A Giant Leap for Oakland Park
The City of Oakland Park took a small step toward the modernization of its downtown and a giant leap toward Building for its Second Century this afternoon when it broke ground on the Sky Building.
Residents, city commissioners, city employees, NR Investments, the project’s developer, Stiles construction, and other stakeholders gathered on the site around 12:30. There was a lot of excitement surrounding the event as this moment has been a long time coming.
City Manager David Hebert opened the ceremony and spoke about all the challenges the City had to overcome in order to bring the project to fruition. Polluted land and rising construction costs were just two of the big issues he noted, sharing that the City’s partners, were integral in finding solutions “… we’ve had partners throughout this process that have worked to try to strategize solutions to problems that seemed sometimes almost insurmountable“. But surmount them they did, and the groundbreaking was a tangible and living testament to the resolve of all those involved to make Oakland Park’s Sky Building a reality.
Mayor Aisha Gordon conveyed that “The Sky Building jumpstarted the revitalization of our downtown. We are excited for the economic development opportunities it will bring as well as being a catalyst to create a walkable downtown area and help support local businesses”. City Commissioners Matthew Sparks, Tim Longergan and Steve Arnst, all of which have been a part of the project’s vision and execution, shared a similar sentiment about the project’s realization.
NR Investments Paves the Way for the Sky Building
The Sky Building project was initially called the Oakland Park Square project and was supposed to be developed in partnership with Integra Investments. However, in May of 2020 Integra and the City agreed that the project needed to be reconceived, and so Integra brought NR Investments to the table.
NR Investments, out of Miami, is not new to development. A dynamic firm, they have been at the forefront of many redevelopment projects in Miami including the Canvas project and, more recently, the 17th Street Tower project.
When NR Investments stepped in they restructured the project to make it economically feasible, tweaked the design and name it the Sky Building.
On NRI’s website’s about page they share that “NRI believes in fostering cultural movements and communities in undiscovered areas, and in making their buildings the beacons of these movements”. And that is exactly what they intend to do on the west Dixie lots, create two buildings that will redefine downtown Oakland Park in more ways than one.
Sky Is the Limit
The Sky Building project will have two five story buildings connected by a skybridge. There will be 136 residential units including studios, and one and two bedroom apartments. Of those 136 units 119 of them are “live/work” units.
In addition, 15,000 square feet will be dedicated to commercial space and more than 300 parking spaces. 20% of the residential units will be affordable, at 1205% of the area median income (AMI) and 80% of the units will be within 140% AMI.
Designed by Zyscovich Architects, the project encompasses two five-story buildings connected by a skybridge, which will include 136 residential units ranging from studios to two-bedroom apartments. One hundred nineteen units are residential and 17 are “live/work” spaces. There will be 15,000 sq. ft. of commercial space and more than 300 total parking spaces. The developer will designate at least 20% of the units affordable at 120% of the area median income (AMI) and 80% of the units within 140% AMI.
A New City Hall
The City of Oakland Park will move to the Sky Building so as to provide all of the City’s services in one building. City Hall will be located on the first and fifth floors of the south building with parking available for the public on the second through fourth floors. Moving City Hall to the Sky Building is a symbolic step in relocating services to the west side where a larger number of people reside. To that same end, the City is making significant investments on the west side to provide resources and opportunities for all residents and businesses within its borders to grow and succeed.
The Sky Building is slated be completed in 2024.