November 2017 – RIK JONNA, Broker Associate previously with ONE Sotheby’s International Realty joins SoFlo’s fastest growing and true (no franchise) global brokerage firm of Douglas Elliman.
Construction will soon begin on a $49.3 million improvement project to replace two parking lots on Fort Lauderdale Beach with park space and a portion of a third lot with a 676-space parking garage.The Fort Lauderdale City Commission voted 4-1 to begin construction on the Beach Redevelopment Agency proposal on Wednesday, despite some pushback from concerned residents.
As part of the plan, the length of Las Olas Boulevard between A1A’s southbound and northbound lanes will be turned into a pedestrian-friendly “festival street,” by removing the median, placing both street and sidewalk at the same grade, adding bicycle lanes and extending retail and café fronts on the north side of the road.
The project’s centerpiece — an oceanfront park plaza with a flexible event lawn, a police substation, public restrooms, a portico, a coconut grove and a children’s play fountain — will replace the city’s Oceanside parking lot, while the South Intracoastal lot will be turned into additional flexible green space surrounded by a pedestrian promenade.
The garage, which will be built on a portion of the North Intracoastal lot at the west end of the barrier island, will include a flexible amenity deck and connect to the oceanfront park by a 23-person golf cart-style tram.
In total, Fort Lauderdale will lose 172 parking spots, but the project’s lead designer, Paul Kissinger of the design firm EDSA, noted at a meeting last week that the board and commissioners had agreed that it makes sense to have parking distributed further along the island.
Citing issues as varied as budget concerns, problems with the city’s sewer system and sidewalks, delays on improvements to the city’s aquatic complex and blocked views, residents of the barrier island lined up to express opposition to the project.
At times, the meeting grew contentious, with one resident calling Mayor Jack Seiler “a fascist” for refusing to allow a late entry to the speaker list, and another erroneously calling out, “That’s not true,” as the project’s lead designer Paul Kissinger cited a 2014 study of nationwide parking garage costs from structural engineering firm Carl Walker.
Much of the opposition centered around the city’s sewer system, which suffered from a number of high profile failures last year.
“A key component of what everybody brought up here tonight,” said District 1 Commissioner Bruce Roberts, “is the infrastructure concerns.”
“I think that we can walk and chew gum at the same time, and I’m looking forward to being able to work with the community on resolving infrastucture needs and projects,” Roberts said. “With that in mind, I’m going to be in favor of voting for this particular project.”
Vice-Mayor Dean Trantalis, the lone dissenting vote, cited concerns about the garage’s location just north of the Las Olas Boulevard Bridge, but expressed support for the project overall. “I think it does a disservice to speak against the oceanside improvement, when in fact we’re really concerned about that garage,” he said, adding that the addition of open green spaces on the oceanfront will set Fort Lauderdale apart from other coastal cities.
“A lot of families choose alternative methods by which to enjoy our beach,” Trantalis said. “This is one of those ways.”
By Joshua Kleinberg
Tech and entertainment companies are pouring billions of dollars into virtual reality, trying to make the strap-on-headsets the Next Big Thing. It hasn’t caught on with the masses yet, but it has charmed the hearts and minds of us luxury real estate agents and executives, who consider VR’s ability to monopolize viewers’ attentions almost too good to be true. Whether this technology will be the exclusive purview of beer commercials and luxury penthouse walkthroughs remains to be seen. What’s almost certain is that you’ll be seeing a lot more of it very soon.
Waterfront Estate & Luxury Condo Specialist
401 Bayshore Drive, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304
The Gale Residences
$500k to $1.5 Mil
800SF to 1,200SF
Occupancy January 2018
Gale Residences Fort Lauderdale Beach broke ground this week with 70 percent of the 129 condominiums under contract. The 12-story project is located one block from the ocean, and consists of foreign and domestic buyers both. When compared to Miami Pre-Construction, Gale Residences are a great value.
Hello Fort Lauderdale ONE Sotheby’s Team. After computing the April 2016 numbers you, Rik Jonna, are in the in the TOP 10 producers in the Fort Lauderdale Office!! CONGRATS and keep up the Fantastic work!!!
