Multifamily project on Pompano Beach scrapyard site moves forward

Aviara East Pompano is planned to have 228 apartments, including an unspecified number of units for workforce housing

Rendering of Aviara East Pompano and Maher Hanna (Credit: LinkedIn)
Rendering of Aviara East Pompano and Maher Hanna (Credit: LinkedIn)

A 228-unit apartment project in Pompano Beach will move forward after city commissioners rezoned most of the development site, a longtime scrapyard.

Pompano Beach commissioners on Tuesday night rezoned from “heavy business” (B-4) to “general business” (B-3) most of the multi-parcel site for Aviara East Pompano on the southwest corner of South Dixie Highway and McNab Road.

When the commissioners gave initial approval to the rezoning at their Oct. 7 meeting, they also gave final approval to a density bonus for the Aviara East Pompano development, in the form of so-called “flex” units.

The developer, Boca Raton-based MAG Real Estate & Development, successfully proposed the inclusion of 188 “flex” units, or bonus units, in addition to the maximum number allowed under the city’s zoning rules.

“That’s how we got to 228 units,” Maher Hanna, president of MAG Real Estate, told The Real Deal. “We went through a density increase, a rezoning, a lot of other stuff to be able to do 228 units.”

“This is a good thing to do with flex units,” Barry Moss, vice mayor of Pompano Beach, said at the city commission meeting, noting that most of the Aviara East Pompano development site long served as a junkyard for discarded vehicles.

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“It has been an eyesore,” Hanna said. “A scrapyard was there. They had cars stacked over 30, 40 feet high. You could see them from everywhere, even from the highway.”

Hanna said MAG Real Estate cleared the junked vehicles from the property after paying $2.2 million in 2017 to assemble the parcels for the Aviara East Pompano site.

“We’ve had a slew of people offering us close three times what we paid,” but the property isn’t for sale, Hanna said. “It’s a long-term investment, not something we’re looking to flip.” If the project wins site plan approval, the 14-month construction phase of Aviara East Pompano could start in the next 16 to 18 months, he said.

The Aviara East Pompano complex would include two apartment buildings, one of them with ground-floor commercial space. Amenities would include a gym and swimming pool.

Market-rate rents would range from $1.50 to $1.60 per square foot, Hanna said. And an undetermined number of apartments would be designated as workforce housing. Under city rules, “If you want to be able to do more [flex] units, you have to allow for some workforce housing,” Hanna said.

The developer will propose a site plan for Aviara East Pompano with a specified number of apartments designated for tenants earning up to 120 percent of median local income, said Mike Vonder Meulen, director of planning at the Pompano Beach office of Keith & Associates, which is advising MAG Real Estate.