the-village-at-gulfstream-park_web.jpgHALLANDALE BEACH— Recession? What recession?

Although the country is in the midst of a national economic situation, the Village at Gulfstream Park is currently in the process of constructing Phase 1 of the $244.7 million project that will bring more than 13 restaurants, 17 shops and two upscale and trendy night clubs to the establishment.

Large cranes hang high over the skies of 201 South Federal Highway in Hallandale Beach, and men in yellow hardhats continue to layer block over block, as the general manager of Gulfstream Park, the developers of Forest City Commercial Development and the retailers wait in hope and anxiety for the final product.

The vision is to have the Village at Gulfstream Park be the leisure, fashion and entertainment destination in South Florida with quality dining, exceptional retail outlets, exciting entertainment and of course, one of America’s thoroughbred racing facilities.

Many South Floridians already frequent the establishment, and it has quickly become a hot spot for African- Americans.  National radio personality Michael Baisden (whose show is broadcast locally on Hot 105) recently threw a Barack Obama Inauguration watch party there.
Also, longtime local promoter Louis Oliver hosts a grown and sexy upscale event at Gulfstream Park every month.

Although the construction plans are over six years in the making, project developer Will Voegele said he is pleased that it can continue with support of the city and its constituents.

“We are thrilled to announce a great line of tenants …this would not have been possible without the support and partnership of the City of Hallandale Beach and Mayor Joy Cooper,’’ Voegele said.

The curtains are scheduled to be pulled back on Feb. 11, 2010, revealing 70 stores covering more than 410,000 square feet in retail space.
Some of the tenants expected to find a home at The Village include Crate and Barrel furniture store, Texas de Brazil restaurant and Vogue Couture clothing store.

Two nightclubs, Santanera and Greenhouse Nightclub, are expected to bring a different twist to the nightlife ambiance of The Village. 

Although the expectations of completion are in high gear, there is an understandable concern about how a project of this magnitude will impact the community and residents of Hallandale Beach.

Some members of the city’s black community, for example, have questioned the use of tax dollars to support the development, while at the same time development continues to lag in their neighborhoods.

Cooper, the mayor, said she believes that the Village at Gulfstream Park has always supported the community and the residents of her city.

“Over the 7 years that Gulfstream has been here it has helped the community tremendously. They have proven with the construction that they will bring more jobs to the community. That’s what we are all looking forward to,” Cooper told the South Florida Times.

With Aventura Mall up the street and some of its vendors seeking to relocate to the Village, Forest City President of East Coast Development Brian Ratner said he sees no concern with competition, and believes that this development will be a great complement to the area.

Future plans of development include condo and hotel units along with a mega theater.

Photo by Elgin Jones/SFT Staff. Mixed-use, luxury shops and residences under construction at the $244.7 million Village at Gulfstream Park development.