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Trains running every 20 minutes, I-95 access pitched as selling points
Commercial development of under-used Tri-Rail park-and-ride lots is being promoted as the commuter service matures into a system with trains running every 20 minutes.
Tri-Rail is poised to complete a $327 million expansion by 2005 that includes a second set of tracks along its 72-mile length to allow more frequent set-vice. But state studies show most of the park-and-ride lots are underused, so the private sector is getting an invitation to invest hundreds of millions in redevelopment projects.
Developer Michael Swerdlow is seeking approval from the South Florida Regional Planning Council for a $220 million office, hotel, retail and telecom project at the Cypress Creek park-and-ride lot.
Tri-Rail and the Florida Department of Transportation point to that project as they envision others in West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood. The improved Tri-Rail service, better bus connections and land on major roads intersecting I-95 are among the selling points.
The Business Journal talked to city planners, Tri-Rail leaders including Executive Director Joseph Giulietti and FDOT to gain an overview of the building and development projects planned.
Here's what's under way now, and what's planned:
12 acres in Hollywood
Ambitious plans are being studied in Hollywood, where the city is spending $2 million in state grant money to pave the parking lot and put new lights, signs and landscaping around the Tri-Rail/Amtrak station at Hollywood Boulevard and I-95.
Keith and Schnars of Fort Lauderdale, an engineering firm, is working on plans for development of …