Proposed high-rise in Fort Lauderdale will test new city commission

The mayor and two commissioners, all elected March 13, pledged in their campaigns to oppose excessive real estate development

Alexan-Tarpon River rendering (Credit: South Florida Business Journal)
Alexan-Tarpon River rendering (Credit: South Florida Business Journal)

A proposed residential high-rise in downtown Fort Lauderdale will be the first test of the new city commission’s resolve to oppose excessive real estate development.

City staff have approved the proposed high-rise, called Alexan-Tarpon River, a 22-story, 181-unit development that would be built at 501 Southeast 6th Avenue.

But four members of the recently recomposed city commission voted to hold a public hearing May 15 to consider whether to approve the development.

Mayor Dean Trantalis and commissioners Steve Glassman and Ben Sorenson, who were elected March 13, voted together with a fourth commissioner, Heather Moraitis, to schedule the public hearing on May 15.

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Trantalis, Glassman and Sorenson pledged in their election campaigns to scrutinize proposed real estate developments more closely. They also promised to kill a plan to build a streetcar system called the Wave in downtown Fort Lauderdale.

Under the city’s approval process for downtown developments, a public hearing and a vote by city commissioners becomes part of the process if the commissioners decide it’s necessary.

Commissioners also may decide to hold a public hearing and vote on another proposed downtown development, RD Las Olas. It is designed as a 46-story building with commercial and residential components, and it would be one of the tallest buildings in downtown Fort Lauderdale. [Sun-Sentinel] Mike Seemuth