be no increase in our ad valorem taxes that are included in our real estate tax bill.

I do not know about you, but a beautiful new city hall, downtown garage and the proliferation of a downtown region with no increase in taxes sounds like a pretty good deal to me. We need to continue to revitalize this great city. We just had our 50th anniversary, it is time we get ready for the 100th anniversary and this is a great start.

Bruce Weinburg has lived in Coral Springs since he was 15 years old when he moved here in 1979.  He is a 1981 graduate of Coral Springs High School who now works as an accountant for Weinberg and Company with offices in Boca Raton, West Palm Beach, Los Angeles and China.

  • roxie

    So, why no office in Coral Springs? New Hotel? Check the records of existing hotels and see how many rooms are available each day. Coconut Creek got a one up on the Springs and the city thinks they can draw to a major complex? Office vacancy is at a all time high in the city. Sorry, a large percent of the citizens have zero disposable income to support such a plan. Do the demographics – owe more on mortgage than home is worth today, 2 cars, 3 kids, 2 dogs and both parents working plus child care. Yet we are planning as if we were in East Boca Raton.

    • The Truth Seeker

      I don’t think you understand. Please see all my other posts where costs are broken down. We do need a new city hall, that is one thing everyone agrees on. And the truth is it will cost virtually the same, regardless where you put it. And, the opponents to this want you to vote on it, where it goes straight on your tax bill instead of being paid by revenues – revenues generated largely from this new blood, where you don’t have to sacrifice your disposable income. The city pays for the city hall part, private developers pay for their amenities.

      I totally agree there is way too much empty office space. And I don’t know how super successful a hotel would be. but restaurants, and other eateries and shops, yea, go out – theres always waits at the favorite places. And the thing is, the private developers are footing the bill for all their stuff, like the hotel. I would imagine that hotel group has or is doing their research and would not build if they didn’t think they would recoup their investment. And I do think a nice theatre would food service would do very well.

      One thing too if you read the who document of the plans is possible to allow use of conference facilities at the city hall for other residents and businesses (for a fee I imagine). I rent a room at Dunkin Donuts sometimes when I need a meeting space, it would be cool if I could use our own stuff.

      All the cities are doing this and taking our residents out of our own city. Look at the election in Margate – they are arguing over their plans for the ‘city center’. It’s the 21st century and if Coral Springs is going to remain relevant we need to progress.

      • Shorty2683

        Finally, someone who understands what’s going on! @roxie have you been inside of City Hall currently ? It’s a disgrace to our city. How would you think if you were a large company thinking about bringing a your big business into our town.. Not the way we look now … its scummy in there! Its time for change keep up with the times!

        This is not just City Hall like some of the political parties are saying, its going be a new home to many different things. I just wish people would stop listing to all the drama on social media and else where because 90% of it lies! Go to the Town Meetings and Go to the Commission Meetings before you speak and hear both sides…

        • roxie

          We are not taking care of the inter-city needs for repair of sidewalks (walking/bike paths) yet we ask the city to spend millions on “window dressing” such as the entrance on Royal Palm. We are told it is not in the budget but we pride ourselves on having 1+ million in surplus. Business and buyers will not select Coral Springs due to the new “complex”. The city can’t even keep the “sample road” sign next to city hall clean now. It has been rusted from water for over a year. Yes, we need a new city hall for the employees, however we should allow any developer that might enjoy the effort to build whatever they wish and not involved the city. Isn’t is strange that anyone that disagrees on this issue “just doesn’t understand”? We do understand thanks

          • The Truth Seeker

            With all due respect roxie I don’t think you do understand. It’s not a matter of ‘sides’ it’s simple facts and math. I have discussed this ad naseum already in other posts. The pieces of the municipal complex the city is actually paying for is just the city hall building (which you just said we need) and parking. Don’t believe it, read any of my other posts and look at the cities website. The city is NOT paying a dime to benefit private developers but the developers are investing their own money to build things for the benefit of all residents. Sure they hope to make a profit but they are investing the money to build. All your other issues of this is broken, etc should be simple – does the city even know, did you ever call to report it or if it is known did you ask for a status or reason? The city has ALREADY brought in money due to the improvements and there is already plans in place for 100’s of millions in new revenues that simply would not be there if the city did not act to improve the city.

          • Ira

            It was only ad naseum to us listening to you. Or more like nauseating.

            And the city is not paying a dime for this other private development? Have you lost your senses?

