Downtown Redevelopment

One of the most common complaints I received during my campaign in 2009 was how run-down downtown Dania Beach had become in the areas around City Hall and along U.S. Highway 1. Studies performed by outside consultants confirmed that the overall poor appearance was one of the major complaints by local store owners and other survey respondents. In response to these complaints and in conjunction with our city's Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) which really started to emerge in 2009, our city leaders have finally started to address downtown re-development.

During the past three and one-half years our CRA has:

  • Worked with city staff to modernize our entire zoning code
  • Constructed the city's first 440 space "green" municipal parking garage including recycled materials, electric vehicle stations, energy efficient lighting and a cistern for water reclamation.
  • Created new facade incentive programs to help local merchants modernize their operations
  • Received a Transportation Design for Livable Communities Designation (TDLC) from the Florida Department of Transportation which served to accommodate the major beautification improvements to over two miles of US-1 which runs through the CRA
  • Constructed a new entry roadway and fountain which ties the new Broward County Library, City Hall and the new Parking Garage together.
  • Approved, funded and started three neighborhood projects in our older in-town neighborhood, College Gardens, NW Byrd Pointe and Dania Beach Heights.

I am proud to be involved in the recent progress by the city's Community Redevelopment Agency. During recent community wide CRA-sponsored meetings, we have contributed to providing a blue print for positive change that will set the course for planned development and redevelopment in our city. We are finally cleaning up Federal Highway with new landscaping, bus benches, trash receptacles and other landscape and hardscape features. We have also finally managed to remove aging and dangerous eye sores such as the Pirates Inn, the Dania Beach Hotel and the San Souci.

In addition to my valuable experience serving as a CRA Board Member since 2009, as part of my everyday commercial real estate practice, my firm advises commercial real estate lenders, financial institutions, professional developers and investors. Thus, I am very familiar with the elements that comprise successful re-development, and wholeheartedly support our city's smart growth redevelopment effort. The city should continue this trend by reaching out to highly qualified professional developers to cooperatively explore development opportunities and do what is necessary and proper to expand the local commercial tax base for the benefit of the residents and business owners.

I live, work and play in Dania Beach and I plan to spend the rest of my life here. I humbly ask that you allow me to keep my Commitment, Experience, and Judgment working for you on the Dania Beach City Commission and cast your vote to re-elect me on November 6th, 2012.

Thank you,
Commissioner Walter Duke