In Defense of Marina Lofts in Fort Lauderdale

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Marina Lofts
Growing up in the westerly suburbs of Fort Lauderdale, I learned to accept that much of my adolescent and young adult life would be flat: low, flat stretches of land covered in Malvina Reynolds' "little boxes" that all look just the same; strip mall plazas filled with chain restaurants and fast-food joints; sprawling shopping malls taking up several square miles of space; and the thousands of middle-class families inhabiting the bland, homogenized, carved out wetlands of Greater Fort Lauderdale.

If I ever wanted to take in a breathtaking skyline, get drunk off the buzzing energy of a busy sidewalk, or challenge myself to explore all the people, food, and culture of a city, I'd have to escape North. At the very least, I could head east on 595 and see what might be bubbling "downtown."

See also: Five Reasons Marina Lofts Should Be Nixed

It's about time Fort Lauderdale recognizes its potential for greatness. There's so much about the city that already makes it a fantastic place to live: loads of waterfront property and easy ocean access, open spaces and lush greenery, eclectic businesses and nightlife, and of course the weather. What it lacks is bold vision and the raw, creative energy that typically comes when thriving young professionals congregate and set their minds toward similar goals.

Despite resistance, Fort Lauderdale is changing. An influx of innovative and out-of-the box businesses are spreading south and across the city from the downtown core, public transit is expanding, our art museum's got a new, high-profile director, and a renewed interest in the area has developers teaming up with world-class architects to bring a whole new level of international attention to our own little Venice.

See also: Marina Lofts Wins Approval; Rain Tree Will Be Moved

Developer Asi Cymbal's latest project, the Marina Lofts on the New River, has been the subject of controversy ever since renderings of Danish "starchitecht" Bjarke Ingels' striking, three-tower design were released and plans to relocate a 100-year-old tree on the lot were announced. Last week, New Times published a piece on "Five Reasons Why the Marina Lofts Should be Nixed." And while it made valid points, in lieu of last week's decision by the city commissioners to move forward with the project, I'd like to propose an alternate perspective to some of the comments being made by critics of the Marina Lofts.

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14 comments
icculus17
icculus17 topcommenter

meh, more condos for the rich/retired/international crowd, people that really don't give a squat about the city except for their indulgences. 

falynrose
falynrose

@frankd4 @smdrpepper @commenter8 "4001 North Ocean, a six story luxury oceanfront building in Palm Beach County has finished construction and is the second, yes only the second, new condo building completed in South Florida since the 2007 market crash. To put the new building boom in perspective, four more condo buildings will finish before the end of the year, (Apogee, Regalia, mybrickell, and Bellini) and dozens will be completed in the following few years. 35 are under construction right now. Oh, and 160+ are currently in the planning stages."

http://miami.curbed.com/archives/2013/09/03/south-floridas-second-new-building-completed-since-crash.php

Change IS happening..

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

IF all this luxury high rise developement is SOOOOO good for ft liquordale then WHY is the city brOKe ? ! ?

the previous units were sold to condo flippers who backed OUT of "no money down" contracts whereby a parking valet could hold title to four units including a penthouse

now all those units languish YES the "prices" have "risen" YET foreclosures endure and these units ArE ALL underwater = period

we have gone from screwing the TOURISTs to using bankers who paid for TRIPLE A ratings on JUNK  to screw "investors" who hold the bag in their IRAs and retirement plans and 201(k)s in the form of useless paper CDO and mortgage-pool tranches that FINANCED these white-elephants which are now dead in(on) the water

the worst off are the actual owners buying to OCCUPY and reside in these units at peak prices and are now stuck underwater with developer promised amenities unfinished and condo budgets barely covering common area basic maintenance let alone fixing anything that actually breaks

don't judge these "books" by their fancy awe-inspiring design = they are ALL economic disasters

commenter8
commenter8 topcommenter

CHANGE THE MASTER PLAN. Fort Lauderdale is already WAY overbuilt.

smdrpepper
smdrpepper

Those are some of the most idiotic defenses for this development I have seen yet.  There are already a ton of apartments that are empty downtown, so why add more that will make the situation worse?  This is a waste of money, a lot of which is going to come out of  taxpayers pockets.  I own my home, and despite the plummeting housing value, they want to raise my taxes again to pay for this monstrosity.