BJ (Beatriz BJ Martinez-Prillaman) Managing Director/ Las Olas Office.
The owner of Fort Lauderdale’s The Galleria Mall announced plans to develop a phased project valued at more than a $1 billion around the mall. Project plans include 1,600 residences, 150 hotel rooms and an unspecified number of senior living apartments. The Galleria’s owner would also improve walkways around the mall property and add new landscaping, green space and bike lanes.
The looming shadow of the proposed development at The Galleria mall extends well beyond the site’s neighbors and could set a standard for how this city grows. But that depends on whether city officials, concerned about its size, ultimately approve the project along Sunrise Boulevard. People using Sunrise Boulevard to get to the beach — and others having to rely on it as a hurricane evacuation route to get away from the coast — will see much more traffic on a road where tie-ups are already common. So will commuters on the slow-moving stretch of Federal Highway that overlaps Sunrise to the west of the mall. The size of the project’s tallest building, a 38-story hotel and apartment complex, may be common in the city’s downtown, but officials will have to decide if that’s a height they want to see popping up elsewhere. The current zoning on the Galleria site allows for a maximum height of 15 stories. The project is still being reviewed by city staff and has not been scheduled yet for hearings before the commission and the Planning and Zoning Board.
It started off in the 1950s as the Sunrise Shopping Center, an open-air mall. It was redeveloped as the enclosed and renamed Galleria Mall in the 1980s, and now has about 100 retailers and restaurants anchored by Dillards, Macy’s and Neiman Marcus.
Photos taken of Army Core of Engineers at work on the Fort Lauderdale Beach Rejuvenation. Coarse sand brought in from near Lake Okeechobee. After nearly 10 years of erosion, you can see the dramatic Local and Federal Government improvement…Wonderful pristine beaches where residents and visitors enjoy clean, safe, user-friendly beach….continuously certified as Blue Wave Beaches by the Clean Beaches Council of Washington DC since 1999. Ask anyone coming to Fort Lauderdale and it’s all about our beaches. They’re legendary. They appear on postcards, in movies and the internet. From kids to college students to newlyweds to movie stars, Ft. Lauderdale Beaches have seen them all. It’s really been something to witness this wonderful 55 million dollar restoration. Cheers to all those involved in making this happen!
When affluent buyers think of luxury U.S. real estate markets a few big cities immediately come to mind: New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami and now Fort Lauderdale: globally recognized as a popular tourist destination is rapidly emerging as a go-to option for buyers seeking luxury living.
FORT LAUDERDALE has always been a place known for its wide variety of tourist attractions, local shopping, and incredible beaches, and referred to as the “Venice of America”, however, those unfamiliar with the real estate activity may be surprised by the surge of luxury homes and the growth of its emerging luxury market. As new high-end condominium projects are completed, cutting-edge transportation advancements are also being made reducing the transit time between Miami and Fort Lauderdale. This also has an impact on strengthening the Fort Lauderdale’s luxury real estate prominence – another step to its evolution.
Research shows that Fort Lauderdale was the fifth most-searched-for U.S. city by international buyers. Numerous factors once thought to exist only in Miami now bring affluent, international consumers to the Lauderdale marketplace. More than 3,000 hours of sunshine each year, miles of pristine beaches, expanding international business opportunities, and additional direct international flights out of Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport each add immeasurable value for luxury home buyers seeking to enjoy luxuriant living in South Florida.
In 2015, the Fort Lauderdale luxury market has seen more than 120 completed transactions at or above $1.3 million with more than 442 qualifying properties actively on the market. In addition to new Single family and townhomes, Fort Lauderdale is experiencing a robust resurgence of its preconstruction Condominium Market including direct oceanfront, canal front, intracoastal and those which are in walking distance to the beach. Market strength reflects a narrowing margin of what sellers initially expect to receive for their properties and what buyers are willing to pay for the same homes.
From high-rise condominiums to expansive waterfront mansions, high net-worth individuals have many options. Whether desiring to abide in the new direct oceanfront Auberge or retreat to a private canal fron, guard-gated estate in Harbor Beach, it is safe to say that buyers’ demands can be satisfied here, home to some of the world’s most spectacular beaches.
