This article was written by Stephen Feller, and published in the SunSentinel on June 25 2010. Click here to read the original article
A new development proposed for the north side of Wiles Road, just east of State Road 441, would bring 270 apartments and restaurant space close to an area that is being targeted as the new center of town.
Coconut Creek’s Planning and Zoning Board approved the site plan and rezoning applications for the Bel Lago development, and the plans will now move on for consideration by the City Commission.
Plans for construction of Bel Lago describe nine residential buildings with 270 rental units, a restaurant, a storage facility and a pedestrian plaza overlooking a man-made lake in the center of the development.
The sidewalk along Wiles Road would also be developed into a linear park and will include public art, both of which are things the city has pushed hard for all over the city, said Sheila Rose, director of the Sustainable Development Department in Coconut Creek.
Anthony Pugliese, president of The Pugliese company, said the community was originally planned to be a townhome community instead of rental apartments but with the real estate market continuing as it is and more people looking for rentals, this is a better idea.
He also said the development’s design had included significant retail space. Despite already having interest in a few units, Pugliese said the retail space was converted to more apartments because of a significant amount of open retail space in the area and concerns about being able to fill it.
Rose said the plan has been improved since its original submission, which did not include the art or pedestrian plaza, but that the final plan is in line with what the city would like to see in the Main Street area.
The Bel Lago application went beyond the already significant requirements for landscaping and the design concept in the area, said Doug Young, chairman of the city’s Planning and Zoning Board.
Though the property is on the north side of Wiles Road, and is therefore not within the designated Main Street, Rose said the concept is in line with the type of project the city had hoped would be built on that property.
Pugliese said mixed use development is one of the best ways to build up a downtown-like area, as Coconut Creek is trying to do in the Main Street area. He pointed to the downtown area of Delray Beach as a good example of mixed-use development.
“The idea is that it’s an area where you can live, work and play,” said Rose, adding that the vision is for people to have a central area of life that is easy to get around.
Article date: Jun. 25 2010
Article type: General News
Event Location: Coconut Creek – Broward County