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.