Setback hits downsized project next to Galleria mall

Rendering of proposed development of the Galleria mall property in Fort Lauderdale
Rendering of proposed development of the Galleria mall property in Fort Lauderdale

The city planning board in Fort Lauderdale recommended rejection of a proposed redevelopment of the Galleria mall property that would put seven residential buildings with 1,250 units next to the mall.

The planning board recommended that city commissioners reject the proposed project, which also would put a park on the roof of the mall and a 1.25-mile fitness track at ground level plus a shaded, pedestrian-friendly walkway along East Sunrise Boulevard.

The developer earlier had deleted several pieces of the original development plan – including construction of a 165-room hotel and a 15-story office building – and lowered the tallest building height to 27 stories from 45 stories.

But members of the city planning board said the proposed development fails to blend with nearby neighborhoods, poses more traffic problems and offers too little community value in the form of public spaces.

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It was unclear how soon the developer, FLL Development Enterprise, would present its proposed Galleria project to city commissioners following the planning board’s 6-2 vote to recommend rejection.

Last December, the city planning board had recommended approval of another major development proposal, an upgrade of the Bahia Mar property  on Fort Lauderdale’s beach and condo construction nearby.

In  June, the developer withdrew the controversial proposal to upgrade the Bahia Mar hotel and marina, home of the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, and to build two 29-story condominium buildings nearby.

City commissioner Romney Rogers told the Sun-Sentinel that “we’ve got to continue to be smart, where we encourage development and where we try to slow it down.” [Sun-Sentinel] Mike Seemuth