World class beaches, desirable weather and a growing international airport have put Fort Lauderdale on the map as a highly desirable tourist destination. However, development in downtown Fort Lauderdale has lagged behind the beach area, but this is not so anymore. The downtown has grown into a business hub with many companies now relocating their corporate offices there. Visitors and employers are realizing the city has more to offer in addition to the beach. According to developer Dev Motwani, “The beauty of our downtown is that it’s only five minutes from the beach.”
With a positive employment picture, the need for additional downtown housing is becoming a top priority. New apartments and condos have already been built and additional apartments and condos are currently under construction or in the planning stages.
With the increase in corporate and business relocations to the downtown area, Fort Lauderdale is also experiencing a boom in hotel construction. Hotel developers are convinced the downtown area is fast becoming a cosmopolitan and business destination. Seven downtown hotel projects are either already under construction or waiting for city approval. If all of these hotels are built, they will add more than 1,400 guest rooms to an area that currently has fewer than 400 rooms. These additional hotel rooms, in close proximity to the city’s central business district, create an appeal for both business travelers and tourists visiting friends and family downtown. “I think it just shows the evolving sophistication of downtown as a true urban destination,” according to Jenni Morejon, deputy director of Fort Lauderdale’s Downtown Development Authority.
Great cities need a mix of single family homes, condos, apartments, hotels, corporate centers, office buildings and attractions for business and leisure travelers. Fort Lauderdale is evolving in a positive direction and achieving that mix.