Richard A. (Rik) Jonna
ONE Sotheby’s International Realty
BIGGEST BEACH RESTORATION IN 10 YEARS!
Beaches will be widened by more than 200 feet in parts of Pompano Beach and Fort Lauderdale, as Broward County’s biggest beach restoration project in 10 years begins this fall. A parade of dump trucks will carry sand from mines in Florida’s interior to a five-mile stretch of coast from northern Fort Lauderdale to southern Pompano Beach, where years of erosion have narrowed some beaches to just a few yards. The permit from the Army Corps of Engineers finally came through this summer after years of review. “We feel elation,” said Pio Ieraci, president of the Galt Mile Community Association. “We’ve waited for this for so long. We’re anxiously awaiting the state of the project.”
The $55 million project is timed to begin at the end of sea turtle nesting season in early November. It calls for roughly 45,000 truck trips from the center of Florida to carry up to 750,000 cubic yards of sand to the coast — or about 300 truck trips per day. After being dumped on the beach, the sand will be spread out by bulldozers.
We’ve waited for this for so long. We’re anxiously awaiting the state of the project.
– Pio Leraci,Galt Mile Community Association.
How much the beaches are widened will vary greatly, said Nicole Sharp, Broward County beach erosion administrator. In Fort Lauderdale, beaches will be widened from 70 to 240 feet, in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea by about 160 feet and in Pompano Beach by 200 to 250 feet. Beach renourishment jobs are environmentally challenging in South Florida, where the newly placed sand can wash into the ocean and bury coral reefs. In a detailed biological review, the National Marine Fisheries Service said the project, known as Segment 2, will bury up to 4.9 acres of coral reef and destroy habitat for young green sea turtles.
Segment 2 holds the last of the centuries-old, near-shore corals, not only in Broward County, but in all of South Florida.
– Ed Tichenor, Palm Beach County Reef Rescue
The plan calls for extensive efforts to prevent harm and mitigate any damage. Coral colonies would be transplanted away from danger and 6.8 acres of artificial reef would be built out of limestone and concrete off Lauderdale-by-the-Sea. The fisheries service said 16 colonies of threatened elkhorn and staghorn coral will be transplanted and three of the staghorn colonies may die in the process. But overall, with the creation of the artificial reef, it said the project will not reduce habitat for threatened species of coral. The reef burial could also displace up to 25 young endangered green turtles, the report said. Although they are likely to move to other areas, suitable habitat is limited and some may suffer impaired health or even death. Environmental groups say it risks irreparably damaging some of the region’s most pristine reefs.
“Segment 2 holds the last of the centuries-old, near-shore corals, not only in Broward County, but in all of South Florida,” said Ed Tichenor, director of Palm Beach County Reef Rescue. They say they will monitor it closely with volunteer divers because they don’t trust the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to step in to prevent any unexpected damage. “Unfortunately as we’ve seen on projects as recently as the ongoing Miami port dredging, even when project-related habitat destruction is identified, it is next to impossible to halt the project once they have begun under the current FDEP administration,” he said. The renourishment will be paid for by a combination of federal, state, county and city funds, Sharp said. Under the expected formula, the federal government will pay 55 percent, with the remainder split by the state, county and city governments.
The sand will come from mines along the spine of Florida, where the buried remains of ancient beaches hold sand deposited during an era of higher sea levels. County Commissioner Chip LaMarca, who represents that part of the coast, said he was glad to see the approval of a project that has been of deep concern to his constituents. “We’re thrilled that the 16-year regulatory process is finally concluded and look forward to the start of the project at the end of turtle season,” he said.
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At S Florida Luxury Living, I specialize in Luxury Condominiums and Waterfront Estate in Fort Lauderdale. Intimate knowledge of the distinctive areas, market, individual projects, and the buying process, affords my clients complete peace of mind. Please contact me for further information or to schedule private showings.
Richard A. (Rik) Jonna
Broker Associate/ Global Real Estate Advisor
ONE Sotheby’s International Realty/ Fort Lauderdale Office
For immediate assistance, call me directly at 954.909.2045
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