At Tuesday evening’s regular meeting, Wilton Manors commissioners were presented with a market analysis and branding strategy report that called for a focus on wellness.

Redevelopment Management Associates delivered a 216-page report to the commission, recommending the city embrace a wellness trend that carries a $4.4 trillion global economic impact. Lynn Dehlinger, RMA Director of Economic Development, said some of Broward County’s top medical groups are interested in moving to Wilton Manors.

“They are highly visible businesses and they pay top dollar rents,” Dehlinger said.

Andrews Ave., RMA determined, was the ideal place to designate a wellness corridor. Those findings, however, were greeted with skepticism. Resident Hunter Stephens said surveys of residents show a desire for more restaurants, retail and hospitality developments.

“I am concerned that the very detailed work on market analysis hasn’t really been laid up against what residents want and need in terms of development in these commercial corridors,” Stephens said.

Fellow westside resident Jake Valentine echoed Stephens’ concerns about a medical district branding, recalling previous developments that resulted in the CSL plasma donation center on Andrews Ave.

“Don’t wish too hard for something because you just may get it,” Valentine cautioned commissioners. “CSL has been an issue with our side of town for years and they’re not going anywhere.”

RMA, a Pompano Beach-based firm, was paid $74,500 for the report, titled WiltonNext.

Other notes from the April 12 meeting:

Police Chief Gary Blocker announced 19 graduates of the city’s 2022 Citizen’s Police Academy. Mayor Scott Newton congratulated the group on completing the 10-week program.

“It’s amazing when you live in a city and you find out what really goes on behind the scenes of a city because there’s a lot more you don’t know until you go through that class. I’m glad you went through it and see what a lot of us go through every day,” Newton said.

Commissioners, on a 4-1 vote, approved an amendment to the city’s general planning consulting agreement with Calvin, Giordano & Associates Inc. This is the 11th amendment of the agreement that began in November of 2017. The city will pay the community development firm a lump sum of $14,980 to study the impacts of an additional 1,000 mid-rise units in the transit-oriented corridors of Wilton Dr., Dixie Hwy. and Northeast 26th St. Commissioner Gary Resnick voted against the amendment.

Resident Boyd Corbin asked the city to remove a pile of bricks near the parking lot at Don Eislee Park. Corbin said a brick was thrown through his vehicle’s window and his iPhone was stolen. A jurisdiction tussle between the Fort Lauderdale and Wilton Manors Police Departments ensued before Corbin tracked the device to a machine inside the Walmart on Broward Blvd. and with the assistance of Fort Lauderdale police, successfully retrieved the phone. In his speech to the commission, Corbin, who is considering a campaign for mayor, called for cameras and routine patrols at the park.

“We need some big changes with the Wilton Manors Police Department starting from the top,” he said.

City Manager Leigh Ann Henderson proposed ending Zoom broadcasts of meetings.

The meeting lasted three hours and 32 minutes. The next regular commission meeting is April 26.


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