More rentals are in the pipeline for downtown Fort Lauderdale as a Coconut Grove-based developer works with the city on plans for a 32-story tower near Las Olas Boulevard.
Eden Multifamily is proposing a 374-unit apartment building on the site of an existing parking lot at 419 SE 2nd St. The $133 million project is called Next Las Olas.
Eden has submitted an application to the city’s Development Review Committee, which is scheduled to discuss the project on Tuesday.
The building would have ground-floor retail and an eight-story parking garage, according to the application.
“The project’s architectural style is modern with sleek lines, wrap-around balconies and floor-to-ceiling glass in the amenity spaces and accentuated residential locations,” the application says.
Jay Jacobson, president of Eden, said Monday he doesn’t yet have a rental range but hopes to gain final city approval by the end of the year and start construction four to six months after that.
Jacobson said Next Las Olas should be well-received in the market.
“I think even with the numbers [of rentals] that have been talked about, there’s a great demand for these types of apartments in the downtown,” he said.
In recent years, the city has worked to make the downtown a destination where office workers can live and access shopping and entertainment options without the need to drive their cars.
More than 15,600 downtown Fort Lauderdale condominium and rental units have been built or approved for construction since 2012, according to city figures. More than 3,200 units are in various stages of the approval process.
Last month, city commissioners approved 612 rental units as part of a two blocks north of Broward Boulevard at 300 N. Andrews Ave.
While most new projects cater to luxury buyers and renters, FATcity’s developer, Joseph Traina Jr., said he wants to attract middle-income workers who would pay rents ranging from under $1,000 to more than $2,000 a month.
Aside from the rentals, FATcity will have 185,000 square feet of offices, 87,000 square feet of retail and a partially covered atrium offering residents and office workers a place to gather and relax. The project is less than two blocks from the Brightline commuter train station that is scheduled to open this fall.
In January, the city approved a plan by Property Markets Group to build 1,200 apartments and 40,000 square feet of shops and restaurants on the site of the Las Olas Riverfront, west of Andrews Avenue overlooking the New River. At the time, Mayor Jack Seiler said it would be a “transformative project” for the downtown.
“There are a lot of projects going on downtown — and rightfully so,” said Luke Moorman, president of Las Olas Association, a group that represents businesses downtown. “With the advent of Brightline, it opens us up to all three counties.”
Jack McCabe, a housing analyst in Deerfield Beach, agrees with Jacobson that demand for rentals remains strong — for now, at least.
“They’re filling them up,” McCabe said. “It seems like every week or two there’s an announcement of a new project. But if we keep seeing more new rentals like we have been, it may not be too long before we see supply exceed demand.”
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