Coral Springs Officials Provide Updates on Cornerstone, Downtown Development

Coral Springs Officials Provide Updates on Cornerstone, Downtown Development

{Photo by Sharon Aron Baron}

By Bryan Boggiano

As Cornerstone reaches for the sky, the City of Coral Springs officials detail the latest developments at the Sample Road and University Drive intersection.

Julie Krolak, director of development services, Kristi Bartlett, director of economic development, and Lynne Martzall, director of communications and marketing, shared the progress updates.

CRA is Established

According to Krolak, Cornerstone, City Village, and the former Publix Shopping Center are all part of a project 20 years in the making. 

In 2002, the 136-acre downtown project began after the city commission established the community redevelopment area (CRA) to revitalize the physical environment and economy of the downtown area.

The CRA is an area considered slum or blight under state law, allowing the city to make a string of improvements to revitalize the downtown.

The CRA was established for a 30-year term, set to expire in 2032.

A CRA can carry out contracts, inspections, improvements for public use, acquisition and disposition of real property, and development of housing, utilities, parks, and playgrounds, among other services.

Operating according to a master plan, which was last updated in 2014, the plan included everything the city wants. If a program or project is not in that plan, then CRA cannot undertake that action. 

According to Martzall, the CRA master plan is being updated to reflect current conditions and to prioritize projects.

Residents and businesses can provide input to the city through a short survey.

The CRA is funded through tax-increment finance (TIF). It is the taxable value of all real property in the redevelopment area as determined by the base-year value in 2002. 

Revenues generated from TIF are available for general government purposes. But, local tax revenues generated from increases in real property value are deposited into a CRA trust fund, which benefits projects in the redevelopment area, according to city documents.

Local Activity Center

In 2005, a state-approved county and regional development of regional impact (DRI) process established the 136-acre downtown as a local activity center or LAC. 

The DRI also outlines necessary roadway improvements, including the additional turn lanes on Sample and University and installing mast-arm traffic lights.

As developers meet certain benchmarks, certain roadway upgrades are necessary to accommodate the changes, said Martzall.

“This isn’t overnight; this is 20 years of planning that is actually now coming to fruition,” she said.

The LAC permitted a maximum of 1.2 million square feet of the leasable residential area, 2 million square feet of gross office floor area, 2,400 residential dwellings, a 72,000 square foot library, a school with 1,600 students, hotel space with 750 rooms, 80,000 square feet for a movie theater, 100,000 square feet for government offices, and roughly 3 acres of open space. 

Mixed-Use Zoning

In 2017, the city adopted the downtown mixed-use zoning for the area near Sample Road and University Drive. 

According to the latest plans, Cornerstone’s south block calls for 19,327 square feet of commercial space, 351 residential units, and 144 hotel rooms. The north block calls for 365 residential units and 27,245 square feet of commercial space. 

The units will be one, two, and three-bedroom apartments.

Bartlett estimates that the Hyatt construction should begin in early 2023 on the south block, while the development review committee reviews Predesco’s plans for the north block. The preliminary completion date for the south block apartments is summer 2023, while the Hyatt’s estimated completion date is early 2024.

City Village’s preliminary plans call for 168,177 square feet of commercial space and 302 residential units. 

The developer submitted plans to the development review committee in August. Those plans are undergoing review and revision.

At the former Publix location, on the northeast part of the intersection, plans call for 9,862 square feet of commercial space and 378 residential units. 

As the city devised plans for downtown development, Krolak noted that they collaborated extensively with properties in the area. 

“It’s a really exciting time for downtown right now because we’re starting to see this 20 years of work…and how it’s starting to come together,” she said.

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Author Profile

Bryan Boggiano

Bryan Boggiano
A University of Florida journalism graduate, Bryan is pursuing his masters in geosciences at Florida International University. He has a strong interest in weather, entertainment, and journalism.

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