City of Pompano Beach CRA Management
RMA contracted with the City of Pompano Beach in 2009 to manage two CRA districts. After a very brief period of planning and preparation, the city’s transformation began. The host of redevelopment activities included infrastructure and streetscape improvements, new public facilities, new cultural facilities, upgrades to strip centers and storefronts, business attraction and regulatory amendments. These efforts prompted private investment from new and existing businesses. In addition, parking revenues on the beach have increased from $550,000 per year to over $1,000,000 per year.
Pompano Beach Boulevard Streetscape Improvements Project
The RMA team managed The Pompano Beach Boulevard Streetscape and Dune Enhancement project, which is the CRA’s most visible and strategic improvement project. The redevelopment has catalyzed the area creating a new family environment and atmosphere on the beach. The entire beach project was completed over an aggressive 18-month period. Historically the terminus of Atlantic Boulevard was a blighted parking lot on the beach, and residents resented the public parking near their buildings. They had long since lobbied to remove the public parking, which would make the area uninviting to city residents. A complete renovation, including a mindset change, was required to open the beach to the public for better access. Passive green spaces with meandering walkways were designed to invite residents and tourists alike to come and enjoy the family atmosphere now found on the oceanfront.
An interactive fountain was built to attract families, and the adjoining lawn area provides a location for community enjoyment such as yoga and exercise, weddings and other family oriented activities.
Atlantic Boulevard Streetscape Improvements
The Atlantic Boulevard project entailed narrowing the roadway from three lanes in each direction to two lanes, and to widen the sidewalks for the promenade entry to the beach.
This was a joint partnership agreement (JPA) with FDOT, the City of Pompano Beach, and the Pompano Beach CRA to coordinate the reconstruction of Atlantic Boulevard in an effort to improve the overall character of the area.
The results of this concerted effort are increased visibility for merchants, enhanced tourist opportunities, and increased private development (particularly for restaurants, retail, and entertainment). This $6M investment among the three agencies has already produced dramatic results for the business community with between 10 and 50% increase in sales at the completion of construction May 2013.
Pier Lot Public-Private Development Agreement
The city had tried for over a decade to attract private development to a vacant six-acre parcel at the foot of the pier. Despite its beachfront locale, the site sat vacant due to the dilapidated beach environment and lack of private sector developer interest in the site. RMA was able to utilize the rehabilitation of the beachfront to reposition the beach property as a prime redevelopment site. An RFQ was issued and the city recently approved a development agreement for a $40 million project including a boutique hotel, restaurants and beach-oriented retail.
East CRA Zoning Overlay & Design Standards
RMA prepared a zoning overlay district for the East CRA Area together with design guidelines and a land use amendment for the Historic Downtown under the County’s designation of a Transit Oriented Development (TOD), a new zoning classification, as well as a zoning overlay that contained design standards for buildings and signs.
RMA created a communications strategy for the Pompano Beach CRA which increased awareness and education within the community about a variety of new plans and redevelopment. Social media has provided a digital presence that acts as an online portal for many residents and visitors. In less than one year, RMA has built a community-centered page that both serves its members as a hub for involvement, but also provides a place for people to feel at home and engage with their neighbors.
The City of Pompano Beach was perceived by the development community as a place to pass over when seeking investment sites, and as an aging and tired city with no real image by the general populace. RMA assisted the city in the branding process by introducing a new look and tag line that featured the welcoming attitude of its residents, who tended to be generational and very proud of their city.
The Branding was extended during events to include the sub tag line of “It’s How You Feel When You’re Here”. The tag line was designed to draw upon people’s desire to be where they feel accepted and welcomed, one of the three main indicators of a desirable place to live according to the Knight Foundation’s Soul of the Communities Study.