For the very first time, the Florida Redevelopment Association (FRA) awarded the City of Oakland Park as a winner of the 2022 Roy F. Kenzie Award for the Sky Building.
The FRA Awards Program recognizes the best examples of redevelopment across the state. The Roy F. Kenzie award is specifically given to cities that exhibit the most outstanding examples of redevelopment.
Redevelopment is extremely important to communities. Jeff Blomeley, Executive Director at the FRA, explains that “redevelopment unites professionals from around the state and has led to exciting changes that are transforming Florida’s urban centers and improving Florida’s communities.”
In order to be designated a winner, cities must demonstrate innovation, have a positive impact on their communities, and inspire other Florida communities to do the same. Winners are chosen by a panel of judges who are selected from the FRA membership and represent various organizations and sectors around the state.
There are 14 different categories of Roy F. Kenzie Awards, and the City’s award for the Sky Building is for Creative Organization Development and Funding. 2022 is the first year the City of Oakland Park has been designated a winner.
The Sky Building: An Innovative, Multi-Use Development
The Oakland Park Sky Building is the first major mixed-use project in the heart of Oakland Park. It includes 119 residential rental units ranging from studios to two-bedroom apartments, 21 live-work units, structured parking, City of Oakland Park City Hall Offices, and 15,000 sq ft of commercial space.
Through an innovative public-private partnership, the City will relocate its operations to the west side of Dixie Highway while serving as a landmark tenant in the building. In addition to a new City Hall, this multi-purpose development on Park Lane will overlook Jaco Pastorius Park and include residential and commercial spaces, as well as more than 300 parking spaces and five electric vehicle charging stations.
The award-winning development also features a much-needed affordable housing accommodation that renters will be thankful for. The developer is going to designate at least 20% of residential units as affordable at 120% of the area median income (AMI) and the other 80% of units within 140% AMI.
The City says the high-quality development will complement plans for new City facilities to create a unified, signature look that echoes Oakland Park’s desired aesthetic and small-town charm.
A Catalyst for Growth and Activity in Downtown Oakland Park
The Florida Redevelopment Association website describes the site as a “catalyst for downtown redevelopment.” In fact, the project is taking place in the City’s Community Redevelopment Area, which is an area known as a “Qualified Census Tract” or QCT. QCTs are designated by the federal government as underperforming economically. As a result, this new development is going to encourage economic opportunity, activity, and growth in an area of Oakland Park where it is needed the most.
The City says they are already seeing significant interest and investment in the community as a result of the development project.
The City is Excited and Honored to Be Recognized
The City of Oakland Park is beyond excited and honored to have earned such a distinguished award for its redevelopment efforts.
“Oakland Park was really excited to be recognized by the Florida Redevelopment Association for the Sky Building,” said Assistant Director of the Economic and Development Department, Dr. Steven Tinsley. “It truly is an honor and the culmination of a tremendous amount of hard work and leadership on the part of our elected officials and City staff over many years. We are bringing our community vision to life by transforming vacant lots that sat empty for 15 years into the future civic, commercial, and retail heart of our community,” Tinsley continued.
The groundbreaking redevelopment truly demonstrates the City’s commitment to providing Oakland Park residents with a thriving, prosperous community for everyone to enjoy without losing its small-town charm that so many adore.