As the virus pandemic upended office life in big Northeast cities, people reconsidered working arrangements and where they lived. Many folks migrated from New York City to South Florida for relaxed health restrictions, a friendly business environment, low crime, and fantastic weather. The influx of new people presents challenges for South Florida, including new property development.
South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported skyscrapers as high as 500 feet could start popping up across Fort Lauderdale (not just in the downtown district) if a new proposal gets approved that raises the height cap on buildings that get special zoning.
The proposed new ordinance would apply citywide, which could spur the development of supersized towers and comes as an influx of city-dwellers from the Northeast (and elsewhere) purchase homes, office buildings, and property.
Longtime residents aren’t thrilled with the possibility of special zoning for sky-high towers that exceed 500 feet citywide.
“We are not Sunny Isles. We are not Miami. We are not New York … I’d rather have it shorter and denser. If we get into this height request, we’re going down the wrong path. We are going to start looking like Sunny Isles,” said longtime resident Nancy Thomas.
John Burns, president of the Venetian Condo Association, said if the city approves the new ordinance, it’ll open a can of worms that “everyone’s going to want it.”
“You could have 500-foot buildings popping up everywhere. It’s a dangerous path,” Burns said.
Longtime resident and president of the Harbordale Civic Association Marilyn Mammano told City Hall in a recent meeting, “no one is demanding taller buildings. This is being done at the developer’s request.”
Leslie Fine, whose condo sits on Galt Ocean Mile, a strip of luxury high-rise condominiums, said the proposal to build skyscrapers across town is a bad idea:
“This is not Dubai,” Fine said. “Why does everything have to be so tall? It’s not like people come here because we have tall buildings. It puts more stress on the streets, the sewers, the waterways, the storm drains. Those tall buildings can cast tall shadows. And the roads can’t handle the people we have now.”
“Everybody is concerned about this … Tall buildings all sound fine until they come to your neighborhood,” Mary Peloquin, president of Council of Fort Lauderdale Civic Associations and a board member of the Coral Ridge Civic Association, said.