Plans are moving ahead on a new Coral Springs municipal complex and parking garage. The entire project will cost about $28 million.
The new city hall building will be five stories tall and include 70,000 square feet. It will house government offices, the Coral Springs Chamber of Commerce, offices for federal, state and city elected officials and the commission chambers. The construction cost of the new building itself will be about $15.8 million. Construction will start in December 2015 and will be completed by spring of 2017.
“We need a new city hall. The current city hall is functionally obsolete and is not Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant and is too small for city operations. And there not enough parking. We are looking forward to a new building,” said Jennifer Bramley, deputy city manager.
Also, the Coral Springs Commission recently approved a parking garage that will have four floors and accommodate 600 parking spaces. It will cost $8.1 million to build. It will be financed through a public/private partnership among, the City of Coral Springs, the Coral Springs Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) and Amera Developers. The city will pay for 350 spaces for the new city hall and 250 spaces will be paid for by Amera and the CRA. Construction will begin in December 2015 and be complete by spring 2017.
“We feel the garage is important to the long term viability of the Coral Springs downtown and will provide parking in the evening for the shops and restaurants in downtown,” said Bramley.
The new municipal complex will be located on the south side of Sample Road between University Drive and Coral Hills Drive. The existing city hall building will be demolished and sold or leased to developers. This property will be placed back on the tax rolls.
The current city hall was built in 1967 as a real estate sales center and not as a municipal building. Coral Springs moved its operations there in 1976 and considered it a temporary location. City leaders has discussed a new municipal building but had put it off. The current city hall would require major repairs such as a new roof and would have to be extensively renovated to meet ADA regulations. For example hallways in the building are not considered wide enough to accommodate wheel chairs. Because the ADA is a federal law, the city government would have no choice but to make these repairs. Also, the current city hall chambers can hold less than 40 visitors.
Vice Mayor Larry Vignola said the commission really must build a new city hall. “This is something that has been talked about in Coral Springs for 30 years. The current city hall is too small, would need major repairs and is not ADA compliant in many areas. We need a new city hall for our employees,” said Vignola.
Commissioner Lou Cimaglia said, “We need a new city hall. This building is not ADA compliant and would need a new roof and other repairs.”
Commissioner Joy Carter also believes Coral Springs needs the new city hall. “We have needed one since 1980. It would have been nice to get a lower price but this is something we need,” she said.
The new municipal complex is part of a larger effort to redevelopment the downtown section of Coral Springs. City leaders want to see more restaurant and retail development there. The City Commission held a number of meetings to get input from residents on what they wanted from a new municipal complex. Those who attended the meetings could see the various alternatives for a municipal complex that were being considered and receive information on the process of building a new municipal complex.