Moderno, 75Invest plan Live Local tower in Fort Lauderdale

27-story, 290-unit building will set aside 71 units for workforce housing

Moderno, 75Invest Plan Live Local Tower in Fort Lauderdale

From left: Doron Broman and Sacha Touret along with a rendering of 500 Art Lofts in Fort Lauderdale (Getty, Moderno, 75Invest)

Moderno Development Group and 75Invest Group filed plans for a Live Local Act mixed-income project in Fort Lauderdale. 

The developers submitted their application for 500 Art Lofts, a 27-story, 290-unit rental building planned for the site at 501 Southwest Second Avenue, south of the New River, said Doron Broman, founder of Miami-based Moderno. Seventy-one units will be set aside for workforce housing. 

Under state law, residents in those units can earn up to 120 percent of the area median income. 

In Broward County, a one-person household earning 120 percent of the area median income of $88,500 could pay $2,016 a month for a studio or $2,160 a month for a one-bedroom apartment, according to the Florida Housing Finance Corporation’s income and rent limits chart for 2023. 

The Live Local Act, which Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law last year, provides incentives and parking and property tax breaks to developers that incorporate workforce housing into their projects. The Florida Legislature passed a bill amending and clarifying the legislation in March, which DeSantis is also expected to sign. 

Moderno and Aventura-based 75Invest, led by Sacha Touret, are also tapping into an incentive from Fort Lauderdale to subsidize the project, Broman said. Under Live Local, developers can secure a property tax exemption for up to 75 percent of the assessed value of the workforce units in a project with market-rate units; and up to 100 percent of the property taxes are exempted if the entire project is workforce housing. 

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“That makes it worthwhile for us to build workforce housing, which was very difficult before,” Broman said. He is looking at building two more Live Local projects in Miami. 

Because demand is higher for less expensive units, he expects that the workforce housing component will have a lower vacancy rate than the market-rate units. 

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“Blue collar [workers] and young professionals are getting kicked out. This gives them a chance to stay,” Doron said. “You don’t want to be Manhattan, where no one can afford to live there.” 

Broman said construction on 500 Art Lofts could begin in about 18 months. Dorsky Yue Architecture is designing the building. It will include public art installations and other amenities, according to a press release. 

The half-acre-plus site for 500 Art Lofts also includes 500 Southwest Third Avenue and 510 to 514 Southwest Third Avenue. Property records show the developers’ entity paid about $6.7 million for the properties between 2018 and 2021.