By Maria Scudella-Beltran | firstname.lastname@example.org
An Oakland Park ordinance requests that a neighborhood participation meeting be held so that the residents of Oakland Park are informed. On Wednesday 7/29/20 at 6:30 pm the City of Oakland Park hosted the developers, RAM Construction and Development, LLC (RAM), who are working on the former Kmart site located at 670 E Oakland Park Blvd Oakland Park, FL 33334. The representative for RAM, Robert B. Lochrie III, Esq, presented to the residents in attendance via Zoom meeting, the status update, future plans for the site as well as answered any questions or concerns the residents may have had.
Development in Process
The site discussed was formerly a Kmart since 1968 and closed in 2014. Walmart had purchased the property in 2012 and was going through approvals with the City. However, RAM will finalize its approvals with the city for its proposed development in the next coming week(s). Lochrie mentioned that RAM has been working with the City to bring redevelopment to this site.
The initial design was scrapped due to some concerns and comments back from the City on the parking layout and gas station location. The new design is now one that addressed those concerns as well as provides the opportunity for mixed-use space. Some aspects of the design include dedicated turn lane and entrance to help ease traffic concerns, a mid-rise 5-story building, some 2-story townhomes, pedestrian walkways, and a plaza that would be open to the public from sunrise to sunset that includes outdoor seating areas as well as a dog park!
Aspects of the residential units include that every residential unit will have a balcony. There are also 450+ parking spaces for residents as well as 125 for commercial property. The commercial space is approximately 7200 sq. ft. with the largest commercial space slotted for Sprouts Farmers Market, a grocer that offers natural and healthier food options. Other businesses have not been identified but the possibilities are endless for restaurants and other retailers.
Many residents of Oakland Park joined in on the call and expressed their support and/or concerns for the project. Dean Sirulink commended and welcomed Ram to Oakland Park and invited them to continue improving Oakland Park. Another resident, Jack Doren, had some concerns for the amount of traffic this would bring but is hopeful that with the new design Ram proposed would alleviate the traffic.
Other residents chimed in with the sustainability efforts of the new design. “Will there be solar roofs?”, one resident asked. Lochrie addressed these concerns by stating that they do use a sustainability consultant and the new design will include water-saving features and renewable energy, such as the pool heater would run on solar power. There were also talks about including space for electric cars and preserving the mangroves around the walkway. They would be “enhanced with education signage through the boardwalk about the mangroves”.
Former Oakland Park City Planner, Kristen Nowicki, chimed in to ask about the 7-11 that is still neighboring the property; however, Lochrie mentioned that there was an attempt to acquire the 7-11 which was turned down.
Once all approvals are received Ram development mentioned that they can start construction on the site next year. The ballpark estimate of completion is anywhere from the end of 2022 to early 2023. With Sprouts expected to be the first completion with an 18-month buildout. The other residential buildouts are estimated to take 24-months.
In case you didn’t make the meeting and have any questions on this development, at the August 5th Commission meeting there will be further discussion regarding Sprouts as the retail anchor. You may also contact Oakland Park City Clerk at 954-630-4300 or by e-mail at ReneeS@oaklandparkfl.gov with any questions you have.
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About the Author
Maria Scudella-Beltran was born and raised in Bergen County, New Jersey, right outside of New York City. She moved to South Florida in 2004 and graduated from Florida International University with a bachelors’ degree in Marketing and Communications.
In 2010, she purchased her first home in the North Andrews Gardens area in Oakland Park. After several years of working in the retail industry, Maria took on a part-time internship at a marketing agency and continued her education through Walden University where she earned her Master’s degree in Marketing and Communications.
Currently, she works in Marketing and during her free time she enjoys spending time with her husband and traveling.
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