With a $14.6 million construction loan now under wraps, All Aboard Florida is about to break ground on the parking component of its Fort Lauderdale Brightline station.
County records show an All Aboard affiliate borrowed the money from TotalBank, covering its Fort Lauderdale development site at 101 Northwest Second Avenue.
Plans for the garage call for a structure in excess of 200,000 square feet, though it’s not immediately clear how many parking spaces that includes. The official groundbreaking is set for next week.
Meanwhile, construction of the city’s Brightline station is well underway, with workers now placing the final layer of structural frames known as V columns. All Aboard, whose parent company is Florida East Coast Industries, hopes to complete the 60,000-square-foot station by mid-year 2017.
Fort Lauderdale is one of four stops that Brightline, All Aboard’s Miami-to-Orlando commuter service, will make when the trains begin running. The developer expects Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach’s stations to open in time for a mid-year 2017 launch date, with the final stretch to the Orlando International Airport coming later that year.
Initially, the company will operate five four-car trains with space for 240 passengers each, though it plans to double that by 2018.
While investors and developers have been quick to capitalize on rising property values near All Aboard’s upcoming stations, the rail service has not been without its critics.
Opponents formed a group called the Citizens Against Rail Expansion in Florida’s Treasure Coast area, which Brightline passes through, to question the developer’s eligibility for $1.75 billion in tax-exempt bonds.
According to published reports, both Martin and Indian River counties have pending federal lawsuits against the U.S. Department of Transportation attempting to stop the bonds from being sold.
Check out a video of construction progress for All Aboard Florida’s train stations.