A 100-foot-tall wooden roller coaster called the Hurricane was a well-known Broward County landmark along I-95, just south of Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. Demolition of the roller coaster three years ago signaled development of a new landmark to replace it: Dania Pointe, an $800 million commercial project that would combine office space, hotel rooms and rental apartments with restaurants, retail stores and entertainment venues.
With signed retail tenants including Brandsmart, TJMaxx, Men’s Wearhouse and Verizon Wireless, Dania Pointe is comparable to so-called “power centers” with multiple retail heavyweights, not a solitary anchor tenant. But shopping is hardly the sole activity envisioned for this 102-acre development. For example, dining options will abound at Dania Pointe, which will have as many as 29 restaurants when construction is completed. Such tenants as Starbucks, Firehouse Subs and Padrino’s Cuban Cuisine already have opened locations there. Outback Steakhouse and PDQ were preparing earlier this spring to open out-parcel locations.
Other signed tenants include Bar Louie, Burger Fi, Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant, Dickey’s Barbeque Pit, Firebirds Wood Fired Grill, Lime Fresh Mexican Grill, Rodizio Grill, Saito’s Japanese Steakhouse and Tommy Bahama Restaurant and Bar. Legends Cigar will open a restaurant and outdoor smoking patio.
Few appreciate the planned array of food and beverage choices more than Phil Marchese of Blanca Commercial Real Estate, the exclusive listing broker for as much as 500,000 square feet of office space at Dania Pointe. Two office buildings would rise in the northeast corner of the master-plan development, next to a Marriott hotel development and within walking distance of the restaurant lineup at Dania Pointe.
The appeal of nearby dining options “is sort of the low-hanging fruit that we are all going after,” Marchese says, adding that he and his colleagues also pitch entertainment options at Dania Pointe that will include bowling or going to a movie.
Miami-based Integra Investments, the company developing the office space, is planning two mid-rise buildings with an open outdoor area between them, a landscaped space with walking paths, a yoga lawn, a hammock lounge, Ping-Pong tables, plus covered, shaded areas for outdoor meetings. “In South Florida, there’s not a lot of activated outdoor areas because of the elements, the heat,” Marchese says. “You just have to be thoughtful in your approach.”
The first office building that Integra Investments would put up at the Dania Pointe construction would be nine stories tall, clearly visible from I-95. A new movie theater at Dania Pointe also would have good visibility from the interstate.
Movie theater operator Regal signed a lease for a 65,000-square-foot theater complex with about 3,000 seats. The Knoxville, Tennessee-based company plans to continue operating its 2,000-seat Regal movie theater in Oakwood Plaza, located in Hollywood just south of the Dania Pointe development, which is in Dania Beach.
Another major entertainment venue at Dania Pointe would be a multi-level bowling center operated by Bowlero Corporation. On its website, the Bowlero bowing center in Davie advertises selfie-worthy lane-side menu items, including the 1,360-calorie “Monster Burger” and the equally shareable “Dunk Tank,” a 123-ounce rum cocktail.
“It is not your typical league bowling alley, not that there’s anything wrong with those. It is really meant more for corporate functions and private functions,” says Paul Puma, the Kimco Realty executive who is leading the development of Dania Pointe.
Kimco is also recruiting restaurants to occupy ground-floor space at a dual-brand, 350-room Marriott and AC Hotel. “We think there’s going to be a huge impact from tourism,” he says, citing the proximity of the airport and Port Everglades.
Yet another foodie attraction at Dania Pointe will be a Lucky’s Supermarket store, which is now under construction near the intersection of Bryan Road and Stirling Road. Puma expects the 30,000-square-foot Lucky’s location to open by the end of this year.
Lucky’s and other Dania Pointe businesses are likely to draw heavily from residents who rent apartments there. The approved master plan for Dania Pointe includes as many as 1,000 apartments, and the first 300 are now under construction. The developer, Coral Gables-based Meyers Group, is planning to build another 300 or more apartments at Avery Dania Pointe.
“It is really more than just residences. It is a destination,” says Kobi Karp, a Miami-based architect that Meyers Group hired to design Avery Dania Pointe, which will feature an interior courtyard with a clubhouse, a yoga studio, swimming pool and Jacuzzi, among other shared amenities.
Karp says retail stores, restaurants and entertainment venues at Dania Pointe also will serve as easily accessible amenities for apartment tenants. “There are not many other concepts like this in Broward,” he says. “Even in Dade County, we have a lot of mixed-use developments, but nothing that is so large from a land size, and so new. It’s all new.”
The construction of Dania Pointe is expected to be mostly done by 2020, and by then, its neighbor to the south, Oakwood Plaza, may be under redevelopment.
Kimco Realty owned Oakwood Plaza before the company bought the Dania Pointe site in December 2014. Indeed, the impetus for the Dania Pointe development was a sustained occupancy rate over 90 percent at Oakwood Plaza, where demand for scarce space has been strong among retailers, Puma says.
“We were turning that business away because we were full,” he says. Now, Kimco’s long-term plan for Oakwood Plaza is “not just a facelift – not just to refresh the look of it – but to examine its highest and best use,” including potential non-retail uses like residences and offices.
Puma says Oakwood Plaza demands careful attention “because that real estate acreage is every bit as valuable as Dania Pointe … Within a 15-minute drive, there’s a million people.”