Wilton Manors Could Get Two New Multi-unit Complexes

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The dilapidated trailer park that was once used for a scene in the film “Striptease” was leveled months ago. In its place, developers plan to build a brand new 179-unit apartment complex.

The complex, located on Northeast 24 Street next to Colohatchee Park, was approved unanimously by the city commission in 2013 and is now being reviewed by the county.

Executives from Ascend Properties, the firm building the project, and city officials say it will revitalize what was formerly the city’s most blighted properties. “It’s going to spur redevelopment [of the rest of the surrounding area]. It’s a class act,” said Commissioner Ted Galatis when he voted in favor of the development. “I’m looking forward to breaking ground.”

The 7.2-acre Yawt Property, as it was known, racked-up hundreds of thousands in code violations. Violations stemmed from excessive garbage to abandoned vehicles and mobile homes to overgrown vegetation. The property previously drew interest from a hotel firm, which wanted to build a gay-themed resort. Commissioners approved that project but it never materialized.

Along with three four-story apartment buildings, there will be 300 parking spaces, a pool, gatehouse, urban art plaza, dog park, car wash, electric car charging station and a 5,000 sq. ft. clubhouse. Developers said they plan to invest $30-million and estimate it will take about 15 months to build. According to the Broward Property Appraiser’s Office, the land is worth $1.7 million.

Previously, Michael Wohl, principal with Ascend, said this is a property his company intends to have a long-term stake in. “We’re going to do everything we can to keep it looking good.”

Another development, located just a few blocks from the old trailer park, could also soon be sprouting new residential units.

Owners of the Center for Spiritual Living and developers at Urban Development Communities, recently settled a lawsuit over the sale of the church property, located at Northeast 26 Street and Northeast 15 Avenue. Church officials say they can no longer afford to maintain their aging building – built in the 1970s.

Previously, Urban Development Communities had planned to develop the property into a residential complex but the Center for Spiritual Living pulled-out about a month before a final commission vote was to take place. Richard Coker, the attorney hired by the developers, accused the church of being unfair. Church officials said the developers took too long to get the project before commissioners.

Commissioners gave initial approval to the project but said they would vote no the second time unless developers made the proposed 72-units complex less dense.

Some residents opposed the development because they also said it was too dense. They also said the project looked cheap and similar to low-income housing. Urban Development Communities said those opposed wouldn’t be satisfied with any number of units. Originally, the proposed number was about 150.

Now that the property has been sold [$3.2 million] and the lawsuit settled, developers say they will consult with residents about a new residential project. Developers will also have to start the review and approval process all over again. The church will be allowed to occupy the property for at least one more year.


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