The city was master-planned and primarily developed by WCI Communities, then known as Coral Ridge Properties. The city's name is derived from the company's name, and was selected after several earlier proposals had been considered and rejected. Despite the name, there are no springs in the city; Florida's springs are found in the central and northern portions of the state.
During the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, the young city grew rapidly, adding over 35,000 residents each decade. Coral Springs has a distinctive atmosphere among South Florida cities, due in part to its stringent codes designed to maintain the city's aesthetic appeal. The city government's effective fiscal management has maintained high bond ratings, and the city has won accolades for its overall livability, its low crime rate, and its family-friendly orientation.
A post-World War II real estate boom in South Florida attracted the interest of developers. Coral Ridge Properties, which already had several developments in Broward County, bought of land from the Lyons family on December 14, 1961 for $1 million. The City of Coral Springs was chartered on July 10, 1963. Other names that were considered for the new city included "Curran Village", "Pompano Springs" and "Quartermore". By 1964, the company had developed a master plan for a city of 50,000 residents. On July 22, 1964 the first sale of 536 building lots netted $1.6 million. The landmark covered bridge was built that same year to promote the town. In 1965, Coral Ridge Properties bought an additional 6,000 acres (24 km²) from the Lyons family; the total land area of Coral Springs increased to . The first city government elections were held in 1967.
The city added nineteen public schools, a regional mall, shopping centers and parks during the last three decades of the twentieth century in response to rapid population growth. The construction of the Sawgrass Expressway in 1986 brought even more growth. A museum and a theater opened in the 1990s. The city reached residential build-out in 2003 and is very close to a commercial build-out.
The city's historically low crime rate was marred in the early 1990s, when teen gang violence made headlines, with fights and murders reported. The violence subsided and the city returned to its previously peaceful state in 1995.
Coral Springs was ranked as the 27th best city in the United States in which to live by Money Magazine in 2006; was named the 10th safest city in the US by Morgan Quitno in 2007; and was identified as one of the 100 best communities for kids by America's Promise, also in 2007. In 2007, Coral Springs became the first state or local government in the nation to receive the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.
Coral Springs is a sprawling city, with few tall or prominent structures. The tallest building in the city is a 12 story condominium, with five more buildings topping out at 10 stories, including three office buildings lining University Drive, one of the city's main roads.
Coral Ridge Properties established strict landscaping and sign laws for the city—a question in the original version of Trivial Pursuit noted that the city hosted the first McDonald's without the distinctive Golden Arches sign. Restrictions on commercial signs, exterior paint colors, roofing materials, recreational vehicle and boat storage, and landscaping specifications are all strictly enforced; consequently, real estate values in the city are significantly higher than the county as a whole. In 2006, the median price of a single family home in Coral Springs was US$415,000, while the median price county-wide was US$323,000.
The city’s downtown is the focus of an extensive redevelopment plan, estimated to cost close to US$700 million. The plan to revitalize the city's core started with an open-air shopping and entertainment center—"The Walk"—and progressed with the construction of "One Charter Place", opened April 2007. When completed, the redeveloped downtown area will offer office, retail, and a new government center, encompassing approximately three million square feet of floor space, in addition to approximately 1,000 residential units and a new hotel.
The City of Coral Springs' Parks and Recreation Department operates over 50 municipal parks, including a water park and a skate park, encompassing over . Coral Springs' largest park is Mullins Park (70 acres). Of the four conservation areas in the city, Sandy Ridge Sanctuary is the biggest, at 38 acres.
|Coral Springs Comparative Demographics|
|United States Census Bureau, 2006 Estimate||Coral Springs||Broward County||Florida||United States|
|Owner-occupied housing, median value||$426,700||$302,900||$230,600||$185,200|
|Median household income||$69,808||$50,499||$45,495||$48,451|
|Families below poverty level||5.8%||8.1%||9.0%||9.8%|
|Bachelor's degree or higher||35.4%||28.4%||25.3%||27.0%|
|Hispanic (any race)||24.5%||22.8%||20.1%||12.8%|
There were 44,315 households, out of which 19,151 (43.2%) had children under the age of 18 living with them, 26,875 (60.6%) were married couples living together, 7,663 (17.3%) had a female householder with no husband present, and 8,387 (18.9%) were non-families. 5,922 of all households (13.4%) were made up of individuals and 1,408 (3.2%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.11 and the average family size was 3.45.
In the city the population was spread out with 38,335 residents (27.8%) under the age of 18, 14,560 (10.5%) from 18 to 24, 35,927 (26.0%) from 25 to 44, 39,821 (28.8%) from 45 to 64, and 9,358 (6.8%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35.7 years. For every 100 females there were 93.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.7 males.
