Fort Lauderdale Realtor Andy Weiser

Fort Lauderdale Realtor
Fort Lauderdale Realtor Andy Weiser

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Artist's representational drawing, subject to change.
Palazzo Las Olas Check out nearby Icon Las Olas , where pre-construction prices in an attractive landmark tower are available.
April 14, 2006

Has the final shot been fired in the Palazzo Las Olas war?

According to Sun-Sentinel news reports, Broward Circuit Judge Vicor Tobin has dismissed most counts of the developer's $40 million lawsuit, brought to recover profits he would have made if  the city held to their promises and honored the contract they had with him to develop a blighted piece of prime real estate in 2003.

The judge still might consider whether the city commission violated the state's Sunshine Law , but for now our guess is that the Palazzo project is not happening, and it will be quite a while before anybody talks about developing all that prime land at the east end of the Las Olas Bridge. 

Fort Lauderdale's City Commission caved in to the small and entirely too vocal anti-development crowd opposed  to Palazzo Las Olas, and rejected the project in a 4 to 1 vote on November 5, 2003.   

This was in spite of: 

- having selected the project nearly three years earlier to occupy, beautify and bring life to public land that is now considered a blighted area.  

- the fact that the developer has already spent more than $5 million on the early phases of refining and negotiating details of the proposed development.   

- the developer and all the people who have contracted to buy condominium homes at Palazzo believed the city was acting in good faith when it agreed to the project. 

The developer has filed a $40 million lawsuit against the city for damages and asked the court to reverse the city's decision to scuttle the project.  This is a lawsuit the city can ill-afford, and this story will continue to unfold in the coming months.  

Following information is provided only as background.  It was written in September 2003 and is now useful only as historic reference.  

Palazzo Las Olas is is a $120 million project planned to bring life to an area along the Intracoastal Waterway at the east end of the Las Olas Bridge now occupied by parking lots.  It is proposed to be a low density mixed use development providing a waterfront promenade, over 1000 public parking spaces, 25,000 square feet of retail space and lots more (see below).  Palazzo's 173 luxury residences are spread over four buildings on nine acres.  It is a model of intelligent urban planning and the perfect backdrop to Fort Lauderdale's marina and a magnificent gateway to the beach.  

Palazzo Villas, north of the bridge, is a set of six story buildings in a Mediterranean style reminiscentArtist's representational drawing, subject to change. of Italy's Portofino and Sorrento.   

This is what progressive urban planners have talked about for years, low-density, mixed use development.  Ninety eight condominium residences will be on upper floors and retail space along a ground level pedestrian walkway.  

That walkway will be a public esplanade comparable to Riverwalk, but with views of the mega-yachts at the adjacent city marina, the glittering downtown and glorious sunsets.  

It will include sidewalk cafes as well as fine dining.  A supermarket, drug store, banks and a post office are also part of the plan to make this a real neighborhood as well as an attractive public space for everyone to enjoy just a short walk from the beach.  Palazzo Las Olas will also include over 1000 public parking spaces in easy walking distance to the beach.  

Residents of Palazzo Villas will enjoy Club Palazzo with a full service fitness center, a rooftop swimming pool with poolside lounge. and other luxury amenities.   

Proposed residences range from 1160 interior square foot, one bedroom units to 2500 interior square foot, three bedroom units with three and a half baths.  Every unit has at least one terrace.  Some even have sweeping wrap-terraces of over 1600 square feet.   

Artist's representational drawing, subject to changePalazzo Tower, will be a mid-rise, triangular 16 story building on the south side of the bridge, also in a Mediterranean style.   It will include its own third floor Club Palazzo overlooking the Intracoastal.  There residents will be pampered with a pool, spa, poolside cabanas as well as a fully featured fitness center, conference rooms, party rooms, catering kitchen and more.  All of the luxury residences in Palazzo Tower are three bedrooms or larger, and range from just over 2400  to an opulent 4240 air conditioned square feet, with some terraces of over 1000 square feet.   Again the luxury features and amenities are too numerous to list here, but what is proposed is what most buyers expect with prices starting in the high six figures. 

The entire complex will provide 173 residences and 25,000 square feet of retail space as well as over 1000 public parking spaces (in addition to resident's private parking).  

All of this in what is proposed to be what the Central Beach Alliance vision called for, a "village that includes a balanced mix of quality retail, entertainment and residential that incorporates well designed open spaces, public facilities"  and a pedestrian friendly environment.   

The award winning architect, Adache Group Architects was established here in 1969 and is headed by Fort Lauderdale resident Daniel E. Adache.  The company was ranked in the top 20 design firms in 2002 by Hotel Motel Management and has a portfolio of noteworthy residential, hotel and resort achievements throughout Florida and the Caribbean.   

Palazzo Las Olas' location should be a showcase of the best of Fort Lauderdale but is now occupied by not much more than open parking lots that the city has regarded as "blighted" for over 15 years.  

Beginning at the Museum of Art, in the middle of downtown East Las Olas Boulevard is Fort Lauderdale's Park Avenue and Rodeo Drive, all rolled into one.  It runs through downtown's glittering new office towers as well as fabulous new luxury hi-rise condominiums like 350 Las Olas.  The Boulevard continues through a beautiful streetscape with a lushly planted median and luxury shopping, galleries, fine dining, sidewalk cafes and more.  

