Temple Kol Ami Emanu-el in Plantation plans to sell off 4.36 acres of its 12.89 acre campus to a multifamily developer that wants to build 280 apartments.
Michael Ging, managing director of the Florida office for Alliance Residential Company, represented the developer and the temple at a meeting of the review committee for the city’s Department of Planning, Zoning and Economic Development last week, but he declined to talk about the proposed development further with The Real Deal, citing a confidentiality agreement.
There were a variety of unanswered questions about the temple and the developer’s proposal, Peter Dokuchitz, principal planner with the city told TRD. As a result, the site plan and land use change got held up, he said. There was no decision on the plan, but the developer said that he would set up a meeting with the review committee to discuss it further, Dokuchitz said.
“Normally, if you have a commercial designation, you can put housing in,” Dokuchitz said. But the temple site doesn’t have a commercial designation, he said. Even if the developer is successful in getting the zoning change, the request for 50 units per acre is twice the maximum allowed in the city, Dokuchitz said.
Currently, the site is zoned for community facilities, a designation that applies to the temple. But the developer is trying to change the land use for the entire site, including the temple, a charter school, a swimming pool, recreational areas and vacant land, said Dokuchitz. “They are trying to combine the density for the entire property to get the density they want [for the multifamily units]. I don’t know if this is doable,” he said.
The temple, at 8200 Peters Road, has owned the land since 1999. According to a staff report for the review committee, a zoning change such as the one the applicant requested is usually granted only if there is an unforeseen change in the local population, socioeconomic factors or physical development of the property nearby that would affect the subject property.
In response to the report, the temple said that it had planned to build a park and nearly 58,000 square feet of “community facility use,” on the site, but has since dropped those plans and has agreed to sell the parcel “for an alternate, compatible, residential use.”
Plantation is becoming denser, said Dokuchitz. For this reason, the city is working on an updated plan for the Midtown district — designated in 2004 as a kind of town center — where the temple is also located. “We are asking ourselves, ‘Can the city handle more density in the next ten to 15 years?’” Dokuchitz said.
The Midtown conceptual plan didn’t have mixed-use in that particular location, although that doesn’t mean that it can’t,” Dokuchitz said. “This is why we are doing an update of the plan to see how new developments will impact city services,” such as those provided by the fire department and the police, he said. The updated plan is scheduled to be heard by the city council on August 10.
Orin Rosenfeld, president of Boca Raton-based Rosenfeld Real Estate Advisors said that as Plantation grows and increasingly becomes a target for multifamily developers, the temple may be taking advantage of the land rush. “Right now, land prices are high and there is a lot of development going on in the city,” he told TRD. A 5.8 acre development site at 1019 South State Road 7 in Plantation is for sale for $5.5 million, or nearly $947,000 per acre, Rosenfeld said. “This may be the all-time highest price for land in Plantation,” he said. The last sale of the property in July 2005 was for $1.5 million.
Alliance Residential is also planning a multifamily project at 6901 West Sunrise Boulevard in Plantation. An affiliate of the company paid $7.5 million for the nearly 12-acre property last year. Alliance said it will build a 250 garden-style project that surrounds a lake on the property. In all, Alliance has spent more than $3 billion in real estate and manages a $9 billion portfolio, according to the company’s website.