By Larry Blustein
By Larry Blustein
Dania Beach - For years, developers have attempted to put this community in a spotlight and play on the many positives that it has.
With the recent opening of the Casino @ Dania Beach and other things going on to enhance the City, that spotlight that many talked about is starting to shine bright.
Being five minutes from the Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport and the beautiful beaches have long been a selling point, but this is a different time - and relying on things that had been popular in the past is no longer trendy.
“What we needed was something that will continue to bring visitors to this community for more than beaches and a pass through on the way to the airport,” said 24-year Dania Beach resident Bobby Hartley. “I have lived in south Florida for 50 years and always felt that if Dania Beach did things right with the properties they had, there would be a reason to come here.”
As much of the area relies on tourist dollars, development is the only way to keep up with the competition. Known for its antique district and landmark businesses and eateries along US-1, Dania Beach has upped its hand in this competition with a new project that is sure to change the landscape - in a huge way.
Dania Pointe is a project that many believe will take this community to the next level, bringing in new visitors year round.
Dania Pointe will feature a sophisticated mix of shopping, dining and entertainment venues, featuring the hottest, most recognizable brands, along with boutique and specialty shops. Visitors will shop, dine & relax among impeccably landscaped, tree-lined streets, and enjoy spending time in several signature public spaces that will enhance the overall shopping experience.
“This is exactly what was needed to make this a vibrant destination,” Dania Beach resident Roxie Ruiz pointed out. “To keep up with the Hard Rocks, Mardi Gras and Gulfstreams of the world, you have to have more - and from the plans we saw about Dania Pointe, it all certainly looks promising.”
Located at the center of Fort Lauderdale’s tourist hub, Dania Pointe will feature twin hotel towers anchoring the main street retail, with unmatched visibility from I-95 and dedicated structured parking to the east of the towers, offering a prime hospitality opportunity to serve the millions of tourists pouring into the area.
“It’s going to be the perfect town center idea that they have in Orlando,” Ruiz said. “You can see it right from I-95 and that’s going to be one of the best selling points. They are going to have 300 hotel rooms in the two hotel towers. The hotels will feature signature restaurants on the ground floor. It will be that kind of destination that defines a community.”
Leasing has started for the property where the wooden rollercoaster recently was taken down, just east of Interstate 95 at Stirling and Bryan Roads. Kimco Realty Corp. Construction is expected to begin early next year on the 102-acre site, and the 300,000-square-foot first phase is on track to open for the holiday season of 2017.
“Every business in and around Dania Beach will truly benefit from this endeavor,” Michael Clarke of Hollywood said. “By more people flocking to this new destination, we at least get a steady flow of people who will try other goods and services in the region as well.”
In an economy where many have tried so many other ideas, Dania Pointe could be the best of all. Statistics prove that any attraction that is built along any major interstate is already a positive.
Construction on Dania Pointe's 550,000-square-foot second phase is expected to start in 2018. It will include additional shops and restaurants, including fashion and home furnishing chains, a Main Street and open spaces for entertainment and special events.
According to a spokesman for the project, the second phase also will have two hotels, 1,000 residential units and 500,000 square feet of offices. The entire project will be built over several years.