Noting that the traditional enclosed shopping mall concept has dwindled within American Culture, we have seen the rapid rise of lifestyle centers modeled around the “Town Center” concept. Aside from various fake streetscapes and generally navigable streets within the complexes, these centers will continue to ravage the urban fabric of our cities in a fashion similar to that of the mall. The “Town Center” concept has taken off over the recent years and is designed with automotive access and developer’s pockets in mind. The recently approved Davie Commons retail and office center is no different. Sprawling out over 150 acres, this complex will certainly do little to centralize Davie and will only compound the traffic problems in the whole South Florida region. If fully approved by the city commission, this will signal a complete reversal of general urban planning principles, placing yet another massive development on the western fringes of the county’s sprawl, abutting the Everglades. Broward County traffic will be further disrupted by reverse commutes for people working in the 800,000+ square feet of office space or the Million+ square feet of retail.
Developers downplayed the potential traffic impact, claiming it would add fewer cars to local roads than a new housing subdivision.

The Davie city commission swallowed this load of crap, recently giving the project an initial first round approval, despite widespread opposition from the community. The complex will continue to exemplify the type of construction we need to stop in our region. Suburban office complexes and expansive shopping centers which are only accessible by vehicle in the western parts of the county equate to an ecological, immoral, and urban planning catastrophe for the whole region. The city commission is likely clouded by the massive tax benefit the city would reap:

In exchange for the town’s approval, developers will ask that the agricultural exemption on the 152-acre property be lifted beginning in 2008. The change would increase the taxable value of the land from less than $100,000 to about $20.1 million, creating a windfall for the town, Siegel said.

In addition, if the land-use change receives final town approval, developers have agreed to pay $3.5 million per year to guarantee that Davie receives the amount of revenue the project is estimated to generate.

Join the Opposition!

More Pictures:

Main Street! Main to what, the Everglades? (Wow, they got people to walk…)

The Bustling urban Town Fountain (Look at the water flow…)

Mosquito Park

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4 Responses to Davie Commons; We have Nothing in Common

  1. Steven says:

    What a distortion of the concept of a lifestyle center. Lifestyle centers are supposed to have residential units above the retail.

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  2. Dave says:

    Of course how can be it be a “Town Center” for Davie when its completly blocked off from the rest of the town (to appease the neighbors traffic worries).

    A nice quote from their web page which they list as one of the best reasons for building it:

    “Isolated from surrounding communities through use of extra wide landscaped buffers and sound suppressors”

    The only way in or out will be from an on ramp to I-75.

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  3. Anonymous says:

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  4. Ellis Traub says:

    The tiny but strident corps of detractors sure does grasp at straws to make this project seem bad!

    I’d like to see some authoritative, conventional wisdom that opines that the town center concept is not more popular now than the conventional mall. And for all good reasons. In fact, I’d like to see any wisdom at all in the notion that this project would not be good for Davie and its denizens.

    In this period of declining public funds and pressure for more services in the town, it would be irresponsible indeed for those who hold the purse strings to refuse to approve a project that is a)actually favored by the majority of residents (even those living nearby), b) an enhancement to the Davie lifestyle, and c) promises to provide a remarkable 7% of Davie’s budget from .07% of its land area with no adverse effects on those living anywhere in the town!

    The opposition has given up complaining that this project will harm anyone because they know all who live close to it will actually be better off, enjoy an increase it their property value, and a more private, quiet, and comfortable lifestyle than before.

    The traffic issues they raise are not only non-issues, they work at cross-purposes with their desire to keep traffic off Davie’s local roads. If this project should be defeated, it will almost surely assure them that Shotgun Road will be four-laned to accommodate additional traffic from new interchanges at Post Road and Indian Trace.

    The folks that are now trying to say there’s something unwholesome about the business park concept are the same folks that bleat about the dangers of a single entrance/exit were the shopping area to be attacked by terrorists!

    The mental picture I’m beginning to get when they talk about wanting to protect the “unspoiled” land is one of unkempt, weedy fields and cars up on blocks next to the house!

    Give me a break!

    Ellis Traub (not anonymous)

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