Sunrise is a city in central-western Broward County, Florida, United States, in the Miami metropolitan Region.
It was incorporated in 1961 by Norman Johnson — a developer whose Upside-Down House attracted buyers to what was then a distant area. Early history In 1960, Iowa-born programmer Norman Johnson paid $9 million to 2,650 acres of property in northeast Broward County. By 1961, this neighborhood of 1.75 square miles — which Johnson named Sunrise Golf Village — had less than 350 residents.
It has been reported that the community has been to be called Sunset Village — however this did not happen due to objections from residents who believed that “sunset” was too final. (Initially known as “Sunset”, the title did not sit well with the neighbors whom developers wanted to pull, so a change was made to “Sunrise”.) Johnson and F. E. Dykstra developed and assembled an “upside-down house” to lure prospective property buyers. The home has been completely furnished, and the carport featured an upside car. Public interest was aroused through numerous news reports — such as a feature in Life magazine. The construction became a national fascination that drew a huge number of the Village. People came to stand on the ceiling — and many stayed to create their home in the community.
Back in 1961, Norman Johnson has been appointed by Governor Farris Bryant since the first mayor of Sunrise Golf Village. According to “City of Sunrise Golf Village,” a booklet produced by the City in 1969: “On January 10, 1967, (a date called for by City Charter) Sunrise Golf Village emerged from a developer’s performance to a free city under total control of its residents.
The City of Sunrise Golf Village which comprises 3 1/2 square kilometers, has no air pollution or drainage issues, all paved streets, and street lighting across the whole City.” That first elected mayor was John Lomelo, Jr. — a former Miami nightclub owner who had been attracted to Sunrise Golf Village by the Upside-Down House. Growth Originally called Sunrise Golf Village, the City had a population of 4,300 and included only 1.75 square miles by 1967. Then, throughout the 1970s — as Broward County started to push west — the City experienced its first real expansion.
Through annexation, Sunrise eventually expanded to its existing boundaries — encompassing more than 18 square kilometers, reaching the Everglades and dropping south east of I-595/State Road 84. The City is located approximately six miles west of Fort Lauderdale, and is adjoined by town of Weston, Davie, Tamarac, Lauderhill and Plantation. By October 1984, the City had attained an estimated population of 50,000. From the mid-1980s, expansion gave way to challenges, as the City was faced with financial difficulties, limited economic opportunities and a lack of decent civic amenities.
From the early 1990s, Sunrise worked to put its financial house in order, rebuild its infrastructure and establish itself as a centre for company headquarters. It is the website of Sawgrass International Corporate Park — at 612 acres, the largest corporate park in south Florida. In 1990, the initial phase of Sawgrass Mills opened in Sunrise. Due to its continued popularity and expansion, the entertainment and shopping centre has grown to almost 2.3 million square feet. It features 350 socket and appreciate retailers; food courts and full-size restaurants; movie theater and family entertainment venues. The arena is the home of the National Hockey League’s Florida Panthers, and hosts high entertainers and occasions. Thanks in substantial part to those shopping and entertainment destinations, Sunrise has become one of Florida’s top tourist attractions.
Its location in the Middle of both Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties — in close proximity to the Florida Turnpike and I-95, and bordered by the Sawgrass Expressway, I-75 and I-595 — manufactures Sunrise accessible to area residents and visitors alike. The City also maintains its own system of parks, as well as a football club, golf course, tennis center, playgrounds and swimming pools. Sunrise can be home to eleven public colleges.
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