Foundations of a Planned Development Lie Fallow in Victoria Park

Categories: Broward News
To document the depth of the housing crisis, New Times is profiling some of South Florida's forgotten homes.

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Location: A half-block of unfinished cinder-block foundations -- for 24 unbuilt homes -- stretches along NE 16th Avenue from Eighth to Ninth streets in Fort Lauderdale, a block south of 
the Hustler Hollywood store.

Timeline: Eight buildings, half of them large apartment complexes, along NE 16th Avenue were demolished in 2005 to make room for a new development. The land sat empty, marked by just a few piles of dirt, until two-foot-high foundations were installed in 2007. 

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State of disrepair: It's stayed that way ever since. At the south end of the plot, dirt and grass have filled the foundations to the top. A chainlink fence surrounds the property, and rebar poles with orange plastic caps protrude from the cement block foundations. There are no utility connections except for a lone water spigot near the south end. No "for sale" signs or other notices are posted.

What's the deal? The development was to be called "Victoria Green," and the developers bought the plots in 2005 for a total of $7.8 million. The properties were foreclosed on in summer 2009, and investors bought it back from Sun American Bank for around $4 million, according to the Broward County Property Appraiser.

How much? There's no realtor listed, but the assessed value on the development (broken into four plots) last year was $1.2 million. The owner is Mazal Investments 16 LLC, based in Bay Harbor Islands. We'll update if we hear from them.


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1 comments
Gfigler
Gfigler

What is the update? We are considering an urban garden initiative. The cinder block areas are perfect garden plots and the markers great for labeling the produce.  However, it would likely mean a variance and cooperation with the City and the support of the Victoria Park Civic Association. Either of those are a big battle due to traffic and other misconceptions. As you know, the urban effort near Home Depot was mowed down by the lender due likely to a mow the grass citation from the City after Charlie Ladd let the project produce. We approached our Commissioner over a year ago in connection with vacant undeveloped land on Federal Highway. Please see recent articles where REITS in NYC are investing in roof top urban garden efforts. Everyone benefits. High end restaurants purchase the produce, volunteers are willing to lead the efforts, the unemployed, homeless and student in local schools like Fort Lauderdale High, Sunrise Middle School and Virginia Young all win. How do we turn the vacant lands into a green space until this economy recovers? It takes a coordinated effort on the parts of the City, the developers, the community and the lenders working together to make this happen. If they can do it on a roof top in NYC with REIT investment, why can't we?  Fort Lauderdale is notorious for making every business opportunity or cooperative initiative a nightmare. Look at the major thoroughfares of cities like Boca, Weston or Miramar. They are beautifully landscaped and maintained. Las Olas gets a white crummy FDOT fence to keep people from falling or driving into the canals. Hello?? When and how often has that really occurred?

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