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Bisnow South Florida
By Deirdra Funcheon
Downtown Fort Lauderdale for years consisted of stodgy office buildings and old-timey shops, populated largely by lawyers headed to one of two courthouses.
But in the past few years, a bar and restaurant scene sprung up, fresh retail moved in, several apartment buildings have gone up, and now comes a new condo tower, 100 Las Olas.
It will contain the first hotel to be built on the main drag, Las Olas Boulevard, in 80-plus years. That’s notable, as is the team building and selling it, which has women in six key leadership positions. Shannon Lee is the operations manager with the developer, Kolter Urban. Pinar Harris is the vice president of SB Architects, which designed the project. Carrie Tolman is the lead designer with Simeone Deary, and Diana Manning Yankee is the senior project manager with KAST Construction, which is getting it built.
Peggy Olin Fucci is the CEO of OneWorld Properties; she and sales director Catherine Kohn lead the sales and marketing team. Fucci will be a panelist at Bisnow’s upcoming event focusing on the Rise of Fort Lauderdale Neighborhoods on Nov. 6.
Fucci, who lives on Las Olas herself, said there’s “a really big conception that the city is getting overbuilt,” but most of the new housing stock is rentals.
“This is the only for-sale product in the area,” she said.
At 499 feet tall, 100 Las Olas will be Fort Lauderdale’s tallest tower — although it could be eclipsed if another proposed project, RD Las Olas, gets built. The 100 Las Olas project will have a 238-room Hyatt Centric hotel on the bottom 15 floors and condos above, on floors 16 to 46. Units will cost from $800K to over $2M, with some higher-priced penthouses also on offer.
Fucci said the project is 30% sold and construction is already up to the 37th floor. Since the Great Recession, builders have typically waited until buildings were 50% pre-sold before starting construction; the fact that this one did not is proof of the developers’ faith in it, Fucci said. On Fort Lauderdale Beach, there are some new condos, like Related Group’s Auberge, but Fucci said the price point right on the water is $1K per SF, whereas at 100 Las Olas, it is $650 PSF.
“The No. 1 amenity that we see is the walkability factor," Fucci said. "People can enjoy more quality time with loved ones, enjoy life more. If you’re an attorney working in downtown Fort Lauderdale, dealing with traffic, [living in a single-family house in the suburbs] is not that appealing anymore.”
She said baby boomers have been interested in the property, and that downtown is close enough to the beach that people can walk or take the city’s free trolley.
The condo market has slowed from its peak a couple of years ago, but that’s healthy, Fucci believes. She said that buyers nowadays are typically end users, not flippers.
As for Florida's ever-growing threat of climate change, she said, “People are always concerned, in a way,” but they are more focused on living in the moment, being near jobs and families and enjoying life now. “I’m not a huge expert on climate change for me to go more than, ‘Hey, Venice is still there!””
Joining Fucci at the Bisnow event next month will be Stiles President Scott MacLaren, Merrimac Ventures President Dev Motwani, CBRE Senior Managing Director Arden Karson, Fort Lauderdale DDA President Jenni Morejon and more.