Pompano development looking way up
Pompano Beach’s skyline is soaring to new heights.
A plan for two high-rises features one that’ll be the tallest ever in the city, as high as 354 feet — the equivalent of about 35 stories.
The City Commission has given initial approval to the plan, and the project is tall enough that federal aviation officials got involved with the review.
The Federal Aviation Administration considered the building’s height and its proximity to two airports — the Pompano Airpark and Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport — to ensure it wouldn’t obstruct aircraft.
The taller of the two condo buildings will surpass the twin towers of the Pompano Beach Club North and South, which are 334 feet high.
But the new Pompano project won’t break any height record when compared with other high-rises in the county: Fort Lauderdale has six highrises that are taller, as are two buildings in Sunrise and three in Hallandale Beach.
Pompano Beach’s approval of the
new buildings may mark the end of a four-year saga that pitted neighboring condos against the development. The plan’s opponents had hired a lawyer to battle the development.
Several people said their opposition has since melted into support.
“We worked hundreds of hours to stave off this project,” said Byron Graham, who lives in the 180-foot Wittington Condominiums, next to the proposed development.
Noting the concessions the developer has made, he said, “We are very comfortable.”
The developer of the project, Lionheart Capital, agreed with neighbors’ requests to reduce traffic by allowing only condo owners and their guests to use the planned spa and restaurant in the plan.
Lionheart also changed the orientation of the buildings so neighbors’ beachside views were obstructed as little as possible.
The shorter building that’ll be part of the project is 144 feet tall, or potentially 14 stories. Together, the two buildings will offer more than 200 residences.
At a public meeting Tuesday, the developer also committed to building a public access to the beach on the southeast side of the project. It’ll be accessible to people with disabilities.
After hardly any construction since the 1970s, a new wave of construction is hitting Pompano Beach:
■ Sabbia, a 227-foot luxury condo development, is under construction north of Atlantic Boulevard, at 730 N. Ocean Blvd.
■ An oceanfront restaurant, Pompano Beach House, opened late last month. It’s the first time dining is offered oceanside in the city since 2012, when Hurricane Sandy damaged Fisherman’s Wharf and the city discontinued the lease.
■ A fishing village is taking shape, with a second, oceanfront restaurant under construction. Directly across the street, two retail buildings have building permits under review: One building would have a beachwear shop and the other a Kilwin’s and BurgerFi.
Some residents have questioned how much more traffic Pompano’s beachside can handle.
Stephanie Toothaker, an attorney for the new high-rise project, said the condo development will mean 77 percent fewer car trips to the parcel than what the land was previously approved for: a 396-room hotel. It’s going to be a luxury development, complete with valet parking, she said.
“We have come to you with a better project … one the city and the residents can be proud of,” she said.
This part of Pompano is zoned so that there are no specific height limitations, other than what the FAA decrees is an obstruction to the nearby airport. The FAA reviews a development if a building is taller than 200 feet, or within 10,000 feet of an airport, according to Steve Rocco, executive director of the Pompano Airpark.
Both factors applied to the building on the east side, Rocco said. The FAA cleared the development for construction. Next, the new buildings face a second, City Commission hearing and review by the Pompano Beach Airpark Overlay District. And then site plans will be up for city review and comment.
The plans include a condo tower that will be the tallest building in the city, about 35 stories.