Cordish Companies, partner plan huge redevelopment of casino and horse racing track

Allowable commercial space decreased while the residential units went up

Rendering of the project (Credit: Point Publications)
Rendering of the project 

Pompano Beach city commissioners granted the first approval to a land-use change that would more than triple the maximum number of residential units on the Isle Casino Racing Pompano Park.

Reno, Nevada-based Eldorado Resorts is in a joint venture to redevelop the 223-acre Pompano Beach property with Baltimore-based Cordish Companies, the developer of the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood.

Eldorado, a casino entertainment company with 26 properties in 12 states, acquired the Pompano Beach property as part of its $1.7 billion purchase of Isle of Capri Casinos in 2017.

At their meeting Tuesday night, Pompano city commissioners unanimously approved the first reading of a proposed land-use plan amendment that would increase the allowable number of multifamily units on the casino property to 4,100 from 1,300. The change would also more than double the allowable office space on the property to 2 million square feet from under 1 million square feet.

But the allowable amount of commercial and commercial recreation space would be reduced to 1.3 million square feet from 2.58 million square feet.

The project would transform the casino and racing park into an urban village called Live! Resorts Pompano. Cordish has a nationwide portfolio of mixed-use developments that bear the Live! Brand.

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Holland & Knight attorney Debbie Orshefsky, who represents Cordish, said the developers are aiming to attract a major corporate headquarters to the office component of their mixed-use development.

“This is probably the largest and most significant redevelopment project the city has seen in the last 10 years,” said David Recor, the city’s director of development services.

If both Broward County and the state Department of Economic Opportunity approve the land-use plan amendment, city commissioners would make their final decision by voting on a second reading of the amendment, likely early next year.

City commissioners also approved a rezoning of the Isle Casino property that Cordish and Eldorado had proposed. They switched the zoning to “planned commercialindustrial district” from a mix of three other zoning designations, including “commercial recreation.”

“This is a five-, seven- or 10-year undertaking,” Abraham Rosenthal, senior development director of Cordish, told commissioners at their meeting Tuesday night. “We don’t have a definitive site plan … The master plan will follow once we have planning and zoning in place.”

Almost no one at the sparsely attended city commission meeting spoke against the redevelopment. Pompano Beach vice mayor Barry Moss, who praised the project, said he was “absolutely flabbergasted by the lack of controversy.”