The Real Deal Miami

Development picks up south of downtown Fort Lauderdale

A mix of real estate projects are underway south of the New River in the Federal Highway corridor

Clockwise from left: 955 South Federal Highway, a rendering of Wood Partners’ Harbor Park Apartments and Alliance Residential Company’s Broadstone Harbor Beach

A growing collection of real estate projects are underway just south of the city’s downtown area.

“It’s sort of the next path of growth” in Fort Lauderdale, Bradley Arendt, a vice president of Colliers International, said of the area south of the New River and the city’s central business district. “Most of the larger tracts [of land] north of the river are taken.”

Arendt recently represented the buyer and seller in an off-market deal for a small office building on South Federal Highway in Fort Lauderdale. The vacant, four-story office building at 955 South Federal Highway formerly housed Broward County’s building code enforcement staff. He said the buyer, Cooper City-based Skyland Management, paid $3 million and plans to renovate the building, which is composed of 23,784 square feet of office space atop a two-story parking garage.

The property includes a 22,000-square-foot lot adjacent to the building, which has been used for parking. “They [Skyland] have intentions to develop it eventually,” Arendt said.

A few blocks away, developer Eli Halali is planning a five-story building with 12 condos and ground-floor commercial space on a vacant lot at 2100 South Miami Road. “We’re hoping to break ground in September,” Halali said of the unnamed project.

“I love the area because it’s close to downtown, it’s close to the 17th Street Causeway, and you’re right there by the airport and Port Everglades,” he said. “I think it’s one of the best locations in Fort Lauderdale.”

Larger real estate projects also are underway in the corridor along South Federal Highway and South Andrews Avenue in Fort Lauderdale.

For example, Atlanta-based Wood Partners broke ground last fall on Harbor Park Apartments, a 310-unit rental apartment development at 1919 Southeast 10 Avenue, two blocks east of Federal Highway. And Phoenix, Arizona-based Alliance Residential Company recently opened Broadstone Harbor Beach, a 394-unit apartment property at 1721 Southeast 17 Street.

Another large project in the area is 501 Seventeen, a mixed-use development that would be composed of a Whole Foods supermarket and 243 rental apartments. The development would rise on a three-acre site on the northwest corner of the intersection of Southwest 17 Street and Federal Highway.

“We’re still in the approval process,” said Hugo Pacanins, managing director of multifamily development for Ram Realty Services of Palm Beach Gardens, the company behind 501 Seventeen. “We’re hopeful it will get done later this year, so we can start construction next year.”

Speaking as part of a panel in March, Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler, Stiles Corp. co-CEO Ken Stiles, and developer Dev Motwani agreed that intense real estate development in Fort Lauderdale may shift from the downtown area and the beach to neighborhoods just south of the New River.