FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The new agreement will allow for the redevelopment of the Willis Holcombe Center in downtown Fort Lauderdale
Fort Lauderdale, FL (Tuesday, February 28, 2017) - On Tuesday, February 28, the Broward College District Board of Trustees voted to enter into a pre-development agreement and ground lease with the Stiles Corporation for the redevelopment of the Willis Holcombe Center, otherwise known as buildings 31 and 32. The College originally released an Invitation To Negotiate (ITN) in February, 2016.
“Broward College is one of the top ten best community colleges in the United States, in part, because we are committed to providing a higher education option that is innovative and accessible,” said Broward College President J. David Armstrong, Jr. “Revitalizing our downtown campus will improve the academic experience while providing the College with an alternative revenue source that lessens its reliance on tuition and state funding. I am grateful to the Board of Trustees for allowing us to be creative with our use of space, and to the Stiles Corporation team for providing a development plan that fosters real-world learning opportunities for our students through interaction with the business community.”
The selected proposal from Stiles Corporation was in partnership with architecture firms Cooper Carry, P.A. and Cartaya & Associates, P.A., as well as Stiles Construction and D. Stephenson Construction, Inc. This established team boasts decades of experience on both a local and national scale in developing distinctive, high-end office and mixed-use projects in urban environments.
“We are thrilled to partner with Broward College and this dynamic team to deliver the highest quality office project with unparalleled amenities and exceptional city views,” said Stiles Chairman Terry Stiles. “With more than 400,000 square feet of opportunities for students and the business community to interact daily, this project stands to redefine luxury office in South Florida. Equally important, the project will activate the West corridor of Third Avenue and Las Olas Blvd. by bringing new and exciting entertainment and dining options to the ground level as well as open venues for gathering.”
Once completed, the project will provide an exciting new downtown focal point and long-term partner for Broward College and Florida Atlantic University (FAU) at their downtown campuses. The new facility will create spaces that would benefit students attending the downtown center and assist with some local community planning objectives. The outdoor courtyard will provide a flexible, multi-use plaza for civic events, student activities, classroom instruction, and public gathering places.
A secondary goal of the project is to create a multi-use facility which would generate revenues through means other than student tuition or state funds that could be used to further the mission of student success. In addition to spaces for College use, the facility will incorporate approximately 380,000 square feet of office space, 17,500 square feet of ground floor retail and dining, and an associated parking structure. When combined with the Stiles Corporation-acquired parcel adjacent and to the north, the final project will encompass one city block on Las Olas Blvd. between SE 2nd Ave. and SE 3rd Ave. The mixed use development will improve the pedestrian experience connecting the east and west sections of Las Olas Blvd., and will be served by the Wave street car.
The process will be conducted with no disruption to education and minimal change to daily downtown flow.
In February, 2016, the College received three proposals in response to the ITN. A staff committee reviewed each proposal during a thorough vetting process with assistance from professional consultants, including KPMG and Bryant Miller Olive. Following a multi-step and thorough review, the Broward College District Board of Trustees affirmed the continuation of negotiations with Stiles Corporation in December of 2016.
Following Board concurrence to proceed with negotiations, a negotiating team consisting of the College, KPMG Infrastructure Advisory, and Bryant Miller Olive, developed agreements to move the project forward. Due diligence was, and continues to be, done by the Stiles team, including detailed environmental analysis, design work, discussions with the City of Fort Lauderdale, and other permitting agencies in preparation for final Board approval today.
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ABOUT BROWARD COLLEGE:
Serving more than 63,000 students annually, Broward College provides residents with certificate programs, two-year university-transfer degrees, two-year career degrees and baccalaureate degrees in selected programs. The mission of the college is to provide high-quality educational programs and services that are affordable and accessible to a diverse community of learners. For more information, visit www.broward.edu.
Stiles is a full-service commercial real estate firm with a clear mission: Invest. Build. Manage. Stiles services include development, construction, tenant improvement, realty, property management, architecture, acquisitions and financing. Headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Stiles maintains regional offices in Miami, Fort Myers, Tampa and Orlando, Florida, and has a development office in Charlotte, North Carolina. Stiles is responsible for more than 43 million square feet of office, industrial, retail and mixed-use residential projects throughout the southeastern United States. For more information, please visit http://www.stiles.com or call 954-627-9300.