Hollywood, the beach town sandwiched between Fort Lauderdale and Miami, is finally experiencing a real estate boom. Fueled by high demand for land in the region, and a limited supply, the once-quiet town is now booming with development for the first time in decades.
Downtown Hollywood and the iconic Young Circle area are revitalizing with more $1.5 billion in real estate development planned or under construction. One of the driving forces behind Hollywood’s transformation is BTI Partners, a Fort Lauderdale-based investment and development firm. Noah Breakstone, CEO of BTI Partners, says that since new developments are becoming landlocked, there will be more opportunities to identify and revitalize neighborhoods.
“Traditionally a lot of the development moved west, and it was stopped by the Everglades, and now people are looking at how we come back east,” said Breakstone. “What’s interesting about Hollywood is that it’s easy to get to Miami, it’s easy to get to Fort Lauderdale, so it’s easy to access those markets.
“What’s unique about Young Circle is a 10-acre park right in the middle of that roundabout so you have an outdoor amphitheater that can seat 5,000 to 7,000 people, beautiful open green space, a glassblowing museum, and it’s a really unique setup to have that circle. Also what I love about it is that it’s a hop, skip, and a jump away from the ocean,” he said.
BTI Partners has two development projects underway in Hollywood’s Young Circle neighborhood. One of the development sites sits on the long-neglected Hollywood Bread Building, which has been abandoned for decades. BTI Partners plans to add 362 market-rate apartments and 16,000 square feet of retail space. It is expected to be completed in 2024.
The second project includes two towers on the east side of Young Circle with planned residential living, shops, restaurants, office space, and a skywalk connecting them.
Breakstone says people really value living in a walkable neighborhood.
“I think all those natural attributes will only continue to drive and revitalize that neighborhood. We’re really trying to find ways to get out of our car. We learned that through COVID-19,” he said. “Before COVID, we learned that it may take an hour to an hour and a half to get to work or get home, but why not be with my family and friends and enjoy my neighborhood? I think these types of communities as they’re reimagined provide that type of a living where you really get a more pedestrian type of community.”
According to land use attorney Keith Poliakoff of Government Law Group, developers are eager to revitalize Hollywood and secure development sites that are no longer available in other coastal communities in South Florida.
“Hollywood was almost passed over in the 1990s during the construction boom. Hallandale had the surge in development, and then it jumped over Hollywood to Fort Lauderdale,” said Poliakoff. “As a result, developers really in the last five years have been capitalizing on the demand of people wanting to live there, and the projects are getting approved and finally getting out of the ground—that has been the vision of Hollywood for years.”
Poliakoff says it’s exciting to see how the town has become the next frontier of development.
“Last Wednesday, the Hollywood City commission debated for probably 10 hours, the future of Orangebrook golf course, and one of the proposals is from Rees Jones, one of the world’s most notable golf course designers who has proposed to put in a PGA-quality golf course minutes away from downtown Hollywood, and a four-star luxury hotel,” Poliakoff said. “When you look at that and see that five years [ago], there would not be a PGA Tour that would desire to come to the region, particularly Hollywood.”
Hollywood’s beaches are also undergoing redevelopment efforts, and local government is also putting a focus on affordable housing options.
“Broward County is also very aware of the jobs and the residences being built in the city, and Broward County Transit under Tim Garling has been very active in creating new transit bus stops in Hollywood and is diligently working with the city to create a new public stop downtown to ensure that all of the people that will be living there in the next 10 years will have full access to public transportation,” said Poliakoff.
Downtown Hollywood businesses have struggled during the off-season when snowbirds return home, but with an influx of new residents moving to the area, business is expected to improve.
According to Breakstone, “You’re going to see all of these neighborhoods with more restaurants, more entertainment—instead of driving further, it’s built out with housing anyway, so you’ll have everything there that’s bikeable, walkable, and pedestrian-friendly, which is what I think everyone is looking for today.”
Poliakoff says Hollywood’s demographics include people who are relocating from other cities in Broward County, as well as newcomers to Florida. The rental market consists of millennials and young families who typically have one car, like to live in close proximity to where they work, and want to be in a walkable area.
“Most of the new developments, especially in the downtown area, are geared toward that younger generation who’s looking to live in that downtown setting,” said Poliakoff. “There are developments [that] are 98%-100% rented, that have just come out of the ground, which is almost unheard of. There’s normally a time frame that it takes to rent up an entire establishment and these are hitting near capacity in record time.”
According to Poliakoff, the city is hoping to expand its higher-end retail and restaurant options in the near future.
“I’ve been fortunate to represent some incredible developers in this region, and what’s great is, that it’s one thing to get a project approved, it’s another thing to see that development get off the ground, and giving the city what they had hoped for,” Poliakoff said.
Article Link: Hollywood Development Boom: Shrinking Land Supply Presents Opportunities
Auther: Melea VanOstrand