New luxury apartments rise in growing Fort Lauderdale

The proliferation of high-rise buildings with high-design architecture and resort-style amenities in South Florida has been heading north. While in Miami-Dade County foreign buyers dominate the condo-flipping mania, Broward County offers more stability.

Fort Lauderdale’s skyline is changing at a slower pace. Patrick Campbell, a vice president at the Related Group, said the majority of the buyers in Fort Lauderdale are end users from South Florida who are transitioning into the next stage of their lives.

“We see that the demographic is largely empty nesters, professionals and second-home buyers with ties to the community,” Campbell said.

Fort Lauderdale’s residential real estate inventory is growing in both the Las Olas and beachfront areas. Despite the rising real estate prices, the city’s luxury units remain a bargain compared to those in Miami Beach, Bal Harbour, Sunrise and downtown Miami.

Campbell said the Auberge Beach Residences and Spa is $1,300 per square foot versus $3,000 per square foot in Miami Beach. The 171-unit oceanfront two-tower project is breaking records in Broward County. In April, the developers announced a penthouse in the South Tower sold for $8.9 million. 

Ron Drew, of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance, attributes the rising condo market to the growing job market. Drew cited that from June 2014 to March 2017, there were 77,600 jobs added in Broward County. And more jobs are coming. 

Companies like Magic Leap in Plantation, Hotwire Communications in Fort Lauderdale and Ecolab in Miramar have announced expansions in the last two years. And Fort Lauderdale Las Olas will soon have a supply of condos for young professionals who are not ready to buy real estate, but are ready for luxury living.

The Related Group will complete Fort Lauderdale’s tallest building this summer. The 45-story Icon Las Olas will debunk the 42-story Las Olas River House, built in 2004. Liz Caldwell, an agent for Premier Estate Properties, said there is a demand for the units. 

In partnership with Rabina Properties and Perella Weinberg Partners, the Icon Las Olas will have 272 units for rent from $2,500 to $7,000 a month starting in June. Residents will have access to a spa, concierge, a wine room, a movie room, a gym and two pools. 

“Why buy when you can rent? It’s all about the millennials,” Caldwell said. “They want the experience of living in downtown without the permanence and they don’t mind living from pay check to pay check.” 

The Icon Las Olas is just the beginning. There are more high-rise buildings lining along the Tarpon River. The other projects are The 42-story Residences of Las Olas, the 25-story 4 West Las Olas, the 45-story 100 Las Olas and the 45-story Las Olas Riverfront Tower 1 and 28-story Tower 2. 

The Greater for Fort Lauderdale Alliance projects a 7.7 percent population growth by 2021. Jessica Savage, of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Conventions and Visitor Bureau, said to cater to the growing population the city also has developed a more dynamic dining and restaurant scene that is attracting well-known chefs, such as Geoffrey Zakarian.

Aside from the new restaurants, there are also new brew pubs, coffee shops and ale houses that have “popped up over the past few years,” Savage said. 

The growth is not limited to the condo market. The hospitality industry is also getting an upgrade with the Hyde Resorts and Residences, Ocean Resort Residences at Conrad Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort, the Four Seasons and the Gale Boutique Hotel & Residences. The hotel renovations include the W Fort Lauderdale.

“The destination is attracting a more affluent demographic and developing a cooler vibe,” Savage said. 

Local 10 News Kerry Weston contributed to this report. 

360 DEGREE RENDERING | 100 Las Olas

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Overtown business owner says she’s constantly harassed by police, city officials

Corrine Bradley’s market has been open for business for nearly 50 years in Overtown.

“Forty-eight years, up until last year, we’ve never had (any) complaints,” Bradley said.  

In the past year, the city of Miami noticed a number of arrests near Bradley’s business on Northwest Second Avenue and decided to designate it a nuisance property.

The designation has levied thousands in fines for the corner market.

“It’s not on my property,” Bradley said. ” That’s what I can’t understand. They’re across the street.”

Bradley said she is being forced to install more lights and a camera system and that the cameras had to be remotely monitored by the police. 

“They should pay for it, or put up their own. What’s wrong with them putting up their own camera?” Bradley said.

Hilton Napoleon, Bradley’s attorney, also weighed in.

“Big brother doesn’t have the right to peep inside and see what we’re doing,” Napoleon said.

Napoleon has filed a suit against the city, claiming forcing Bradley to install a pricey high-tech system for police to view at will is unconstitutional.

Local 10 News made calls to the Miami city attorney’s office, but they were unreturned. Miami police told Local 10 News they’d reply to a request for a comment, but had not done so by the time of the report.

In the meantime, customers said police have been targeting the property.

“Every time somebody go up in front of that lady’s store, they come up harassing us. We don’t give them invitation to mess with us,” a customer said.

It’s important to note the area is being redeveloped and land prices are rising.  

“I think that people will make their own conclusion, and it’s clear as day what is going on here,” Napoleon said. 

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McDonald’s phasing out Hi-C Orange, to offer new drink instead

McDonald’s is phasing out a familiar drink and then will to add a new one to their menu beginning on Monday.

According to multiple reports the fast food chain has decided to stop serving familiar favorite Hi-C Orange.

The drink had been popular in both Happy Meals and with adults but by the end of July the drink option will be gone altogether.

Locations have been told to sell Hi-C until their supply is gone and then a new beverage called Sprite TropicBerry will be offered and served exclusively at McDonald’s.

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So McDonalds has announced that it will stop offering my favorite drink: Hi-C Orange Lavaburst! What are we going to do without it? Help! pic.twitter.com/3YhbFfu1Pw

— Evrod Cassimy (@EvrodCassimy) April 27, 2017

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Miami-Dade County commissioners approve bed tax for Airbnb

Miami-Dade County commissioners Tuesday levied the county’s 6 percent hotel tax on room-sharing platforms, whether legally sanctioned or not.

Commissioners debated the ongoing struggle to regulate Airbnb before voting in favor of the tax deal. Three commissioners — Bruno Barreiro, Joe Martinez and Javier Souto — voted against the measure.

The vote did nothing to regulate or condone what is fast becoming a market-driven, app-based evolution of guest housing, currently the target of a “Just Say No” crusade by the mayors of Miami and Miami Beach, who are opposed to resort business in residential neighborhoods.

Airbnb spokesman Tom Martinelli said the company is “solely focused on making sure that our hosts are recognized and legitimized and compliant with the letter of the law.”

“But they’re not recognized or legitimized with this vote,” Local 10 News reporter Glenna Milberg said.

“Well, I think that today we got a little closer,” Martinelli said.

The county bed tax on the thousands of room-share rentals mean an estimated $6 million annually in Miami-Dade County and $1 million in neighboring Broward County.

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez said he’s confident the county will be able to collect that bed tax from Airbnb.

“Our CFO (chief financial officer) was the one (who) negotiated, and he feels there are enough safeguards there,” Gimenez said.

Hotel industry representatives support the tax that levels their playing field a bit, although they want private rentals to face the same rules and code regulations.

“We are going to work with government officials on how to regulate this,” Bill Talbert, president and CEO of the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, told Local 10.

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