Fort Lauderdale approves Related, PMG developments along New River

Commissioners vow to keep an eye on affordable housing in future

Apr.April 20, 2017 02:00 PM

Las Olas Riverfront renderings (Credit: ArX Solutions) Inset: Ryan Shear

The Fort Lauderdale City Commission on Wednesday approved a total of 745 new units to be developed by the Related Group and Property Markets Group along the Tarpon River.

The first proposal, which is the third phase of Related Group’s New River Yacht Club, calls for 190 units at South Andrews Avenue and Southwest Fifth Street.

Rendering of the Related Group’s New River Yacht Club project

The eight-story building will be built just south of the property’s 26-story riverfront tower, which was completed in spring of 2014. “I think it’s a great concept,” said commissioner Dean Trantalis. “I think it fills in a spot that has long needed a change.”

The second proposal was for phase two of PMG’s plan to replace the western half of the now-empty Las Olas Riverfront retail space at Southwest First Avenue and West Las Olas Boulevard with a 1,214-unit mixed-use development.

The 42-story tower will include 555 market-rate units geared toward millenial renters, anchored by 35,000 square feet of commercial space.

PMG recently bought most of the Las Olas Riverfront property from Fort Lauderdale-based developer Dev Motwani and his partners for $29 million.

PMG acquired about 2.4 acres on the western portion of the property. Motwani and his partners retained 1.3 acres on the eastern portion.

No opposition was voiced to either project, and both were approved unanimously, but commissioner Romney Rogers urged the commission to be strategic about continuing to allocate units at market rate, noting that the Broward County Unified Land Development Regulations require that of the 5,000 units Fort Lauderdale has available for allocation this year, 15 percent must be affordable.

“5,000 gets eaten up pretty darn quick,” said Rogers. “I know I’ve looked at projects the last two weeks that might eat up that many.”

“Before we issue the building permit for the [2,501st] unit, we have to make sure 375 affordable housing units have been allocated,” explained assistant city attorney D’Wayne Spence.

“We have to address it, but if you have a project that everybody likes,” said Mayor Jack Seiler, “I don’t want to hold them up.”

Seiler closed the discussion on the Riverfront proposal by requesting city staff come up with a recommendation to ensure the city is meeting its affordable housing obligations.

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