All Aboard Florida is coming to downtown Fort Lauderdale and it couldn’t come soon enough.
“On a ragged stretch of downtown Fort Lauderdale straddling the railroad tracks, a rebirth is coming.
All Aboard Florida, the company that plans to launch Orlando-to-Miami roundtrip passenger rail service, has been quietly assembling land in downtown Fort Lauderdale.
The scope of its deals — covering a large swath north of Broward Boulevard near the train tracks — has officials and activists saying the area’s blight could be erased. Though details have been scarce, the company has said it plans a passenger rail station downtown, and will surround it with new development. Hotel rooms, housing, retail, office space and a new courthouse and government center are among the possibilities.” – Sun Sentinel
There are, as always, certain aspects of this concept that need to be ironed out. But, as a whole this is a great plan for helping to revitalize a section of downtown Fort Lauderdale which has basically been stagnate for as long as I can remember. With the exception of a few small business’ the area of downtown in question is wasted land which has been underutilized and overlooked for decades. Considering most of this area is less than a 1/4 mile from some of the most expensive commercial and residential real estate in the county it is about time someone decided to do something with it. A shiny new train station with a lot of commercial space for retail, dining/entertainment, and office space would go a long way toward the future development of downtown. It will also bridge a gap from Las Olas to Flagler Village including Fat Village which is just a few blocks north of the proposed project site, linking the areas together and hopefully creating a friendlier corridor for pedestrian foot and bike traffic.