City commissioners agreed to work with a developer to build a new city hall in Dania Beach as part of a $634 million mixed-use development.
The commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday night to direct city officials to negotiate a development agreement with a joint venture of Virginia Beach, Va.-based Armada Hoffler Properties and Raton-based Capital Group.
A city-appointed evaluation committee ranked the project proposed by Armada Hoffler and Capital Group higher than competing proposals by second-ranked OHL Infrastructure Inc. and third-ranked New Urban Communities.
Most of the commissioners disliked elements of the top-ranked project but agreed to work with Armada Hoffler and Capital Group to refine the proposed mixed-use development, called The First at Dania Beach.
“What has been proposed is not Dania Beach … It looks like something that belongs in Miami,” Dania Beach Mayor Lori Lewellen said. But, “this is not a done deal. There will be negotiations.”
The multi-pronged project could take eight years to build, according to a proposed schedule of development.
Armada Hoffler and Capital Group plan to build a new city hall that would open for occupancy by 2022 as part of a 63,000-square-foot building that would also house a public library, women’s club and chamber of commerce.
The new home for city hall would be built in the first phase of the three-phase development along with a new fire station and 810 rental apartments, all on land leased from the city. The existing city hall is part of 6.42 acres of city-owned property.
In the all-residential second phase of the mixed-use development, the developers would build another 470 rental apartments, starting in 2025, on a privately owned, 1.25-acre property next to the city hall development site. Armada Hoffler and Capital Group plan to buy the adjacent property for $3.5 million.
The non-residential third phase of the mixed-use development would include 341,100 square feet of office space, 24,300 square feet of retail space and a 150-room hotel, which is scheduled to open in 2027 and would be the last building completed.
Like the second phase of the development, the third phase hinges on the ability of Armada Hoffler and Capital Group to acquire additional property near the city hall development site.
In a July 29 statement to city officials, the developers said they had contacted three owners of parcels for office, hotel and retail development, “two of which are interested in selling or being part of a JV [joint venture] on those parcels.”
Armada Hoffler and Capital Group proposed leasing city-owned land for municipal and commercial components of their planned mixed-use development.
Land leases for the municipal component would be priced at $1 a year and would have terms ranging from 20 to 30 years. When the leases expire, the city would take free-and-clear ownership of the municipal building, the fire station, and a two-deck addition to an existing parking garage.
Armada Hoffler and Capital Group also proposed commercial development on city-owned parcels leased for $1 a year for terms as long as 10 years. When these leases expire, the developers would acquire the parcels from the city for $43.99 per square foot – the value of the land in an appraisal obtained by the city government.