BY RYAN MERARD
Just across the street from CCHS, construction workers can occasionally be seen operating tools and machines, looking to complete Cooper City’s next major project, which is a boutique retail plaza.
The plaza, named “Cooper Square,” will come with 35 stores ranging from restaurants to banks and clothing stores. Some of the stores will also include drive-thrus to accommodate store pickup and delivery.
This project has been under the city’s consideration for about a year and a half now. With many commission meetings tracing back to late 2017, decisions such as the official location of the shopping center took a lot of time and deliberation. Construction began during September of 2018 and official completion of the plaza is projected for anywhere from late 2019 to early 2020.
As for location, the developers took many factors into consideration when planning out this project. While looking at the number of residential areas around and the schools nearby, it was hard to turn down Cooper City as the home of their next project.
It is encouraged by school administration to not leave cars parked in the plaza during school because there is a very good chance they will get towed.
With this plaza being located right across the street from CCHS and a block away from Pioneer Middle School, many stores in the plaza would most likely gain a lot of business from students who are looking for a nearby place to relax after school.
“Our retail plaza will have a strategic location with a solid customer base that will support a thriving retail market in a great established neighborhood like Cooper City,” Boulton Commercial Real Estate Sales Director Marcela Parra said.
With its close proximity to CCHS, some students— specifically incoming juniors and seniors— may look at this plaza as a potential location to park their car during the school day for free. However, it is encouraged by school administration to not leave cars parked in the plaza during school because there is a very good chance they will get towed.
“I hope that there are some good restaurants there so I could pick up some food on the way home every now and then.”
In terms of construction, the foundations for all of the buildings are already established; walls of concrete can be seen standing up on their own with roofs on top. The spaces for the stores are also being divided and a narrow lake is being added in the south area to add scenery to the plaza. The majority of the storefronts have been sold, with the remaining spaces waiting to be leased.
“Seeing that there is going to be a plaza right across the street from school is cool,” sophomore Marcus Henson said. “I usually walk home towards that way, so I hope that there are some good restaurants there so I could pick up some food on the way home every now and then.”
The short walking distance from the school will allow students to enjoy the plaza as a place to shop for items and hang out with friends after school. Many students are excited for this plaza to be completed and are curious to see what kind of stores this plaza will have.
“It’s nice to see that there is a plaza being built right next to the school,” sophomore Jay Dhawan said. “With this one being closer than the Stirling [Town Center], it will probably be packed with students, especially on early release days. I’m looking forward to seeing what kind of stores they have, but I’m sure that it will have nice stores and restaurants to relax and hang [out] with friends after the long hours of school.”
Photo by Kayla Florenco