            THEY’RE SPENDING MILLIONS ON A F*CKING PARKING GARAGE!

            Wow–if I were you, I would see a doctor.

            Surely you’re not arguing that a new City Hall alone would justify a multi-million-dollar parking garage, or are you? And this garage will just “happen to be there” for this other private development?

          • The Truth Seeker

            The only reason I am replying is because it’s almost getting fun and too easy making you look stupid (as if people already don’t know that). If you have one of those shiny glass things in your house, you know, a mirror, I suggest you take a good hard look into it when throwing out your insults.

            Ok, forget the muni complex for a second, use Joy Carters great idea and put a city hall building just like Wellingtons which she likes to compare to in the wedge/current parking lot between the PD and Gym. Cool, now we have a City Hall building just like and where you want it. Agree so far? Ok, now we have > 200 employees and visitors that need to go to that building. Still following, or am I going too fast for you? Great, now where are all these people going to park? Now, I would agree you can put a big ole flat standard lot for about $1.5M and, if the City Hall were in a big open space with plenty of surrounding land that would be very feasible. But since the location you want is already barely big enough for the building itself, you need to cannibalize park space for parking. Yes, you could save a few mil and take up alot of land or you would put a… wait for it… a parking garage. And yes, a parking garage cost millions, no matter where you put it. And in fact the proposed lot at 4.5M which is $15K per space is CHEAP. It’s as cheap as any lot built in 2013 (see http://www.carlwalker.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/2nd-Qtr-2013-CWI-Newsletter.pdf).

            So go ahead, spend the same money and put it where there is nothing else to do, except you maybe, you can go to the PD next door to pay your parking tickets since you probably park illegally since you have an aversion to parking lots and garages or, the smart thing and put it where proposed where citizens can use it for the city hall, all the artwalk, green market and other events and yea, new restaurants and stuff when they are put in.

            But you want a ‘Taj Mahal’ parking garage for which the city is paying for shopping, take a look at our neighbor Pompano… http://www.sun-sentinel.com/local/broward/pompano-beach/fl-pompano-parking-garage-on-beach-20140929-story.html

            Now please just go away and leave the posting to intelligent people who just want to debate opinions based on facts.

          • Ira

            You said this is not costing the city a dime, and you’ve been easily proved a freaking idiot.

            You also make no mention of the sweetheart deal which this commission will give this developer, tax breaks on EVERYTHING, and to be voted positively on by this commission, like the Broken Woods development–bringing nothing to CS but more congestion.

            And “Truth Seeker”…no what? I don’t think I WILL forget the municipal complex, because that’s what we’re discussing here. And the fact that you’re bringing up Joy Carter right now proves that you’re either a shill for the dumbest woman on earth–Homan–or that you ARE Homan!

            Seriously:

            What kind of a special idiot would claim that this Taj Mahal won’t cost this city a dime, when we all know it will cost at LEAST $28 million?

          • The Truth Seeker

            Yea, typical tactic when you’re wrong, change the subject. This was about YOUR comment “THEY’RE SPENDING MILLIONS ON A F*CKING PARKING GARAGE!” and since you have no defense to your comment you change the subject – deflection – classy, just like you.

            Carter was brought up because of the same argument at http://coralspringstalk.com/commissioner-tom-powers-discusses-downtown-complex-in-latest-video-9327.

            And I never said this wouldn’t cost the city a dime, that would be stupid. I’ve said you won’t pay a dime on your AD VALOREM TAX BILL as you want since you want to vote on it. If you’re going to quote me please quote with link to article and not take a few words out of context.

            Now I am done wasting my breath on you regardless of what you have to say – but go ahead feel free to reply with some other nonsense since we all know you need to have the last word – some other lie or insult.

            Have fun with Karma.

          • rbf

            The Sun Sentinel is endorsing Joy Carter, Howard Melamed and Skip Campbell for a reason. The Sun Sentinel writes newspaper articles based on the facts. They know the qualifications of Joy Carter, Howard Melamed and former State Senator Skip Campbell. The reporters and editors of the Sun Sentinel know what’s going on in the city and based on the facts they are endorsing the above mentioned three candidates because they will work in the best interest of the resident taxpayers.

            The Sun Sentinel is making the voters aware that Joy Carter, Howard Melamed and Skip Campbell are the best qualified candidates for the positions of
            Commissioners and Mayor and that they are the candidates that should be elected to office.

