Fort Lauderdale Downtown Development Authority Releases Economic Report

The area is currently experiencing a resurgence in public spaces as part of a more extensive $350 million program of citywide park enhancements, with more than $100 million in park improvements underway.

The Fort Lauderdale Downtown Development Authority (DDA) recently published its latest report, “Downtown Fort Lauderdale 2023 Year in Review,” which presents the most recent economic insights of downtown Fort Lauderdale. The report provides a comprehensive analysis of the financial impact, ongoing development, and population growth in the heart of Fort Lauderdale.

The recent report revealed noteworthy statistics about the city’s growth and economic impact. The Urban Land Institute has recognized Fort Lauderdale as a top 18-hour city for three consecutive years. This recognition is a testament to the city’s thriving business environment and livability. 

The report also indicates that Downtown Fort Lauderdale has a substantial annual economic impact of $35.7 billion, a $6 billion increase from 2019. This figure equals 29% of the countywide GDP and 9% of South Florida’s economic output. Downtown Fort Lauderdale’s economic prosperity is on a steady rise. 

Since the start of the COVID pandemic in 2020, the downtown population has grown at a faster rate (+39%) than the downtowns in Nashville (+22%), Austin (+16%), and Tampa (+12%). The report attributes this growth to the city’s attractive urban environment, strategic location, and growing job opportunities. The report also reveals that there has been an 85% increase in kids and families living in DowntownFTL since 2018. This shows that downtown Fort Lauderdale is becoming an increasingly desirable place to raise a family. 

Las Olas, a popular tourist destination, has seen a significant increase in visitors. According to the report, Las Olas now sees 5 million visitors annually, a 30% increase since 2017 and a 10% increase year-over-year. This indicates that downtown Fort Lauderdale has become a more popular tourist destination.

To download the full report, click here.

Photo credit: Fort Lauderdale DDA and Sublime Imagery

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Drew Limsky

Drew Limsky



Drew Limsky joined Lifestyle Media Group in August 2020 as Editor-in-Chief of South Florida Business & Wealth. His first issue of SFBW, October 2020, heralded a reimagined structure, with new content categories and a slew of fresh visual themes. “As sort of a cross between Forbes and Robb Report, with a dash of GQ and Vogue,” Limsky says, “SFBW reflects South Florida’s increasingly sophisticated and dynamic business and cultural landscape.”

Limsky, an avid traveler, swimmer and film buff who holds a law degree and Ph.D. from New York University, likes to say, “I’m a doctor, but I can’t operate—except on your brand.” He wrote his dissertation on the nonfiction work of Joan Didion. Prior to that, Limsky received his B.A. in English, summa cum laude, from Emory University and earned his M.A. in literature at American University in connection with a Masters Scholar Award fellowship.

Limsky came to SFBW at the apex of a storied career in journalism and publishing that includes six previous lead editorial roles, including for some of the world’s best-known brands. He served as global editor-in-chief of Lexus magazine, founding editor-in-chief of custom lifestyle magazines for Cadillac and Holland America Line, and was the founding editor-in-chief of Modern Luxury Interiors South Florida. He also was the executive editor for B2B magazines for Acura and Honda Financial Services, and he served as travel editor for Conde Nast. Magazines under Limsky’s editorship have garnered more than 75 industry awards.

He has also written for many of the country’s top newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Boston Globe, USA Today, Worth, Robb Report, Afar, Time Out New York, National Geographic Traveler, Men’s Journal, Ritz-Carlton, Elite Traveler, Florida Design, Metropolis and Architectural Digest Mexico. His other clients have included Four Seasons, Acqualina Resort & Residences, Yahoo!, American Airlines, Wynn, Douglas Elliman and Corcoran. As an adjunct assistant professor, Limsky has taught journalism, film and creative writing at the City University of New York, Pace University, American University and other colleges.