Work continues on War Memorial project and Major projects underway in Fort Lauderdale

Work progresses on the Fort Lauderdale War Memorial project

From David Volz

Work is progressing on Fort Lauderdale War Memorial project. Last May, the Florida Panthers broke ground on the $65 Million Historic War Memorial Auditorium renovation. Under a public-private partnership with the City of Fort Lauderdale, the Florida Panthers hockey team has been converting the 70-year-old War Memorial into a state-of-the-art concert and performance space, along with additional amenities for the entire community to enjoy.

The 144,000 sq. foot project will include two ice rinks, one being an official rink for the Panthers to practice with stadium seating for 1,000 and a second rink for the entire community to enjoy. The community rink, slated to be open early 2023 will offer a variety of youth and adult hockey programs, public skating, and figure skating for community members of all ages. In addition to the iceplex, a ballroom-style music venue will have a capacity of nearly 4,000, and the new 5,000-square foot restaurant will have indoor seating and an outdoor terrace that overlooks  Holiday Park.

Fort Lauderdale Commissioner Steve Glassman is excited about this project. “Additional components to the new design will add a community fitness center and upgrades to Holiday Park’s existing sports and recreation areas, including installation of new pickleball courts. Watching this project evolve in the construction phase is truly inspiring and I cannot wait for the highly anticipated Summer 2023 opening,” said Glassman.

Major building projects underway in Fort Lauderdale

From David Volz

Work has begun on the Las Olas Marina project.

The Fort Lauderdale Commission had given final site plan approval for Suntex to own and operate the Las Olas Marina for 50 years in partnership with the City of Fort Lauderdale. The redevelopment project began in the first quarter of 2022.  

This $65-$70 million dollar project is in addition to the $70 million redevelopment the City of Fort Lauderdale has already invested to create waterfront and beach access, public parks, and new parking facilities. The marina will include 68 boat slips capable of handling vessels up to 250-feet and two buildings – a 15,000-square-foot, two-story high-end restaurant with spacious outdoor seating and a 31,000-square-foot, three-story marine services building containing a casual restaurant, dockmaster’s office, ship store, offices, and a Captains and Crew Lounge with a rooftop gym, swimming pool, a chef’s kitchen, recreational spaces, and substantial crew amenities. 

This project has an economic impact of $220 million with an annual impact of 1,100 full-time jobs, and $10 million in infrastructure improvements for the city of Fort Lauderdale. We are on target for having the docks open by the Boat Show 2023 and the buildings by the 1st quarter of 2024.

Fort Lauderdale Commissioner Steve Glassman is pleased the progress that has been made. “I appreciate the residents and developer for the ongoing meetings and communication as the magnitude of this project poses many logistical issues for the neighborhood,” he said.

Also a major undergrounding project has begun in Fort Lauderdale. Residents have worked to make it a reality. Las Olas Isles neighbors applied and began efforts to make this project a reality. After many hurdles, a groundbreaking ceremony was celebrated on June 14, 2022, officially marking the start of construction. Utility conduits are being installed using horizontal directional drilling.

This trenchless method is more efficient than traditional open-cut construction and results in less disruption to roads and traffic. Construction is being done primarily from west to east, but some operations may vary due to unforeseen conflicts or tidal impacts.

“The residents have been patient these past twelve years. Getting this project started has been a priority of mine since being elected in 2018. Completion is expected in February 2023. I have requested that staff prioritize meetings with the other District 2 neighborhoods interested in undergrounding their utilities: Idlewyld, Riviera Isles, Seven Isles, Victoria Park, and Sunrise Key,” said Glassman.