The median income for a household in the city was US$69,808, and the median income for a family was $76,106. Males had a median income of $47,427 versus $34,920 for females. The per capita income for the city was $29,285. About 5.8% of families and 7.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.1% of those under age 18 and 2.1% of those age 65 or over.
As of 2000, speakers of English as a first language accounted for 74.64% of residents. Other languages spoken as first languages included Spanish (15.01%), French Creole (2.16%), Portuguese (1.41%), French (1.09%), and Italian (0.84%.)
Coral Springs uses the council-manager form of municipal government, with all governmental powers resting in a legislative body called a commission. Coral Springs' commission is composed of five elected commissioners, one of whom is the mayor of the city and another of whom is the vice-mayor. The mayor and vice-mayor serve a two-year term; the commissioners serve four year terms. The offices are non-partisan; no candidate is allowed to declare a party affiliation. The role of the commission is to pass ordinances and resolutions, adopt regulations, and appoint city officials, including the city manager. While the mayor serves as a presiding officer of the commission, the city manager is the administrative head of the municipal government, and is responsible for the administration of all departments. The city commission holds its regular meetings biweekly. As of 2008, the Mayor is Scott J. Brook. The Vice-Mayor is Vince Boccard ; the other commissioners are Roy Gold , Ted Mena and Claudette Bruck. The City manager is Michael S. Levinson.
In-city buses are provide free of the charge by the local government. Regional transportation is provided by Broward County Transit. The closest passenger airport to Coral Springs is Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, located southeast. The only limited-access highway in Coral Springs is the Sawgrass Expressway (State Road 869), which borders the city on its northern and western edges. Major roads in the city include Atlantic Boulevard, University Drive, and Sample Road.
Coral Springs is served by the North Broward Hospital District, and is home to the 200-bed Coral Springs Medical Center. The hospital received a 99 (out of 100) from the Joint Commission, ranking in the top 2% of over 9,000 surveyed hospitals.
Coral Springs' water supply comes from the Biscayne Aquifer, South Florida's primary source of drinking water. There are four different water districts within the city; the providers are the City of Coral Springs Water District, Coral Springs Improvement District, North Springs Improvement District and Royal Utilities. The South Florida Water Management District provides flood control protection and water supply protection to local residents, controls all water shortage management efforts and assigns water restrictions when necessary. Collection and disposal of city's trash or garbage is provided by Waste Management. Electric power service is distributed by Florida Power & Light.
Of residents aged 16 years and over, 72.6% were in the labor force; 95% were employed and 5% unemployed. 39.5% of the population worked in management, professional, and related occupations; 32.9% in sales and office occupations; 12.8% in service occupations; 7.6% in construction, extraction, and maintenance occupations; 7% in production, transportation, and material moving occupations; and 0.1% in farming, fishing, and forestry occupations. The industries for which Coral Springs inhabitants worked were 17.6% educational, health and social services; 16.1% retail trade; 12.9% professional, scientific, management, administrative, and waste management services; 10.1% finance, insurance, real estate, and rental and leasing; 8.2% arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodation and food services; 7.0% manufacturing; 6.6% construction; 5.0% wholesale trade; 4% transportation, warehousing, and utilities;, 4.9% other services (except public administration); 3.7% information; 3.6% public administration; and 0.2% agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and mining. 85.2% of workers worked in the private sector, 9.6% in government, 5% self-employed in unincorporated businesses, and 0.3% as unpaid family workers. The predominant method of commuting was driving alone in own car, accounting for 81.5% of commuting trips, followed by 11.2% who were carpoolers and 7.4% who used other methods or worked from home.
Fitch, Moody's, and Standard & Poor's rate Coral Springs bonds as "AAA". Standard & Poor's, in a 2004 report, noted that Coral Springs had a "vibrant regional economy with above-average wealth levels and consistently low unemployment" and praised the city administration. In 2004, the city's industrial and commercial base represented 24% of the city valuation—50% higher than the previous decade. The city's tax rate of 3.8715 mils is the lowest in Broward County of cities with more than 70,000 people. The city has twice received the Florida Sterling Award for excellence in administration. First Data and Alliance Entertainment are the largest companies that have offices in the Corporate Park of Coral Springs. ABB Asea Brown Boveri and Royal Plastics Group have subsidiaries headquartered in the city as well. The biggest shopping mall in the city is Coral Square, which opened in October 1984 with of retail space and more than 120 stores. Preferred Exchange Tower is the tallest and largest office building in the city—it has 10 floors and .
According to the 2005 American Community Survey (conducted by the US Census Bureau), 39.2% of all adults over the age of 25 in Coral Springs have obtained a bachelor's degree, as compared to a national average of 27.2% of adults over 25, and 91.7% of Coral Springs residents over the age of 25 have earned a high school diploma, as compared to the national average of 84.2%. Coral Springs had approximately 29,900 students in 2006. Three charter schools offer both primary and secondary education. Higher education is offered by Barry University, Nova Southeastern University and Broward Community College through a partnership with Coral Springs Charter School.
