|Posted by Anne Siren on September 14, 2012 at 1:45 PM|
Pompano Beach – It’s been over 50 years since Martin Luther King Boulevard saw a new retail building. But breaking the long drought is the Northwest Community Redevelopment Agency, or NW CRA, with its 4,150 sq. ft. retail development.
Adriane Esteban, CRA project manager for the development, said once the $1.5 million building, financed by the NW CRA, is completed sometime in the spring of 2013 it will have enough space for up to seven retailers. The development sits on 2.18 acres of land and will include 41 parking spaces when finished.
“Government is leading the way. It’s the beginning of the future,” said Carlton Moore, liaison to the NW CRA. “I think they did not hit a home run with this project. They hit a grand slam.”
At the groundbreaking ceremony on Sept. 7, residents, commissioners and NW CRA board members expressed their excitement that plans for the NW CRA were finally moving forward.
“This has been a long, long, long time coming,” said Dist. 4 Commissioner Woodrow J. Poitier, who represents residents in the NW CRA.
“People often say ‘When is something going to happen on MLK?’ Well today is the day,” said Deborah Anthony, NW CRA chairperson.
So far four businesses have expressed an interest in opening a location there – a sit down restaurant, take-out restaurant, beauty shop and professional office.
Two of the business owners interested in renting space also live in the area.
Kimberly Holmes owns a home-based business, Brown Sugar Bakery, and is looking to move into the 731 MLK Boulevard location or one of the storefronts located on Northeast 1 Street in Historic Downtown Pompano.
To help her move in and buy some new equipment, Holmes has applied for a loan from the CRA’s Microenterprise Fund. Started in 2006, the Microenterprise Fund gives small business owners who either live or base their business in the NW CRA, the opportunity to apply for a low interest loan of up to $25,000.
But whether Holmes opens on MLK or Northeast 1 Avenue she’s glad to finally see some improvements to the area. “It’s time to fix it up,” she said.
Benita Brown and her husband, Bernard Noble, already received a Microenterprise Loan and plan on opening the take-out restaurant at 731. “I was born and raised here. Anything that we can do to help make it better, that’s what we’re going to do,” said Brown. Once open, she said she plans to hire five local residents as employees and possibly more if she and her husband expand the business.
Jobs and economic development were two words repeated a few times during the groundbreaking.
Pompano Beach Mayor Lamar Fisher touted the use of Pompano Beach subcontractors in the construction of the new development. “Employ our own,” said Fisher.
Pinnacle, the general contractor the city chose for the project, has hired five Pompano businesses as subcontractors. Cory McFarlane, chief visionary at Pinnacle, said about two-thirds of the subcontractors hired will be based out of Pompano. “We like to keep a lot of dollars in the community,” he said.
For more information on the 731 development, visit www.PompanoBeachCRA.com or call 954-786-7824.