Richard Jones
Richard Jones

Let's see how many of the "environmentally conscious elements" make it at the end when they start cutting corners to save some coin. If they are so sure that the tree will survive, then the "hefty bond" isn't nearly hefty enough. Something like a million per year that the tree has been around sounds more like a hefty bond to me.

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

Community Redevelopment Agencies (CRA) allow the taxes and fees raised within an area to be spent in that area - so a high-rise luxury condo building on the beach within a CRA does not contribute to paying for that fire truck needed inland

not only don't they care they don't need to pay either

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

 

there is a saying ..."the MORE things "change",  the more they stay the SAME"

thirty plus years ago PALM-AIRE was developed and market and promoted this way: "Palm- Aire is a wonderful resort to visit for those who love to golf, relax , exercise or pamper themselves and choose to do so in a beautiful tranquil surrounding. The world class spa has hosted the likes of Frank Sinatra and Elizabeth Taylor just to name a few. As a Palm Aire guest you can enjoy the 40,000 square foot spa with a total of 40 different treatment rooms offering both men’s and women’s treatment areas. The steam, whirlpool, and exercise equipment at no charge to Palm- Aire guests. If you want to indulge yourself in massage or any of the special spa treatments you may do so with a 20% discount as a Palm- Aire guest."

a few years later all the "foreign investors from LATIN AMERICA" were selling the electrical components including washers and dryers and refigerators and overhead fans for garage-type yard sales and abandoning their never-occupied units

ultimately most if not all of the original NY / NJ snowbirds sold out at a loss and migrated north to BOCA POINTE

sound familiar ?

lazyj77
lazyj77

Plummeting housing values? You must be living in 2010. It's actually a seller's market with very little available inventory. Prices have increased significantly in both the residential sales and rental markets. Also more importantly when did this become a taxpayer project? If anything this project will generate MORE tax revenue than that parcel is currently providing. I'm just going to assume this comment is in regard to the WAVE transportation that was briefly mentioned? Otherwise, your comment doesn't make sense

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

look at margaritaville in dania / hollywood whereby millions were poured into financing it from a local area CRA while a few miles inland dania / hollywood residents, many long term residents, live in tobacco road era squalor and destitude, however YES a new library and parking garage were built for use by beach-combers paid for by the inland residents who have little or no use for either the library or garage

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

lazyj77

one cannot assess a market anymore based on price fluxuations alone - for one thing many many units are YET in foreclosure at prices much much lower than the original sales price (there is a reason developer PEREZ is a billionaire while the units he built are mostly underwater even in the iconic ICON MIAMI) - the taxpayer pays more for the infastructure necessary like fire trucks, police, schools, water and sewer pipes, etc that had to be purchased and installed, ALL MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR taxpayer funded projects the city of ft lauderdale had to incur,  that burden the whole because the property tax assessments and impact fees the DEVELOPER should have paid have been abated

as for the sellers market, i'm really not seeing that myself, as most sellers today sell at a loss as reported on by actual SELLERs and most ALL real estate brokers are advising those unsold to keep droping the price - it's NOT the crazy unrealistic prices ASKED it's what these transactions actually CLOSE at typically the final price is drastically reduced or else the unit just languishes on the market

smdrpepper
smdrpepper

@lazyj77 Not sure where you live, but I see empty houses, condos, and apartments EVERYWHERE.  It is NOT a sellers market since I have friends that have had places up for sale for years.  Most end up taking losses on their property when they do sell.  And yes, my property value has dropped significantly.  

This project is not needed and EVERY big project like this end up getting subsidies, so yes they get tax payer funds.

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

 

..................and as an add on NOW it is believed mostly DRUG DEALERs laundering CASH proceeds are the "buyers" at prices beyond what any typical resident can afford - so how does that help anyone but enriching the developers ?

who wants neighbors that are murderous and slimey criminals ?

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

these units are TRADING HERRINGs not to be "consumed" by actual owner buyer residential occupiers

developer sell at PEAK PRICE to >>>>> condo flipper who vanishes >>>>>leaving DEUTSCHE BANK to feed on fees and charges and commissions paid by >>>>>>>"investors" who were duped into holding the "mortgage-backed collateralized-debt-obligations" bad paper on the empty units = game over

even the city gets clobbered because IT has to buy fancy multi-million dollar fire fighting equipment in the event some pissed-off owner actually tries to burn the building down and collect the insurance

it's how DEVELOPERs and BANKs roll (in the dough) a/k/a the "greater FOOL theory"

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