Multifamily project planned along Pompano Beach canal

Marina owner Andrew Sturner and BLD Group still need final approval of their rezoning proposal and site plan to build apartments

Nov.November 14, 2019 08:45 AM
Harbourside at Hidden Harbour rendering

Harbourside at Hidden Harbour rendering

A rezoning in Pompano Beach could advance Harbourside at Hidden Harbour, a planned nine-story, mixed-use development with 300 apartments on a waterfront corner of North Federal Highway.

City commissioners initially approved a proposal to rezone about 9 acres next to a canal on the southeast corner of Federal Highway and Northeast 16th Street in Pompano Beach.

Commissioners granted approval of the rezoning on first reading at their meeting Tuesday night, and they will consider final approval on Dec. 10. The development also is pending site-plan approval by the city.

If the site plan is approved by February, construction of the development would start sometime next year, said Andrew Sturner, who owns the development site and a marina business on the south side of the site, called Aquamarina Hidden Harbour.

The development would replace a boatyard and some other existing commercial properties on the site, but Aquamarina Hidden Harbour would continue to operate at its current location, 2315 Northeast 15th Street. Sturner opened the business in 2009.

“This is my first foray into residential and mixed-use projects,” Sturner said, so he entered a partnership with Fort Lauderdale-based BLD Group to build the mixed-use Pompano Beach development. The project’s total cost probably will exceed $70 million, he said.

Sturner said he acquired the site of Aquamarina and the adjacent property from Wayne Huizenga Jr. for about $16 million.

Sturner and BLD Group’s plans are for the mixed-use development Harbourside at Hidden Harbour to have a nine-story, 562-space parking garage and at least 65,000 square feet of commercial space, including 10,000 square feet fronting North Federal Highway.

Commissioners voted 5-1 to change the zoning of the development site to “planned development-infill” from “general business/planned commercial/industrial district” and “marine business/planned commercial/industrial district.”

The developers recently submitted a site plan to Pompano Beach’s design review committee. Among other components, the development would feature a pedestrian promenade along the Caliban Canal and a privately owned and publicly accessible park on Northeast 16th Street.

Several citizens who spoke at the city commission meeting Tuesday night criticized Harbourside at Hidden Harbour as too large, as did Tom McMahon, the only city commissioner who voted against the rezoning. “I’m for development. I just think this is too large,” McMahon said. “This project compares to Fort Lauderdale, and we’re not Fort Lauderdale.”

Mayor Rex Hardin expressed concern about the design of the planned parking garage along Federal Highway: “In Pompano Beach, we don’t want parking garages to look like parking garages.” Graham Penn, an attorney representing the developers, assured the mayor that “no one wants this thing to look like a big slab of concrete.”

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