Local developer Society 8 acquired a warehouse property in Fort Lauderdale’s booming Flagler Village and plans to transform it into a food hall, microbrewery and live-work micro lofts.
The plans are an example of how the neighborhood just north of downtown is transforming into a place catering to the creative class and young professionals. This is one of the first projects proposed on the west side of the FEC railway tracks.
Flagler Property of Broward County, managed by Francis R. Margaglione, sold the 18,982-square-foot building at 115 N.W. 6th Street (Sistrunk Boulevard) and the 20,891-square-foot building at 616 N.W. 2nd Avenue for $4.65 million to North West 6th Investments LLC, managed by Society 8 founder Steven Dapuzzo. The 2.3-acre site is up against the railroad tracks, about two blocks north of the coming Brightline passenger rail station.
The seller was represented by George Coloney of Related ISG International Realty. He has been seeking a buyer for that property for three years and he said this deal is a sign that the development boom in Flagler Village, which spreads from Federal Highway and then across Andrews Avenue, has reached the west side of the tracks.
“This is like a new frontier over there,” Coloney said. “That whole area will explode.”
Similar to how Greenwich, Connecticut serves as a suburb of Manhattan because of its easy access via train, the Brightline will make it easier for people to live in Fort Lauderdale and work in more urban Miami, Coloney said.
Drawing on New York for inspiration, Dapuzzo said the first phase of his plan would be modeled after the Chelsea Market, a trending Manhattan neighborhood. He plans to retrofit the warehouse building fronting Sistrunk Boulevard into a market featuring a food hall with multiple food stands and coffee, cooking classes, outdoor seating, a microbrewery, and space for community events.
Dapuzzo said he’s in talks with a local microbrewery and food vendors. The changes to the building would include rolling glass doors to replace the current openings and a cafe out front.
For the second phase of the project, Dapuzzo said he would demolish the rear warehouse and build about 100 units of live-work micro lofts in eight to 10 stories. The building would have large common areas that could be used for shared workspace, such as for artists and people in technology fields, he said.
“It’s a real lifestyle experience,” Dapuzzo said. “It encompasses the arts and food and beverage and a unique social setting.”