The Innovation District is Pompano Beach’s vision of creating a vibrant and pedestrian friendly, urban, mixed-use Downtown by attracting a combination of business, technical, corporate, government, hospitality, education and cultural uses. Following a “Smart City” concept that considers the physical and technical integration of people and places, Downtown will become a hub of activity. The CRA and City own over 30 acres of prime real estate with I-95 frontage at the Atlantic Boulevard exit and are preparing to issue a Request for Proposal for a master developer for the Downtown. The area was rezoned as a transit-oriented district enabling higher density in close proximity to transit operations.
To make the highest and best use of the real estate, an innovative drainage system is contemplated to include a series of waterways inspired by the canal systems in Amsterdam and The Riverwalk in San Antonio. The waterways allow developers to capitalize on a shared drainage system for maximum buildout capacity across parcels, and by eliminating dry retention ponds. Offices, shops, restaurants and outdoor cafes will line the streets.
Groundwork Laid for the Innovation District
- A 2010 land use and zoning amendment was completed for a transit oriented development designation
- A $12 million investment in streetscape and infrastructure in Old Town, along MLK Boulevard and around the Cultural Center
- A master drainage district has been formed to allow for shared drainage amongst multiple parcels and buildings
- Development of anchor parcels including Ali Cultural Arts center, 731 Building, City Vista residential project
- Over 30 acres of assembled land available for redevelopment
- Annie Adderly Gillis Park renovations are underway for an urban plaza
- City Vista residential development added over 100 new residential units to Downtown
- The Historically significant Ali and Bailey Hotel buildings were renovated into visual and performing arts cultural venues
- An Art Trail has been developed to connect all of the cultural assets and the area in general
The Innovation District Waterways & Drainage
Although the district-wide drainage has not been designed, the options include dry-retention ponds, undergrounding tanks and storage, or designing a creative solution for above ground drainage and retention. Previous discussions have included creating a one-of-a-kind storm water drainage system featuring a series of waterways that form a riverfront, a design that will enhance the public realm with its public amenities and further the City’s urban design vision. Using a “Riverwalk” concept to make up the drainage system would offer a distinct and beautiful solution to what is often an uninspiring feature of drainage infrastructure. The linear style system would eliminate the use of dry-retention ponds and allow developers to make greater use of parcels due to increased build-out capacity.
The CRA has $3 million dollars to assist in the design and construction of an infrastructure and drainage plan. To create the urban density sought after in the Innovation District, the CRA is contemplating a model for managing drainage and storm water requirements that also creates economic and real estate value similar to the scale of the canals in San Antonio (Texas) or Amsterdam (Netherlands). This option would generate value as a visual amenity, offering scenic views from windows and creating the ambiance of river-side walking and dining. Provided the riverfront drainage system is the preferred option, the development process will be expedited by locating the Riverwalk drainage system on parcels already owned by the CRA. A depiction of the proposed Riverwalk location is illustrated in the map above.
The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and Broward County have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding to continue to improve mobility from Aventura in Dade County to Deerfield Beach in Broward County for a commuter rail system along the Florida East Coast (FEC) Railway. A future passenger rail station is envisioned in the Northwest District as part of the Broward Commuter Rail (BCR) system.
How It Will Happen Schedule: 2018 - 2025
- The solicitation for a master developer will be issued the second quarter of 2022
- Individual parcels or multi-site sales will be negotiated with serious and experienced developers who can demonstrate financial capacity to build
- Contracts will be approved by the CRA Board for development of the parcels
- Permitting and development assistance will be provided by City staff to fast-track development and infrastructure