            It’s interesting that you didn’t respond to the question about Officer Hughes
            relationship with Commissioner Powers. If I were working for Tom Powers, I
            certainly wouldn’t want to go near that question. The Sun Sentinel has written
            about Officer Hughes 2009 scathing email to Mayor candidate Roy Gold, the
            meeting between Commissioner Powers and Officer Hughes and all the disruption that followed. The Sun Sentinel apparently concluded, based on all the facts, that Tom Powers is NOT the best person to lead the city.

            You’re claiming to be the knower of all things. You post all kinds of statistics, numbers, special interest studies and special interest opinions that may very well originate in City Hall offices. Your writings imply that you have an intimate knowledge of City Hall and the inner workings of the City’s engineering, planning, legal and building departments and that they are readily available to you. You claim to have an inner working knowledge of all city events. You even claim to have specific knowledge of certain Police Calls. How would you know what’s being discussed during a citizens call to the Police Department? How are you able to listen to Police Calls? Are you part Tom Powers’s inner circle? You write about how great it will be for you to hold your future business meetings in the New City Hall (if it’s built). You use the term “we” a lot. Is “we” you, City
            Hall, special interest and Tom Powers? Seems like you work for City Hall, work
            for a special interest group or you’re a relative of Tom Powers.

            Ah Ha! . You’ve been exposed! You write about being at the Library during early voting hours You’re obviously there to hand out pamphlets, sway voters and just like your presence here, you’re job there is to actively push the Tom Powers agenda, regardless of the truth. I don’t know if you’re intentionally lying when you avoid the truth and try to mislead the voters or if it’s just your deep desire to emulate Commissioner Powers that’s causing you to lose the ability or the integrity to recognize and understand the truth.

            Oh, come on now; don’t sprout out and start throwing darts at me because the Sun Sentinel is endorsing Joy Carter, Howard Melemed and former State Senator Skip Campbell. That’s not my decision or based on any of my input. That’s the decision of the reporters and/or editors of the Sun Sentinel. I trust their judgment much more than I trust yours.

          • The Truth Seeker

            LOL. You’re so off base it’s actually funny. I’m not the one throwing darts I simply return them to sender. The Sun Sentinel is the the laughing stock of newspapers, a far cry from what it was 10 or 15 years ago. I put zero stock into what the SS or any media publication says or who they endorse, it’s meaningless – even if they endorsed Powers, etc I would ignore it. Hell, the SS can’t even get simple geography right, I saw this elsewhere today “Front page news in the Sun-Sentinel today describes the Midtown Residences of Coconut Creek being built “on the north side of State Road 7, between Lyons and Sample Road.” Third error in a week – yea, go listen to what they have to say – if I were to believe in any endorsement at all it would be Fire and Police.

            I haven’t said anything about Hughes because I only write about the facts that I know after researching them. I have done no research on this so therefore no comment, but I suspect coming from you it’s BS and not worth wasting my time over especially since it has no relevance.

            Yes, I post the facts and statistics that prove why the candidate you are lobbying for are full of crap. They have no plan, no platform of their own so their whole strategy is to poke holes in those that do. Typical political strategy. Everything I post is freely available information that ANYONE can either look up online or can be had by a simple phone call to the city. I have no special insider knowledge or connections. You prove your own lack of common sense and knowledge with statements like “How are you able to listen to Police Calls? Are you part Tom Powers’s inner circle?”Anyone with internet access can find a scanner feed (even your buddy Melamed has one on his site) or use a scanner of their own.

            And I’ve been exposed because I as a citizen went to the library to vote yesterday and saw these things? I think you need to share a mirror with your buddy Ira and do some self reflection.

            All I keep hearing from you guys is accusing me of being part of some special interest because I am an independent thinker willing to put the time into actually researching, reading and understanding facts and numbers. Again it the is same typical political strategy to make anyone intelligent look stupid but I believe most citizens of this city are smarter and know better.

            So, like with Ira, unless you have something intelligent to say or have a counter argument to the facts and numbers I consider you irrelevant and worthy of no further replies. But keep replying, I will read and laugh.

          • Barb

            Lol, they are also endorsing Charlie Christ…and endorsed Obama…go figure. I think I will do my voting without them.

          • Ira

            Hundreds of millions in new revenues for the developer–NOT the city!

            What is wrong with you? How can you lie so much? Or be so STUPID!?

            Show us, show us ANY projections at all, WHICH INDICATE HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN CITY REVENUES!?

            Maybe over 2,000 years, but in the near future?

