Fort Lauderdale’s Next Development Gets Approved

The next development for the bustling real estate market in Fort Lauderdale has just moved forward. The developers for the Bahia Mar property have just won approval for their plans to move forward with a high-rise complete with a hotel, restaurants, retail, marine space and apartments.

Mayor Jack Seiler was in favor of the development and was quoted saying “There are good people on both sides of this issue,” Seiler said before the first vote, which followed a seven-hour public hearing featuring passionate pleas. “I think there’s a huge public purpose involved. Right now, there is no public use of the property. … You pull up and there’s a gate, and if you get back there, you can basically hang out on asphalt. I think we can make better use of this property.”

Specifically, the large development plan calls for seven high-rises with 651 rental apartments, a hotel with 256 rooms, a 5-story building for grocery, parking and offices, an above ground parking structure, yachting amenity complex, a two-story restaurant, underground parking garage and a public promenade that will wrap around a portion of the property.

Proponents for the development feel that when the project is complete then it will be more open to the public than the space is now. Furthermore, the towers will be elevated over an aperture where visitors can view the yachts and waterway from many different vantage points.

“You can have the experience of the water all the way around,” architect Kobi Karp said. “ … We are giving the land and its functions and its uses to the community.”

Those who opposed the development had concerns that the plans had been considered too quickly. They feel that the congestion for the area will raise issues for flow of traffic and don’t believe the financial return for the city is enough for it to be worth it. Concerns regarding older plumbing for water-sewer pipes were also discussed yet the developer’s attorney had explained that they would be replaced due to any question of ability to handle demand.

The 38.6-acre peninsular property with 16 acres of dry land extends into the Intracoastal Waterway at 801 Seabreeze Blvd., located just south of Las Olas Boulevard.