Walk-to-work ethos driving CBD renaissance

Rockefeller Group’s John Petricola says he is banking on business districts

Oct.October 01, 2014 04:30 PM

John Petricola of the Rockefeller Group and the Rockefeller Group’s 252-unit apartment tower in Ft. Lauderdale

There is an “urban resurrection” occurring in South Florida’s central business districts, according to John Petricola, senior vice president and Southeast regional development officer for the Rockefeller Group.

“The ability of someone to live within walking distance of their place of work and lunch, dinner and entertainment venues really drives the desire to be in the CBD,” Petricola told GlobeSt. “People in general have a lot less free time. If they can get rid of a car expense or leave it in the garage and walk to work it allows them that much more time and energy.”

That dynamic is particularly true in the Southeast, Petricola said, noting that public transportation in that “car-centric” region is generally “not as robust” as it is in other areas of the country.

Petricola as points to new projects like the a 252-unit apartment building — name pending — that just broke ground a block away from the CBD in Fort Lauderdale. Another example is Miramar Town Center, built on 40 acres in 2005 in what was the bedroom community of Miramar. The Rockefeller Group created a 500-plus unit apartment, 45,000 square feet of office and 175,000 square feet of retail, essentially creating its own self-sufficient mini-CBD.

“We created an urban environment in miniature that would attract not only residents but business owners as well,” he told GlobeSt.com. “Each use supplements and supports other uses.” [GlobeSt]Christopher Cameron

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