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Friday, 03 June 2011 17:22

Personally, I don't think anybody gives a damn about building a new City Hall in the Sawgrass area.

That vision is more than ten years old and both times and Commissions change.

What the old Commission had right was the future development of both Metropica and Oz.

What they had wrong was their vision of public transportation.


While we are still in relatively tough economic times, it won't be that way forever.

It's up to us to break the cycle faster.

Sunrise needs to find ways to entice the developers of Metropica and Oz to begin moving forward quickly.

Even if the projects broke ground today, it'll be two to three years before the developments are ready.

What it will mean is jobs.

Construction jobs now, and then the jobs that will necessarily follow the shops, buisnesses, art galleries, and entertainment centers that ultimtely follow three to four years out.

Moving the Everglades Hotel complex to the city hall property would be a logical step.

What can possibly help spur the new development in the area?

Enter the City of Fort Lauderdale and transportation.

That city is about to commence a mostly Federal funded transportation project, building a streetcar line through the high traffic areas of the city.

You read it right: Streetcars... Don't laugh.

As a charter member of the county's Transit Advisory Board, the subject was brought up at one of our meetings.

I did some follow up research.

A number of U.S. cities are building streetcar lines, and what those cities are finding out is amazing.

The new lines are attracting new major development and new business along their routes.

Sunrise needs to seriously consider applying for this Federal funding in order to construct not one, but two such lines.

The first would be built to service the Sawgrass area.

With all of the current occupants such as the Mall, Artesia, the Bank Atlantic Center, Sawgrass Preserve and the Sawgrass Industrial Park, plus the Metropica and Oz projects, it only makes sense for a fixed route service to provide transportation.

The Bank Atlantic Center, Metropica and Oz are all intended to bring in vistiors and their spendable dollars.

The idea, of course, is to get people out of their cars while making it easy to get from here to there.

Oh, did I mention that the operational funding for Ft. Lauderdale's streetcar system will be through Federal funds?

The bottom line is that it would be FREE for riders.

Everybody loves a bargain.

Building such a system will spark not only the Metropcia and Oz construction, but will provide the intitative for the proposed light rail system between the Sawgrass area and Downtown Fort Lauderdale.

Hell, it might even provide for getting TAO out of receivership.

But I said two streetcar systems, so here's the proposal for the second:

Build the second line along Sunset Strip, east to west.

Adding that line will attract major redevelopment to the older area of Sunrise, something that's sorely needed.

It's time to rethink Sunrise as the western center of Broward County activity.


This great opinion piece was found on Watching Broward website. It is reprinted here with the permission of it's author, Marty Rubinstein. OZ or City of Oz, proposed by Sunrise Sports and Entertainment (Florida Panthers) has been put on hold indefinitely. According to CEO Michael Yormark's tweet, "oz is no longer". 'Metropica' image courtesy of K Group Holdings,



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