Waterfront homes just north and south of Las Olas Boulevard near the Intracoastal routinely trade for over $1 million and are considered to be among the most prestigious addresses in all of South Florida.  

Continuing East, just across the bridge and heading toward Fort Lauderdale's  world renowned beach, you drive through the site where Palazzo Las Olas will serve as a backdrop to the yachts in the city's marina and a gateway to the beach area, the main attraction of our city.  

For all these reasons and more, one would expect the City of Fort Lauderdale, which commissioned this project after years of studies, workshops, meetings, and public input, to be thrilled with the prospect of this sort of project in this location.  

Perceived "over-development" has however become a hot-button issue in local politics. (See related news articles).  Municipal elections in February 2003 turned on that issue, and Palazzo Las Olas was the unfortunate and truly implausible scapegoat and whipping-boy of the vocal anti-development crowd.  They actually used pictures of this project in their campaign, and a a "slow growth" City Commission was voted in.    

This is unfortunate because Palazzo Las Olas is exactly the kind of low density, mixed use development that would have served the beach area well had it been the model all along.  Indeed if new construction in recent years had been characterized by this kind of mixed use and low density, there might not be an anti-development mood prevalent at all.   

Palazzo's four buildings spread out over nine acres and include one sixteen story building and three six story buildings with a total of only 173 luxury residential units in addition to all of the public amenities mentioned above.  This actually compares very favorably to nearby buildings on far smaller parcels of land.  

Just east of the Palazzo site, Jackson Tower has 30 stories and 123 units.  A little further north, two towers right on the beach (31 and 32 stories each) house a total of 187 luxury condominiums at The Palms.  Nobody made much of an issue over either of them.   

The city is now delaying the Palazzo project with more meetings and hearings.  A special counsel was appointed to review contracts and agreements already signed by the developer and the city.  

That local lawyer, Ali Waldman, released a report (according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, September 10, 2003) critical of six features in those contracts.  She will officially present her report on October 7, the date that a hearing on the project had been scheduled.  While it is difficult to imagine how the city can get out of contracts it has already agreed to, experts say this could drag on for months if not years.

If you imagine that political wrangling ahead and no ground breaking date in sight has deterred prospective buyers, you do not understand the dynamics of Fort Lauderdale real estate.  

Buyers have already flocked to this project, reportedly plunking down as much as $50,000 as reservation deposits until approvals are obtained and sales contracts are available.  

In fact the sales office for the project reports that the units in Palazzo Villas north of the bridge are totally sold out.  An attractive selection remains available in the Tower south of the bridge, with three bedroom models starting in the $800's and the most spacious penthouse priced at $2.1 million.  

To make their case to the community, the developer has engaged a powerhouse team of lobbyists (including Governor Jeb Bush's former spokesperson) and launched a brilliant advertising and public relations campaign, complete with massive mailings of four color brochures to sway pubic opinion.  Twenty five hundred letters have been written to the City Commission, asking them to approve the project.  The opposition is of course writing letters too.  

This is a story that will continue to unfold, and people eager to own residences in this development will continue to reserve them.  If you think you would like to be one of them, Andy can send you more details as well as floor plans, which are available now.  

Send Andy E-Mail or call him at 954-560-9667 to talk more about whether or not this landmark project is right for you.  He'll get back to you right away.

If you can't wait  to live in a great new condo in Fort Lauderdale, click here for some the best condo buildings where Distinguished Residences are finished and ready for you to move right in.   

Or use the Condominium Shoppers Form to search for Condominium Residences in any area, price range or size. 

New Construction information on this website is not paid advertising.  I am not the exclusive agent for this developer.  I do not simply reiterate developer's press releases.  What you read on is independent information, drawn from press reports and other public records as well as talking with insiders after reviewing the developer's materials.  I hope you find it helpful, objective and authoritative. 

E-mail me and I will be happy to further assist you in purchasing as you consider new construction in our area.  


The seller reserves the absolute right, in its sole judgment and discretion to substitute appliances, materials, fixtures and equipment.  Dimensions, features and images in artist's representations are subject to change without notice.  All dimensions are furnished by the developer and are approximate.  The size, dimensions and layout of each residence are subject to architectural, structural and other changes as recommended by the architect, contractor, developer or as required by law.  Floor Plans are subject to change without notice.  Furnishings where used in illustrations  are for artistic purposes only.  Ask for a standard Features and Amenities List for residence features.  

Information presented here is accurate to the best of our knowledge as of September 10, 2003.  Prices and availability are subject to change without notice.



 Alhambra Place     L'Ambiance Beach    AquAzul     Aquatania    Aqua Vista Townhomes  The Atlantic Hotel Condominium    Avenue Lofts      Bamboo Flats    Bayview Townhomes  

Beach Colony South   Bella Caprese and Luna Bella     Blue Luxury Townhomes on Fort Lauderdale Beach     Breezes at Palm Aire Condo for Golf, Spa, Resort and Country Club   

Coconut Grove Luxury Condominium on Fort Lauderdale Beach       Coral Harbour Luxury Condominium with Private Marina 

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Andy Weiser, Broker Associate
Andy Weiser, PA
Coldwell Banker
Residential Real Estate
2400 East Commercial Blvd
Ft Lauderdale, FL 33308

Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate Inc
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