By Mayor Joy Cooper
HALLANDALE BEACH -
CRA is making progress - working year round
As you drive around Hallandale Beach you may see some colorful signs that say CRA: Progress is Happening Here! Our CRA and Staff have been very busy over the past year, working with many of our local businesses to enhance and upgrade their locations. The CRA provides business incentive grants and loans to address blighted conditions. Facade grants for $10,000 and ADA grants have helped beautify the corridors. Large loans like the one to enhance that Hallandale Medical Center for $200,000 that are paid off over a 10 year period, have created jobs and expanded businesses and services for our community.
Progress is happening at theses locations and in many other areas of the CRA. Through targeted strategic planning, Dixie Highway will be seeing some major transformations over the next year. In August, the Board of Directors directed staff to go ahead and look to assemble properties along the corridor. The plan for land acquisition was passed on a 4-1 this past budget.
Over the years, the area became an eye sore with abandoned buildings, car repairs, auto body shops and a few smaller businesses. In order to stimulate redevelopment, the board purchased one of the auto body shops and this week just bought the land at the south corner of Foster and Dixie. This corner was acquired across the street from the new Fire Station site. Now the CRA controls the main gateway into the community. Yes Progress is happening!
The Foster/Dixie Mixed Use Development is now acquiring financing and moving though final design stages. This project consists of 7,000 square feet of commercial space and 50 apartments. Next door to it along Foster, will be 12 new Townhouses for sale. The Fire Station final design and approval is scheduled to come to the city commission in December or early January with ground breaking in 2015. The new acquisition on the south corner, will be a targeted location for office retail.
The auto body shop location just north of Foster/Dixie was placed on the CRA property list as an available site for development. All throughout the CRA area there are signs on lots we own, inviting interested parties to inquire. When a developer comes in, they will submit what is call an unsolicited proposal. Staff will review it and if it meets with the vision of the board and is feasible they will be bring to forward to the board.
It is exciting to see the strategic plan coming together. This past Monday, the board approved a conceptual proposal on a 3-2 vote for the item from HBC Medical Holdings, LLC. They represent Doctors Plus that specializes in Internal Medical, Family Practice and Pediatrics. If successful, this will bring much needed service, a first medical center in many years to the northwest area. Now the proposal will be negotiated with our staff. If negotiations are successful, it will come back to the board for final approval. If the negotiations fall short, the property will be put back on the market.
The CRA has also completed the delivery of 8 affordable housing units. This means 8 new families will have a modern green certified home here in our city, that they can call home. On Monday we approved the next set of 11 homes to be built. Four developers have made the short list and will now negotiate with staff to ensure that they can meet special benchmarks.
As we continue to move forward, we remain focused on our nationally recognized Community Benefit Program. We directed staff to make sure that the contractors are not only required to hire local workers, but pay them fair wages. This is a real issue that must be addressed not just here, but nationally. While the economy has picked up, the wage gap has grown. While employment is up the way gap is 23% greater they pre-recession. I was shocked to find out recently that while construction work is picking u many of the workers are being paid $8.00 dollars an hour, I believe our society can do better.
As the holidays approach, please remember to keep you and your valuables safe! If you see something say something. Our city wants everyone to have a wonderful holiday season.
The Hepburn Center Annual Thanksgiving Holiday Dinner will take place on Thursday November 27th, starting at 10 am.
Have a Happy, Blessed Thanksgiving!
Please remember it is hurricane season. Our city is ready, are you? Do you know that once a storm strikes our first responders must retreat until after the storm passes? That means there may likely be a time when you are on your own. Be prepared with water, food and other needs to sustain your health and safety.
As always feel free to reach out to me with your questions, concerns and ideas to make our city a better place. I can be reached at my office number: (954) 457-1318. You can call or text me on my cell at: (954) 632-5700. Or you can visit my web-site at: www.mayorjoycooper.com.