Metropica project moving forward despite lawsuit
Metropica, a $1 billion mega-development set to rise west of Sawgrass Mills, won key approvals from City Hall on Tuesday night.
The 4-million-square-foot development would add hundreds of homes, offices and businesses to western Broward County. The first two phases call for 1,250 high-rise units, 485,000 square feet of commercial space and 150,000 square feet of office space on 28 acres.
Commissioners unanimously approved the development’s master plan and a request to rezone the property despite a last-minute hitch in the form of a lawsuit filed by a neighboring shopping center last week.
The lawsuit, which lists Metropica and Sunrise as defendants, was filed by FVP Sawgrass on July 8 in Broward Circuit Court. The suit claims Metropica would dwarf the Sawgrass Commons Shopping Center and overburden an access road owned by the center. The plaza, at 13001 W. Sunrise Blvd., is on the outskirts of Sawgrass Mills.
Amy Huber, an attorney representing the shopping center, urged commissioners to deny Metropica’s request for rezoning.
Mayor Mike Ryan said the lawsuit would not affect his vote.
“There appears to be a private dispute between these two parties,” Ryan said. “It’s unfortunate the city has been dragged into this. It does not impact my decisionmaking up here. I do hope the parties can come to some consent.”
Michael Moskowitz, a Metropica attorney, told the Sun Sentinel he was confident the lawsuit would not succeed in stopping the project.
Developer Joseph Kavana plans to break ground in early 2015.
The height of Metropica’s condo towers has been capped at 30 stories. If Kavana opts to build that high, Metropica would boast the tallest buildings in Sunrise.
Upon completion, the project is expected to generate $5 million a year in city taxes alone. Sunrise has promised the developer $48 million in tax incentives that would be paid over 25 years.