Downtown Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale
Courtesy of the Fort Lauderdale DDA / WLRN

More parks, more parks management, and more resiliency against sea-level rise might be the key to Downtown Fort Lauderdale's future development, according to The Urban Land Institute.

The real estate research group presented its big ideas to improve the city to residents and development leaders Friday, after an advisory panel of experts spent a week studying the city's downtown core.

The plan involves more parks, hiring more staff and updating existing green space to adapt to a hotter climate.

City of Fort Lauderdale / Courtesy

A controversial apartment tower proposed in downtown Fort Lauderdale has been revised in response to opposition, but still offers hundreds of small studios for people with low incomes.

Though downtown Fort Lauderdale has been growing in recent years with a high-rise building boom, the proposal submitted last year for a tower at 700 SE Fourth Ave. hit strong resistance. A majority on the City Commission said they didn’t support the project, mainly because it was too dense. The project also had opponents in the community, including across U.S. 1 in Rio Vista.

AIDS Healthacre Foundation
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

The nonprofit AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) told WLRN Monday that it is rethinking plans for a controversial low-income apartment complex being planned near the city's Downtown.

AHF received widespread criticism from neighbors and city officials about the size of the units and the development's location and density. 

"Overall, we've heard the concerns of the community and of the commission," Southern Bureau Chief for AHF Michael Kahane told WLRN. "We will do what it takes to make this a reality for the folks that so desperately need it."

Ronald Centamore
Courtesy of Centamore's wife, Kim Centamore

Fort Lauderdale lost one of its most involved citizen activists this week. 

Ronald Centamore, known as "Ron The Cop" to many of his friends, died on Monday due to complications from bone cancer and heart failure. He was 71 years-old. 

AIDS Healthcare Foundation
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

This story has been updated with additional context at 3:15 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 16 2019.

What started as an idea to build more affordable housing in Downtown Fort Lauderdale has become a growing fight between residents, a developer and city officials. 

 

 

Caitie Switalski / WLRN

More than 100 supporters of the nonprofit The AIDS Healthcare Foundation rallied in front of Fort Lauderdale City Hall Monday night. 

Chanting,"Healthy housing for all!" the group wore white T-shirts that said, "Love Thy Neighbor." 

The foundation is trying to build a 680-unit micro-apartment tower in the city's downtown but has met opposition from nearby residents who expressed concern over lack of services for potentially formerly homeless people living in the building, and about the size and density of the development.  

affordable housing
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

Community leaders and officials from the nonprofit AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) defended a proposed high-rise tower dedicated to low-income housing in downtown Fort Lauderdale Tuesday. 

Over the last week, city residents have expressed opposition to the project on social media, citing doubts over how well potential residents would be vetted. Some people have asked if the units are only for people living with HIV, or if the building is a shelter.

Florida Atlantic University
Alex Dolce, Florida Atlantic University / WLRN

Florida Atlantic University student Bridget Huston is collecting stories from people in her community about flooding. 

With a team at the university's Florida Center For Environmental Studies, she's looking at flood maps, or projections for how high water is estimated to rise during floods. Then she's comparing them to people's accounts of what flooding looks like in their own neighborhoods. She said she hopes the personal accounts make flood maps even more accurate. 

Andrews Ave. Fort Lauderdale
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

During the peak of rush hour in Downtown Fort Lauderdale, anywhere between 1,500 and nearly 2,000 cars are driving up and down Andrews Avenue every hour. 

Add all that up and it looks like up to 22,000 cars travel that section of the city per day, according to data from the Florida Department of Transportation. 

One idea to speed things up is to convert Andrews Avenue and Third Avenue into one-way roads.