            My GOD–what kind of a person are you?

          • Ira

            Very well said. And most of us DO understand you.

  • Ira

    This must be why the Chamber’s offices are next door to the Heron Bay Marriott–about as far away from a “downtown” as possible. If you guys were so serious and effective with economic development, why didn’t you rent space in the “heart” of the city?

    I’ll tell you why:

    You wanted gorgeous, rural, less congested space–and your own dedicated building. The hypocrisy is as bad as it gets!

    A new City Hall downtown will benefit NO ONE but the developers, and you quote the Urban Land Institute as being behind the project, WHOSE VAST MAJORITY OF MEMBERS ARE REAL ESTATE DEVELOPERS!!!

    The stupidity is blinding.

    • brf

      I agree with everything you’ve said in all your post. I think building this project in the middle of an already congested area makes no sense at all.

      I do think you should tone down on some of the language you use. The language is probably used out of frustration responding to the hateful name calling used by the Powers camp
      whenever someone disagrees with their gospel as spoken by Commissioner Powers.

      Revenue Bonds? Commissioner Powers claims the project is already paid for with current
      cash revenues. Really? He’s kind of saying that since the money is already there and available, the project is free to the taxpayers. Well then, what’s the revenue being used for right now? If there is extra revenue available right now, then why aren’t our property taxes being reduced?

      When is Commissioner Powers going to explain his relationship with Officer Michael Hughes? Isn’t this the same Officer Hughes that sent a scathing email to then Mayor Candidate Roy Gold in 2009? Isn’t this the same Officer Hughes that Commissioner Powers rushed to meet with at a sports bar resulting in Criminal Sunshine Law Charges against Boccard and Powers that cost the taxpayers ninety thousand dollars to defend?

      Isn’t this the same Officer Hughes that then became a weak and reluctant witness at the trial of Boccard and Powers? Isn’t this the same Officer Hughes that was recently arrested and accused of taking funds from the Police Union during that very time period? Isn’t this the same Officer Hughes that was then suspended with pay by the City? Is Officer Hughes receiving special treatment? Why isn’t there some open transparency on this suspension and the relationship between Officer Hughes, the City Manager, Mayor Boccard and Commissioner Powers? Are they waiting until after the election?

      Do your research. Start with the scathing email, the meeting, the trial, the return of commissioners Boccard and Powers, the shake up of the City Attorney, City Manger and Police Chief following the return of Boccard and Powers. It’s interesting. What is going on? Doesn’t it look like a lot of Quid Pro Quo?

      • Ira

        I can’t tone down my language because I grew up in Brooklyn, but your point is well taken.

        It’s my biggest flaw.

      • The Truth Seeker

        I think you have this backwards. I’ve read all the posts, been to the library, etc. and all I see is Walter Campbell’s Friends, Family and ‘Supporters’ doing the trash talking. I would LOVE you to paste a link to any article anywhere where a Powers supporter did ‘hateful name calling’.

        In fact just today at the library Homan was talking to a prospective voter when Campbell’s person came over and rudely interrupted and said to the voter ‘Don’t listen to her, she doesn’t know what she’s talking about” then turned to Homan and said “I see you still can’t speak clearly in public”. I don’t care if you like her or hate her (like Ira does), there is NO PLACE for that. That’s just outright rude and disgusting and not the first time it’s happened. sad but typical.

    • manders

      First of all the Chamber will have a new home in the new city hall .. Get your facts stright the chamber is a 501(c)6 the building they are curently in is a city owned building WOW you really are stupid !

      • Ira

        And your point is what?

  • Coral Springs Republican

    It is interesting that Laurette Homan keeps hammering on Joy Carter for her Bankruptcy. I wonder how Laurette would feel if Joy hammered her about that Foreclosure. You see, when you look into more than just what the candidates are saying, it appears that Laurette Homan was defendant to a Foreclosure Suit in 2009. Don’t believe me though look for yourself (see the below link – See Item 3 “Liz Pendens” on 5/14/2009).

    https://officialrecords.browar

    So that there is no confusion, here is the link to Broward County Property Appraiser Records for the same
    property.

    http://www.bcpa.net/RecInfo.as

    Now unless Laurette can somehow explain that she is not the same Laurette Homan (hard to do if you review her Campaign Address which is the same address), do you think the voters should ask Laurette how she is “Fiscally Responsible”? Now, do you trust her with making that $28 Million Decision on City Hall (and Parking Garage)?