Historic Fort Lauderdale bar to become mixed-use development

Founder paid less than $5 per square foot for the land in 1940s

Feb.February 17, 2016 12:45 PM

Grady’s Bar & Grill, a Fort Lauderdale dive that first opened its doors in the 1940s, is being eyed for a mixed-use development after its owners sold the property for $2 million.

The deal included four parcels at 901, 903 and 915 South Andrews Avenue, plus another connected piece on Southwest 9th Street. They measure 38,071 square feet of land altogether and are occupied by three small commercial buildings with their parking lots.

At the assemblage’s center is Grady’s, founded by Grady Copeland in the 1940s after paying only $1,200 for the first parcel. That’s less than $5 a square foot — a hard deal to beat in 2016.

As time went on Copeland’s family picked up the neighboring lots until they owned all the western frontage on the 900 block of South Andrews Avenue.

Now, the family has offloaded its holdings after more than half a century. The buyer is a Florida company called Highlands Equity Investments, headed by Rochelle Mazza and Panagiota Lazarou-Amanna. The purchase price breaks down to $52 per square foot for the land, which was financed with a $2.8 million balloon mortgage from Nathan Capital.

Steve Hyatt of Berger Commercial Realty represented the Copeland family for the sale.

“After Grady’s long and colorful history, the second and third-generation owners were ready to retire from the bar business,” Hyatt said in a news release. “The new owner plans to redevelop the infill site into a mixed-use property for retail and residential uses.”

The surrounding buildings are mostly low-rise commercial and residential properties. Further details about Highlands’ plans are not yet available. — Sean Stewart-Muniz

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