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CRANES, CRANES EVERYWHERE

There are many factors and statistics to look at when trying to determine the health of the local economy. One simple and un-scientific way is to simply note the increasing number of cranes on the Fort Lauderdale skyline. One notable place to see cranes at work is at the busy intersection of 17th Street and Federal Highway where Whole Foods is being built. The towering cranes that rise above so many of the development sites suggest a robust economy with the blending of residential and retail space.

In addition, there is a great deal of commercial activity as well. The Quay, a waterfront mixed-use shopping center on 17th Street in Fort Lauderdale, has been sold to a Miami developer, Mast Capital. According to Camilo Mast Jr., “The deal shows the growing demand for commercial properties in Fort Lauderdale with many developers moving to the Broward County city due to the strong job market, growing population, and cheaper land costs than in Miami.” as quoted in The Real Deal.

Also on the horizon is Fort Lauderdale’s venture into the sports arena. David Beckham, the soccer legend, has won the unanimous approval of the City Council to tear down Lockhart Stadium and the adjacent Fort Lauderdale Stadium where Beckham plans a “soccer-centric-community destination.” It will have 18,000 seats and host Beckham’s Inter Miami CF, a new Major League Soccer team. They will play the first two seasons in Fort Lauderdale before moving to Miami. After the second year, it will serve as Inter Miami’s training hub for the next 50 years. Under the proposal, Beckham would be allowed to use the land and, in return, the City would not have to contribute money toward the stadium project. A 34 acre public park, including sports fields, will also be built by him and turned over to the City. Considering the stadium and surrounding area has been underutilized for years, this should have a positive impact on the city.

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