Metropica Development.

The topping off of the first residential tower and the signing of a trendy clothing and accessories retailer at Metropica signal the project’s advancement.

Once finished, the mini-community will have 4 million square feet of mixed-use development on 65 acres, promising to change the face of Sunrise and western Broward County.

Metropica Development LLC, led by Joseph Kavana and Bernard Werner, is building the $1.5 billion Metropica at 1800 NW 136th Ave. on the northeast corner of Sunrise Boulevard and 136th Avenue west of outlet mall Sawgrass Mills.

Most recently, the first residential condominium was topped off at 28 stories and 263 units. The milestone came shortly after Urban Outfitters signed on for an 8,000-square-foot store in the retail segment that’s yet to be built.

With large mixed-use projects springing up in urban cores — take Miami Worldcenter and Brickell City Centre as examples — Metropica is noted for its suburban location.

“We are in the western corridor of Broward County,” Kavana said. “There haven’t been this type of projects ever built in the area.”

Kavana is betting on the area’s recent growth and the site’s proximity to major highways, he said.

American Express in 2017 moved its regional headquarters and staff into a new building southeast of Sunrise Boulevard and 136th Avenue, adding at least 3,000 employees to the immediate area.

Metropica will be a short drive from the Sawgrass Expressway and about three miles from Interstates 75 and 595.

“It’s a very convenient location to have businesses. You can be in Boca (Raton) within 20 minutes taking the Sawgrass Expressway. It’s a very convenient area. We are seeing more and more people coming to live in the area and to work in the area. We felt it was appropriate to do this type of project,” Kavana said.

The Sunrise City Commission approved the project in July 2014. Since then, developers have finished part of the infrastructure and launched the first residential condominium.

The three main segments will be residential condos, a mixed-use retail and entertainment area and  offices, each one taking about a third of the 65 acres.

The middle 20 acres will become home to eight luxury condo towers about 28 stories tall and with about 250 units, Kavana said. The towers will surround a central park.

South of there will be a 20-acre section with more than 400,000 square feet of retail, a 350-unit apartment building, a 240-room hotel and a 165,000-square-foot office building, he said.

The northern pierce will have about 500,000 square feet of offices.

Work on the retail area is to start next and finish in the fourth quarter of 2019. It will be where Urban Outfitters will open and join other retailers, including its sister store Anthropologie, both under the URBN brand.

Other signed tenants are Brazilian steakhouse Fogo de Chao; craft beer and classic American food restaurant City Works Eatery & Pour House; home goods, art, garden and accessories store Sugarboo & Co.; Cru Food & Wine Bar; a Kendra Scott jewelry store and iPic Theaters.

The project abuts Sawgrass Mills, but that doesn’t worry Kavana. The mall is popular with tourists and won’t compete with Metropica, which in large part will be a destination for locals, Kavana said.

“Our concept is to cater to the local community — Sunrise, Plantation, Southwest Ranches, Miramar,” he said. “It complements Sawgrass Mills.”

The full development is due to be finished in 2024.