Fort Lauderdale Beach Redevelopment Advisory Board Meeting

Yesterday morning I took a trip over to City Hall.  There was a public meeting with the Fort Lauderdale Beach Redevelopment Advisory Board.  My main interest in attending stems from my fascination with the development of Fort Lauderdale.  The purpose of this particular meeting was to hear about the design and implementation for the Central Beach Master Plan Public Improvement Projects.  There were a number of topics discussed, but I'm going to highlight some I thought were very interesting.

Over and over again what you really heard was the idea that we want to increase pedestrian traffic, while decreasing vehicular traffic, on Fort Lauderdale Beach.  I'm absolutely for that.  I'm a walker, I'm not much for driving if I don't have to.  If you can plan a high level of walkability into Fort Lauderdale Beach then I firmly believe it will accelerate the transformation of the neighborhood.  One of the main pushes along that theme would be to keep the cars that do travel onto Fort Lauderdale Beach, somewhat contained to the parking lots by the Las Olas Bridge.

The Las Olas Bridge was really a focal point of discussion.  The final planning for the two parking lots that straddle the Las Olas Bridge remains to be seen.  Ideas varied widely.  Do you put one garage on either side of the Las Olas Bridge?  Is that overkill (I believe it is, aesthetically speaking).  Do you put one garage up that is built with an iconic feel, something that does not necessarily look like a garage (yes please)?  Do you add in retail space on the first floor of that garage, or garages (yes please, maybe with a restaurant looking at the marina).  If you take a look at the map below you can see the enormous area the surface lots currently occupy.  Fort Lauderdale Beach is a wide open canvass to develop by the Las Olas Bridge.

Las Olas Bridge Redevelopment

If you're going to address the parking lots, you can't ignore the Las Olas Marina.  The marine industry is an enormous economic driver in the city of Fort Lauderdale.  Right now the Las Olas Marina has 60 slips and can't accommodate mega yachts.  I understand everything comes with a price tag.  However, I think it's money well spent if you improve the Las Olas Marina.  I will again turn to aesthetics.  If you were able to dock larger sized boats at the Las Olas Marina then think of the impression people would get coming over the Las Olas Bridge!  You would see ocean straight ahead, and fabulous yachts to your left.  You have to love that idea!

There's a parking lot on the corner where A1A meets Las Olas.  Right now it's a surface lot (across the street from the Elbow Room).  I was really interested in ideas that were floated about this space.  One thought was to add some restaurant space onto that lot.  Of course this is predicated upon the idea that you're building a larger garage (in the space previously discussed) to absorb the cars that would have parked in this lot.  What a great spot for a restaurant, and maybe some retail.  The city would be able to collect the revenue from leasing the space.  Knowing a thing or twelve about lease rates, I promise you that the restaurant would generate massive lease rate revenue.  I'm really excited about the future prospects of that future lot.

Do you know where Almond Ave is?  I didn't either.  It's the small street that runs parallel with A1A on the backside of Blondies and Exit 66.  That street always feels, lifeless for lack of a better term.  It's got such a phenomenal location, but never seems to draw any foot traffic.  Almond Ave is slated for improvements that should really help out.  The above ground wires are going to be moved underground.  Wider sidewalks are set to be installed.  Finally, there will be barriers set up which allow the street to be closed off for special events.  These are all very positive developments in my opinion.

There were other topics discussed, this post isn't really meant to be all encompassing.  However, I feel the above improvements will impact real estate values the most.  At the end of the day what I'm focused on is future housing value for my clients.  There's no way, no way, you will convince me that if the improvements mentioned above are completed, it will do anything but raise home values on Fort Lauderdale Beach.  These improvements are good for the community, good for tourism, and good for home values!  Let's hope their completed in a timely manner.

If you're looking to buy or sell a home on Fort Lauderdale Beach, give me a call today, let's go see some property!

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I work as a Realtor in Southeast Fort Lauderdale. If you’re interested in buying or selling a home, condominium, or townhouse (townhome) in: Rio Vista, Victoria Park, Downtown Fort Lauderdale, Fort Lauderdale Beach, Sailboat Bend, Tarpon River, Croissant Park, Collee Hammock, Wilton Manors, Poinsettia Heights, Coral Ridge, or Las Olas Isles, please feel free to contact me at (786)443-7203 or through my email caseyprindle@gmail.com. I am a Realtor that works on Saturdays to accommodate those with busy schedules.

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Written By Casey Prindle

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