Twenty years after fierce opposition, third New River Village tower prepares to rise

April 17, 2012 03:00PM

Bill Scherer (top), Granvil Tracy (bottom), and the site of the forthcoming tower

Broward County preservationists have apparently mellowed over the past 20 years. The Sun Sentinel reported that developers are quietly moving forward with plans to build a 16-story, 195-unit residential tower where public protestors were so opposed to development 20 years ago, that one woman threatened to chain herself to a tree to impede bulldozers.

The tower is being planned on the New River waterfront next to Smoker Park, at 520 SE 5th Avenue in Fort Lauderdale. The site is considered archaeologically significant because the park was once a Native American burial ground and is located across the New River from the pioneer home of Frank Stranahan, historians say, meaning it could contain important artifacts from Fort Lauderdale’s founding father.

Still, two condominiums that comprise New River Village were built around the site, by a group of private businessmen to whom Broward County leased the land in 1992 that, at the time, included Wayne Huizenga. However, the third tower, located more centrally on the controversial site never got permitted.

Now, 20 years after that lease, the third tower will be developed with little opposition, the Sun Sentinel said. The development group no longer includes Huizenga, but does involve attorney Bill Scherer and American Land Ventures President Granvil Tracy.