Some residents in Pompano Beach are divided about new construction moving forward on State Road A1A.
City commissioners last week approved the rezoning for land where A1A meets NE 16th Street — near North Ocean Park.
A developer plans to build two condo towers there — topping 205 feet tall. There would be mixed-use commercial space on the ground floors.
WLRN spoke with Jeff Levine, the editor-at-large for Pompano! Magazine. He's lived in Pompano Beach for more than a decade, and has been following this development since the original plans for it were rejected, in late 2017 through early 2018.
When the zoning change proposal recently came back before the city commission, there were protests and a petition circulating with more than 1,300 signatures to stop the condo towers.
This conversation has been edited for clarity and length.
WLRN: What Is the proposed development?
Jeff Levine: It's a mixed use facility so there will be some retail or some kind of commercial offices on the bottom level and then the rest of it will be condos.
It will be the tallest building in that area of A1A. Essentially it's the most low-key area of A1A and Pompano Beach. And this will obviously add a little more gravity and a little more intensity to the area, a little more high-rise feel.
There is also a park right next to it, and people are concerned that the park may kind of get usurped by the building and not seem as much to be a public park as it used to be.
For the people who oppose the development, what are their main concerns?
I think the concerns people have are: 1) People tend to fear change in general. 2) If a taller building is going up where there was an empty lot or a tiny building, that makes people who live right by it nervous. And the third thing would be traffic.
I don't know that there are any residents or even many commercial developers who want to see it become another Miami. But, they do want to bring life to the community. They do want to develop an area that frankly had been underdeveloped for 20 or so years — and it's a balance.
I think most residents are in favor of most of the growth with the exception of the possible concern for traffic. But, many residents are very concerned or somewhat concerned about a project right next to their house.
What happens next?
The the builder has to come back with more specific plans and those would have to be approved. It's not a done deal, but it's unlikely that it would stop at this point.
You can find the complete Pompano! Magazine article regarding the re-zoning vote at 'Update: Pompano Beach CC Approves 205 Ft. Height For A1A "Twin Towers'''