Downtown Ft. Lauderdale, FL

This is a very compact dwtn between S Federal Hwy and NW 2nd Ave, and NE 4th St and south to 6th Street below the New River.

Downtown Ft. Lauderdale is a thoroughly modern Downtown as almost all of its historic fabric has been wiped away. From the little I’ve read it appears Downtown was a rough place around WWII, which would explain why civic leaders were so aggressive in their urban renewal effects. In the post war era, Downtown was mainly a 9-5 office district. Safe but very sterile and dead in the evenings. With the renovation of Las Olas in the early 2000s restaurants and other entertainment venues started to pop up Downtown. The district also became a major residential area and current day Downtown Ft. Lauderdale hosts a sizable population.

Other than 2 supermarkets, Dwtn lacks most neighborhood retail amenities. Much of this fortunately exists to the east in the Beverley Heights neighborhood along Las Olas but this is a crucial urban need if Downtown Ft. Lauderdale is to become a quality urban district. Dwtn also needs better bike infrastructure, more walkable schools, a large student presence, more affordable rental options, better cultural amenities and the in-fill of many vacant lots and surface parking lots north of Broward Blvd and south of the New River.

Click here to view my Downtown Ft. Lauderdale album on Flickr


* Pretty good density of a Dwtn.
* Connectivity is generally pretty good Dwtn. There are some wider streets but none are 1-ways.
* High quality tree canopy.
* Interesting mix of high incomes and those in poverty.
* Good racial diversity and a pretty high % of family households living Dwtn similar to Dwtn Miami.
* Other than a large homeless population, Dwtn is very safe.
* Dwtn has nice parks including riverfront trails on both sides of the river, Stranaham Land Park, and Huizanga Plaza, which also functions as Dwtn’s Civic Plaza although not a spectacular one.
* Cultural amenities Dwtn include plenty of restaurants, some bars & cafes, a couple life music venues, a couple local museums; and plenty of night clubs, a major performing arts complex, an Imax & Science Center but all  in the adjacent Sailboat Bend. Dwtn also hosts the convention Center.
* Buildings can be tacky but generally good urban form. The newer construction is better that stuff built to the 2000s.
* Urban form and streetscaping are good in the core of dwtn. Lots of parking lots and underinvested streetscaping btwn Broward and 4th and south of the river.


* Ok system of bike lanes in Ft. Lauderdale and to adjacent suburbs. A small bike sharing system exist in Ft. Lauderdale with only a couple of stations dwtn.
* Public transit is only good Dwtn and in a handful of districts surrounding it. The City as a whole has decent transit access as well as the surrounding suburbs.
* ADA and sidewalk infrastructure is generally good but a good amount of curb cuts don’t have modern ADA curbs and some missing sidewalks in the north and southern edges of Dwtn.
* Almost no remaining historic architecture.
* Walkable schools are limited to a couple quality elementary schools on the eastern border of Dwtn.
* Rental housing is expensive with studios leasing in the low 2Ks, 1-beds btwn mid 2Ks-low4Ks, 2-beds 3Ks-5Ks, and some 3-beds generally leasing in the 5Ks.
* For sale is a bit more reasonable as there are a fair amount of moderately priced 1-bed condos selling btwn 300K-600K, 2-beds btwn 500K-2 M, 3 & 4 beds 600K-3M.
* Only a handful of satellite colleges dwtn. No more than a couple thousands students Dwtn.
* Missing cultural amenities include art galleries and there are not sports arenas Dwtn.
* Difficult to determine but it appears about 30-40K employees work in Dwtn Fr. Lauderdale. I saw a report mentioned 60K but I believe that was the “greater dwtn area”. Office vacancy rate is at about 20%.
* Dwtn retail amenities are limited to 2 Publixs, a couple of drug stores, plenty of banks, a Dwtn Library, a couple gyms and churches. All the retail amenities are east along Las Olas (which is walkable fyi).

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