Cities in the region, including neighboring Coral Springs, are working on marketing plans to woo new businesses and residents, but Parkland officials believe the city does not need one.
At a strategic planning session held last weekend, officials were bullish about the city’s immediate and long-term future. Parkland’s “brand and value” makes it such a coveted place that even some people who live in neighboring cities say they are from Parkland, they said.
“We don’t have to promote or market the city,” Mayor Michael Udine said. “As long as we are doing things right, they are going to come. The city markets itself.
“You know when you get into Parkland,” Udine continued. “The city has a special feel to it. We are not Boca. Every national builder knows this is the place to be in South Florida.”
Commissioner Mark Weissman agreed. “The developers are doing the job for us,” he said. “We don’t need to be spending money on marketing.”
The failure of the city’s commercial centers was one of the issues discussed at the meeting. The consensus was that the focus should be on promoting locally owned, self-sustaining specialty businesses. The city will also consider supporting home-based businesses.
The Promenade, one of Coconut Creek’s major success stories, found its way into the discussion. “The Promenade is the best example of what retail should be,” Vice Mayor Dave Rosenof said. “We should learn from that.”
Parkland does not rely on businesses for revenue, Udine said. “We need to understand what we are and what we will never be,” he said. “There are certain things we don’t want in Parkland. I want an iPic theater here, but I don’t want Magnolia.”
Commissioner Stacy Kagan wanted the city to help businesses in the area. She said that Parkland should think about providing incentives to businesses to rent space within the city and that residents should be encouraged to support Parkland businesses.
“There needs to be a vision and a goal first,” Commissioner Christine Hunschofsky said. “What are the retail centers going to be? We need to first decide that. Many businesses fail because they are in the wrong place. Some don’t have a strategic plan.”
The city will this year give priority to the Parksite Drive public property beautification project, renovation of bathrooms at city hall, resurfacing of Holmberg Road from University Drive to Pine Island, lighting of Loxahatchee Road, and the design and construction of Phase IV of Pine Trails Park. Berm landscape and irrigation improvements in Phase II of Pine Trails Park, and the fence and backstop replacement at Quigley Park are also included on the list.
With the city’s population expected to nearly double once the Wedge area is expanded, officials are likely to decide this year on the formation of a fourth police zone. Among the other issues that officials will consider this year are funding for the construction of the western fire station and non ad valorem assessment for Pine Tree Roads.