By Hank McCoy
The land where the former city hall sat on for 42 years and an outdated shopping plaza could soon be getting an overhaul as part of the Downtown Coral Springs.
At the October city commission meeting, George Rahael, CEO of Amera Corporation, discussed his conceptual vision to redevelop the Village Square on the northwest corner of Sample Road and University Drive, as well as two city-owned parcels that will be sold to him for $4.6 million.
The goal is to have a more unified downtown area for residents.
Grocery, retail, restaurants, and entertainment are within the development proposed project, which will enhance the tax base in the city and the quality of life and sense of place for residents, businesses, and visitors.
The two city-owned parcels include the former city hall land and a canal, which separates the Village Square shopping center.
City Manager Frank Babinec wants to make sure the properties are contiguous by culverting the canal.
“To say that we are excited is an understatement,” said Rahael. “We have been trying to get this done for many years. I can promise that we as a team will do all we can to make this happen, and to get this done as soon as possible.”
Babinec said they’ve only talked in concept about what the city believes is the best use for the properties being discussed, and there are still many steps that would need to happen before the project can get underway.
The Village Square shopping center has sat on the intersection for 40 years. Amera currently owns portions of it and intends to purchase the remaining properties.
Some long-time businesses such as Walter Kulick, DDS., who owned his office at Village Square for 30 years, recently moved and purchased another at 8890 Royal Palm Blvd.
Babinec said there were long-time businesses in Village Square who were concerned about where they would go. “I told them, I’m sure Amera will work with them to find a proper and appropriate spot for them to relocate.”
With the city commission’s approval, Amera architects and planners have started developing plans and will have preliminary designs soon to share with city staff for their input and direction.
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- Hank McCoy is a writer and journalist covering music, politics, and culture on his blog Hank’s Luncheonette, as well as currently working on publishing his first novel. Hank grew up in Parkland and graduated from FAU before moving to Chicago where he worked in the music industry as an artist and talent booker when he wasn’t throwing people out of punk bars. Hank recently moved back to South Florida after living overseas in Berlin while he traveled to Europe.
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