Independent real estate experts appointed by the nonprofit Urban Land Institute (ULI) will spend a week in June studying new commercial uses for acreage around the BB&T Center in Sunrise.
Broward County commissioners voted to pay ULI $125,000 to help envision such commercial uses as restaurants and shops in the vast parking area around the arena, home of the Florida Panthers hockey team and a frequent concert venue. Several
years ago, a proposal to put a casino on arena grounds ran aground.
The National Hockey League franchise in South Florida long controlled the land around the arena. But Broward County took control of the land after commissioners agreed last December to grant $86 million of additional public aid to the Florida Panthers.
The goal of the ULI study is to produce a master plan of development. Real estate development activity is picking up around the BB&T Center. The arena is adjacent to the expanding Sawgrass Mills shopping center and near the $1 billion mixed-use Metropica development. [Sun-Sentinel] — Mike Seemuth