The Northwest area of Pompano Beach, Florida had not seen any new development in more than 50 years. Many buildings were boarded up or dilapidated. In spite of the areas convenient location with close proximity to Interstate 95 and major thoroughfares, there wasn’t much interest from developers to revitalize this historic area. RMA was hired by the City of Pompano Beach to manage the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) in 2009 and believed the area could be transformed. Today, the 4,000 square foot 731 Retail Shoppes, at 731 MLK Blvd./Hammondville Rd., is heralding a new vibrancy that is engulfing the community thanks to strategic planning.
“RMA wanted to begin development and revitalization on the Martin Luther King (MLK) corridor,” said Shanna Benson, RMA Special Events & Marketing Manager – City of Pompano Beach CRA. “Our goal was to create prime retail space that would provide local businesses with affordable rent and the opportunity to serve the community.”
The CRA, prior to RMA becoming involved, had acquired tremendous parcels of land, giving RMA a head- start in the redevelopment process, however, there were still many obstacles to overcome.
“We worked closely with the Broward Sherriff’s office to resolve issues of vagrancy and crime in the fire-damaged building that was at the location to be redeveloped, and we strategized with then community liaison, Carlton Moore, to ensure the new development was reflective of the community’s needs,” Benson explained.
The community demanded a focus on locally-owned businesses, so RMA worked to ensure the demand was met. 4 out 5 businesses in the retail plaza met that criteria. The other business, Betty’s Soul Food, has been a staple in Fort Lauderdale for over 20 years and already had a large customer base of Pompano Beach residents who had been asking her to expand to serve this area.
“The caliber of businesses that we have brought to the 731 Shoppes has been widely embraced,” Benson said. “And they are providing new jobs, with 16 new hires in just the first few months.”
RMA continues to support the success of the 731 Shoppes with marketing initiatives including media mentions, Grand Opening events, social media and more.
“This is just the first phase of what we have planned for the area,” continued Benson. “Future development includes continued streetscape projects and a commerce park–so stay tuned and support the local businesses!”