By Agrippina Fadel
The city terminated the ground lease with JKM LLC, a developer responsible for the Tamarac Village construction, stating the company’s change of heart on adding retail and restaurants as the reason.
JKM became the city’s partner on the project in 2015 and successfully built residential phases 1 and 2 of Tamarac Village, located on Commercial Boulevard West of Pine Island Road, with the latter getting ready for the city inspections. Phase three, a 3.47 acres parcel, was supposed to be a commercial development. JMK contemplated the possibility but ultimately decided it would only develop the property if it could build another multifamily residential project.
The city then considered terminating the lease and ordered a Retail Market Feasibility Analysis to see how successful commercial development in Tamarac Village could be, said Maxine Calloway, Tamarac’s Director of Community Development.
The report showed that full-service restaurants and higher-end stores would do well in Tamarac, and the city will now look for a commercial development partner able to build modern retail spaces and attract businesses with potential.
The city commission voted to end the lease unanimously at the June 28 meeting after hearing from Kenneth Krasnow, Vice Chairman of Institutional Investor Services at Colliers, which prepared the retail market analysis for the area.
The company looked at where Tamarac residents spent their money and in what sectors. It evaluated the city’s demographic data and demand factors to see what kind of businesses would do well here. Colliers prepares the same analysis for Target and other large retail operators to help them decide on expansion and new locations.
Krasnow said Tamarac is a strong, diverse community with growth trends outpacing the county. The residents spend $6,615 a year on consumer expenditures, and the top two categories are Entertainment & Recreation at $2,683 and Apparel & Services at $1752.
“The perception of Tamarac not attracting the high-end retail or better restaurants is predicated on the fact that a lot of the commercial inventory in the area is older and not renovated. There is a 4% vacancy rate for commercial leases in the area, and rates have increased dramatically over the past five years,” he added.
Krasnow said higher-end stores and restaurants want to rent modern spaces, but there aren’t many. The central location of Tamarac Village and the newness of the retail inventory would give the future project great potential with local and national businesses.
“There are significant opportunities that many retailers will see in this location. The data in our report shows strong trends that many major retailers would be looking for when making decisions regarding where they would choose to locate their businesses.”
Krasnow shared a list of prospective brands that might be interested in coming to Tamarac once the commercial development in Tamarac Village is complete, which included Flanigan’s, Vinos, Sal’s Pizza, Duffy’s, Orange Theory, Yoga Joint, Massage Envy, and Mathnasium.
Vice Mayor Marlon Bolton and Commissioners Morey Wright and Kicia Daniel took the prognosis as a real proposal for future businesses. They said they hope to see higher-end places and fine-dining restaurants. “This is not upscale enough. Tamarac Village could be the new Bal Harbour or Boca Raton,” the commissioners said.
Krasnow explained that high-end retail and dining are well in the cards for the area. Still, the real proposal will come before the city once they find a commercial development partner to attract such businesses and build the appropriate spaces for them.
“That partner will then present their vision. These brands are here just to show you that Tamarac can be successful.”
Bolton suggested the city should first ask the brands they want to bring in what kind of spaces they want and then build those.
Krasnow responded, “The city is not in the retail business, and we don’t recommend it. We will go find you a partner who does this for a living. This is what the city needs – a true visionary retail partner, someone who might be building in Boca and Bal Harbour.”
City Manager Levent Sucuoglu said the city staff’s collective vision is to bring “something that we are all proud of, provided the market supports it.” The staff will utilize all the resources and consultants to ensure the city is not settling when looking for a commercial developer for Tamarac Village.
Mayor Michelle Gomez said residents have been “screaming” at the commissioners in recent years that they need better places to go out and eat and shop in Tamarac, and she is excited to see it finally come to fruition.
“The whole purpose of Tamarac Village was to make it an elegant upscale downtown. It is about time that we all believe in our city,” Gomez said.
Colliers will now solicit a new commercial development partner for Tamarac to present a plan for the remaining parcel of Tamarac Village.
- Agrippina Fadel grew up in Siberia and received her master's in journalism from Tyumen State University. Agrippina is also a writer and editor at Draftsy.net. She has been a US resident for over ten years and speaks English and Russian.
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