Fort Lauderdale taps brakes on development
Fort Lauderdale is entering a phase where developers face more scrutiny as the mayor calls for smart growth in the city’s downtown. There’s also an issue with a traffic cap on the beach.
Already one condo association, allied with developer Trammell Crow Residential, has filed suit with the city, alleging it has discriminated against its plan to add a new 21-story, 180-unit apartment tower near the south shore of the New River, The Real Deal reports.
While plenty of cranes dot the city’s downtown landscape, Mayor Dean Trantalis and other commissioners are casting a wary eye on new projects.
The mayor’s May email to city residents is headlined, “City growth stands at a crossroad. Smart-growth rules coming soon, but development discussion needed.”
The background: Fort Lauderdale has struggled with basic infrastructure to accommodate its impressive growth, including sewer lines that have broken. Rising sea levels are resulting in king tides splash over the seawalls on Las Olas Boulevard and running into the street. An effort to address traffic issues by building a fixed-track trolley system evaporated after cost overruns. There’s a need for more workforce housing.
A 2018 Sun Sentinel article said it might cost $3 billion to overhaul infrastructure over a 20-year period.
Trantalis’ email notes that he and other commissioners campaigned last year to find the right balance for growth.
In January, BH3 paid $23.12 million for the 2.8-acre site of FATCity in the 300 block of North Andrews, which has approvals for 1.3 million square feet of development—612 residential units, 85,000 square feet of retail, 270,000 square feet of commercial space and 1,300 parking spaces. Time will tell whether the city commission has issues with that.