County takes first step to redevelop BB&T Center site

Aerial view of the BB&T Center (Source:
Aerial view of the BB&T Center (Source:

The Broward County Commission took the initial step to redevelop the sea of surface parking that surrounds the BB&T Center, the county-owned sports and entertainment arena in Sunrise.

The county commission approved a redevelopment plan produced by the not-for-profit Urban Land Institute.

The commissioners also decided to hire two city employees, including a director of real estate, to oversee the planned redevelopment, dubbed “Downtown West.”

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The Sun-Sentinel cited a county memo in reporting that the annual expense of employing a real estate director and a project coordinator would be $275,000.

The BB&T Center is the home ice of the National Hockey League’s Florida Panthers team, which long controlled the land around the arena. But Broward County took control of the land after county commissioners agreed in December 2015 to grant $86 million of additional public aid to the NHL franchise.

The Urban Land Institute reported that the 143-acre arena site could gradually transform to a mix of housing, offices, hotel rooms, retail stores, even a casino, if permissible.

The institute’s report also accounted for the possibility that the Panthers might someday move its home ice to another arena. [Sun-Sentinel] Mike Seemuth

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