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IN MY OPINION


Hallandale Beach

Mayor Joy Cooper

Joy@mayorcooper.com

@mayorcooper 


There are many things going on in Hallandale Beach

By Mayor Joy Cooper
Hallandale - I hope our readers enjoyed the State of The City Address that we featured the past three weeks in the South Florida Sun Times Newspaper.

The work that our City does, is indeed, non-stop. Our City staff and new City Manager have been working to address numerous on-going projects. The official ground breaking of the first park, constructed under the GO Bond, is under way. I, along with the Vice Mayor, City Manager and staff were on site to dig the first dirt. Sunset Park in the southwest portion of our City is undergoing an upgrade with new playground equipment; all mulch will be replaced with new rubberized play surfaces, new benches and other amenities.

The new fire station is also moving forward. The second-floor shell is being built, and the new City Manager has assigned a new task group to include Chief Mark Ellis and other staff members from the Capitol Projects Department.

The football field at O.B. Johnson Park has been planted. This park was built in two phases. We are very fortunate to have a partnership with the CRA, which enabled us to replace the aging park that is rich in heritage. The Austin Hepburn Center/O.B. Johnson Park is a gem. I encourage all our residents to visit.

Our CRA is also going through a transition period. While staff in our CRA have been working hard, there has been a pause in the larger scale projects. Executive Director Roger Carlton has reviewed all the outstanding development projects that are part of a P3.

Within the CRA, redevelopment often occurs with varying financing models. The CRA can, and typically donates land, to spur the interest of private investing. The CRA can also contribute grants or loans towards the construction of a project. The CRA and developers can also partner with the City to provide housing units, through zoning and land use policies.

The CRA has five such projects, each with a unique development agreement (DA). There are three housing developments: Foster Square, Mega/ Foster Condominiums and Donaldson-West. The other two are commercial.

One is a unique concept. Ice Box. Ice Box currently operates in Hallandale Beach and was looking to move. They have a few locations in South Florida, including Miami International Airport. Rather than leaving the City to expand, they partnered with the CRA and will be building their Test Center/Culinary School on 3rd Street within the Fashion and Art District. Their first phase will be a commissary that provides food to their other locations. The second will be the restaurant. Their greenhouse concept will be the first “onsite” farm to table food location in South Florida.

The second commercial project is HBC. This would be the first medical center built in the Palms neighborhood. The three-story medical center is being built as rentable medical office space. The community, through many public discussions and forums, asked the CRA Board to focus on creating incentives to make sure much needed service come to the neighborhood.

The board of directors were all briefed on all the redevelopment projects. Due to the different DA’s, the next project that should move is the medical center. Foster Dixie is also going through the final assessments of proposals received. This a multi-family project that will become the eastern cornerstone of Foster Road. Once the proposals are ready, the finalists will be brought to the board for the final vote.

In other development news, our City staff has started the public input process for applying form based codes to all of Hallandale Beach Boulevard. Form based codes will provide for clearer rules on what, how much and how tall a building can be built along our major corridors. The code was adopted along Federal Highway and it has really streamlined the process - while also letting our residents know the same: what, how much and how tall.

If you did not get a chance to attend Thursday’s meeting, you can get more information our city’s web-site @ cohb.org.

As always, please feel free to contact me anytime with your questions/concerns and ideas at my office: (954) 457-1318 office. On my cell/text at: (954) 632-5700. Or e-mail me at: joy@mayorjoycoper.com.

I also welcome the opportunity to come to your next meeting to review our budget and other City issues, anytime. Call the above number to schedule an appointment.