Public primary and secondary education is handled by the Broward County Public Schools District (BCPSD). The BCPSD operates 3 high schools, 4 middle schools and 12 elementary schools within the city limits. Ramblewood Elementary School received a Florida Sterling Award for its efforts in 2006. In 2008 the Florida Department of Education awarded all public schools in the city except Coral Springs High School "A" grades based on their performance on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test; Coral Springs High received a "B" grade.
Coral Springs does not have any professional sports teams, but has more than 25 amateur sports leagues. Coral Springs Youth Soccer had more than 3300 players in their 2006 season, playing for 284 teams in 20 separate leagues, divided by age group and sex. The Honda Classic golf tournament was played at the TPC at Eagle Trace from 1984 to 1991 and 1996 and then at the TPC at Heron Bay from 1997 to 2002. The short-lived professional soccer team Coral Springs Kicks (USISL) was based in the city.
The regional Sportsplex has a jogging path, an aquatic center, tennis courts, ice rinks and a dog park. The NHL's Florida Panthers call the Incredible ICE, part of the Sportsplex, their official home and conduct much of their training there. The International Tennis Championships—an ATP International Series men's tennis tournament was held at the Sportsplex from 1993 to 1998.
Three professional athletes are from Coral Springs: MLS soccer player Stephen Herdsman of the Colorado Rapids and the Columbus Crew, as well as NFL football player Dan Morgan of the Carolina Panthers, and NFL football player Steve Hutchinson. Three NCAA athletes hail from the city: sprinter Walter Dix, (former Florida State University track star and 2008 Summer Olympics participant), Florida Atlantic University baseball player Robbie Widlansky, and University of Notre Dame football player Sam Young.
Several athletes participating in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China are from or currently living in Coral Springs, including Beach Volleyball gold medalist Misty May-Treanor, swimmer Dara Torres (who resides in neighboring Parkland, FL but trains in Coral Springs), and sprinter Walter Dix.
Coral Springs is a part of the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood media market, which is the twelfth largest radio market and the seventeenth largest television market in the United States. Its primary daily newspapers are the South Florida-Sun Sentinel and The Miami Herald, and their Spanish-language counterparts El Sentinel and El Nuevo Herald.
The city is home to two local weekly newspapers, the Coral Springs Forum and Our Town News. Both publications focus on local issues and human interest stories. The Coral Springs Forum was founded in 1971 by local high school students, the publication was sold after their graduation to local residents. Later the company became a subsidiary of the Tribune Company, the South Florida-Sun Sentinel publisher.
The Coral Springs Center for the Arts opened in 1990. Originally planned to be a gymnasium, a US$4 million renovation in 1996 added a 1,471 seat theater. The theater presents a program of popular shows and a yearly Broadway series. The Coral Springs Museum of Art has a small number of exhibits and focuses on art classes and programs for the local community. There is currently one public library in the city, the Northwest Regional Library, affiliated with the county-wide Broward County Library system. The band New Found Glory hails from Coral Springs and was formed in the city.
The "Our Town" Festival has been continuously held since 1979, first sponsored by the Coral Springs Chamber of Commerce, and promoted by a non-profit organization since 1997. The event has a car show, a beauty pageant and carnival rides. The festival attracted more than 100,000 attendees in 1984, and the city estimated 200,000 visitors at the 1990 event. A parade was added to the event in 1985; since 1994, the parade has been run as a separate event during the Christmas season. Several other festivals are held throughout the year, such as "Fiesta Coral Springs", a Hispanic culture celebration, and the Festival of the Arts. At Coral Springs' 25th Anniversary Party, the Guinness World Record for "Largest Hamburger and Milkshake" was broken on July 10, 1988. The hamburger measured in diameter and weighed 5063 pounds. The record stood for just over a year.
Coral Springs has two designated Florida Heritage sites. The Covered Bridge was the first structure built in the city, in 1964. The steel bridge, in length, is the only covered bridge in Florida in the public right-of-way. The American Snuff Company provided two historical designs for the bridge sides, to make the structure appear aged. The Covered Bridge is depicted in Coral Springs' seal. The Museum of Coral Springs History started as a real estate office. Built outside the City limits, the single-room wooden structure was moved to Coral Springs and became its first administration building. Later it was used as the first police station, and as a Jaycees clubhouse; it was moved to the city dump in 1976, where it was used as a fire department training site for smoke drills. After it was inadvertently set on fire, public outcry prompted the building's relocation to Mullins Park for restoration. Since 1978, it has housed the city's history museum. The exhibits in the museum are historic items and city models.