Developers of Pembroke Lakes Mall want to put a 1,050-seat AMC theater in the shopping center, and are seeking approval from the city of Pembroke Pines.
A plan to amend the existing zoning regulations that affect the project — called the Development of Regional Impact, originally approved in 1986 — got the thumbs-up from the Pembroke Pines Planning & Zoning board last week, based on staff’s recommendation for intersection improvements around the mall.
Not everyone in the city is happy with this new plan, however. Among concerns, some residents at the meeting said that they feel that a new theater will change the character of the mall because it will remain open later than it does today and negatively impact traffic. Currently, the mall closes at 9 p.m. During the planning and zoning meeting, board members also expressed concerns about possible traffic implications along Pines Boulevard and Flamingo Road.
But size is not the issue. In fact, the developer intends to reduce the square footage in the regulations to accommodate the movie theater. The current regulations for the mall and surrounding properties allow for 1.84 million square feet, but the proposed revision will allow for 1.79 million square feet. Although mall owner General Growth Properties wants to add the large movie theater, it said it will decrease its retail footprint by just over 40,000 square feet by demolishing part of a Sears store and eliminating 77 dwelling units, which were never built, but were a part of the initial plan.
GGP’s plan will be presented to the Pembroke Pines City Commission for a first hearing in April. At the second hearing in May, the commission will decide the fate of the developers’ request. Should the changes to the DRI be approved by the commission, the developer will have to receive approval of a site plan amendment before the theater can be constructed.