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Downtown Coral Springs Project Gets Boost After City Takes Step To Sell Former City Hall Property



Coral Springs, Florida -Another major Coral Springs downtown project gained momentum Wednesday after the city agreed to take the first steps to sell land needed for the project.

The project, known as Village Square, is planning to redevelop the northwest corner of University Drive and Sample Road, where an aging strip mall would be converted into yet unspecified “mixed-use” development which will include a grocer, retail shops, restaurants, and an entertainment business.

To make that project possible, the developer, Amera, needs to acquire two city-owned land parcels, just west of the shopping center, which includes a canal and the former site of City Hall at the corner of Sample Road and Coral Hills Drive.

And so, on Wednesday, commissioners approved a “letter of understanding” to sell the land for $4.6 million and agree to a timeline on the project.

As part of the deal, the city will contribute up to $600,000 to culvert the canal and make water, sewer, and other infrastructure improvements on the future project site.

Village Square is a separate project from Cornerstone, which is planned across the street on the southwest corner of University Drive and Sample Road. That project includes luxury apartments, hotel, restaurants/pubs, entertainment/athletic-related businesses, and office space.

George Rahael, president of Amera, which also operates The Walk of Coral Springs, said his company is finally ready to redevelop the strip mall after getting approval from the owners of the center to move forward with the project — a process that has taken years to complete.

He told commissioners the new complex would stretch along Sample Road from University Drive to Coral Hills Drive, creating “a truly meaningful project that we can all be proud of.”

“We, as a team at Amera, will do all we can to make this happen and get this done as soon as possible, despite the reality of facing economic conditions in the next year or two resulting from Covid, which we have no control over,” Rahael said.

City Manager Frank Babinec said the city’s economic development staff will work with Rahael to help resettle long-time businesses in the shopping center to other parts of the city if they want to continue operating in Coral Springs.

Commissioner Larry Vignola thanked Rahael for staying committed to the project over the years.

“You’ve been planning to do this for a couple of decades. We really appreciate your persistence and I think a lot of people would have moved on to other areas,” Vignola said. “But this is a community that you and your family call home and you are committed to our community.”

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