Pompano Beach: A City Reinvented

Pompano Beach is a city on the rise – a model for reinvention and a lesson in the powers of transformation. After missing two real estate boom cycles, in 2010, the City of Pompano Beach and the Community Redevelopment Agency changed course and began focusing on the revitalization of two key areas of the city: the beachfront and the downtown.

“This dramatic transformation took tremendous planning and community outreach,” said Kim Briesemeister, principal at RMA, the firm that managed Pompano Beach’s CRA since 2009. “City leaders had a vision for the beachfront, but there were many obstacles to overcome before the vision could be realized.”

Pompano Beach Boulevard was narrowed, sidewalks were broadened, landscaping was enhanced, beach pavilions were installed and an interactive water feature was created. These changes were the primary physical improvements, but the iconic parking garage was the lure for quality retailers and restaurants.

While the beachfront plans were being activated, the city’s downtown was also undergoing the reinvention process. The first phase focused on igniting a cultural renaissance, with pedestrian-friendly entertainment and dining hub. The CRA purchased the Bailey Hotel, built in 1932, and converted the building into Bailey Contemporary Arts (BaCA). The now-popular venue hosts art exhibitions and classes, in addition to providing loft spaces for artists. The renovation of the historic Ali Building transformed a culturally significant boarding house into a cultural venue focused on enriching patrons through performing arts, exhibits and classes. This cultural boom culminated with the opening of the $21 million Pompano Beach Cultural Arts Center and Library.

This cultural infusion, along with smartly branded events, sparked interest from developers, retailers and restaurant owners. The overall plan for the development of an Innovation District, at the center of the new downtown, became a game-changer for the future of the city.

Pompano Beach epitomizes the forward-thinking concept of building for “how we will live in the future.”

Read original article on: QUALITY CITIES (Pages 22-23)