Work slated to begin in spring on massive Gulfstream project
By Claudio Mendonça
The Village of Gulfstream Park, a mega-project on a 55-acre tract in Hallandale spurred by a racetrack slot-machine casino that's soon to open, is to break ground in spring.
Planned with 1,500 residential units and 900,000 square feet of retail, the development is undergoing Development of Regional Impact and Broward County Land-Use Plan reviews, requirements for large-scale developments.
"This is a project of national significance and unique integration," said Will Voegele, regional director of Forest City Enterprises Inc., a Cleveland developer.
As soon as requirements are completed, Mr. Voegele said, Forest City and Magna Entertainment Corp., which owns Gulfstream Park racetrack, will start building the first phase.
The Legislature this month approved up to 1,500 slot machines operating for up to 16 hours a day for Gulfstream and other pari-mutuel sites in Broward.
The Forest City/Magna venture includes 300 residential units and 400,000 square feet of retail. According to Forest City's Web site, the grand opening is scheduled for fall 2007. The project also could have a cinema complex seating 2,500.
Mr. Voegele forecast "a lot of tenant activity" in the retail component. He said he will announce the first tenants in summer.
Because of its size, the project is raising traffic concerns to neighboring Aventura. "We have some concerns because the area can get overpopulated," said Aventura Commissioner Luz Urbaez Weinberg.
Mr. Voegele said Gulfstream management is working with the Florida Department of Transportation, the counties and the cities on plans to avoid traffic chaos. Part of the development order is to produce numerous studies and take mitigating measures.
"Clearly, traffic in Aventura and Hallandale are important," said Mr. Voegele. "We have the responsibility to get involved. Concurrency, for example, is part of traffic mitigation in Broward. There is a broad range of things we are looking at."
The Gulfstream parcel includes 10 acres in Aventura. Scott Savin, president of Gulfstream Park, said there are no plans for that tract.