The city of Fort Lauderdale's downtown soon will stretch even higher into the sky.

Five giant new buildings are planned near the north bank of the New River, between the Florida East Coast Railway tracks and Federal Highway. When construction is completed, the half-mile stretch will include the city's seven tallest buildings.

The buildings continue to inch closer to the 500-foot maximum allowed by federal aviation officials, a limit set because of the nearby Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. They add apartments, condominiums, hotel rooms and innovative architecture to the downtown mix, along with street-level shops and restaurants.

  • The  Icon Las Olas condominium tower on Las Olas Boulevard next to the Federal Highway tunnel will be the city's tallest building when done in July,45-story, 455-foot, 272 condo units, retail space, 2 restaurants, 7-floor garage.
  • 4 West Las Olas, 25 stories, 273 feet, 261 rental apartments, retail and restaurant space.
  • 100 Las Olas, the tallest building at 493 feet, is a 45-story 238 hotel rooms, and condominium project with 121 units that will front on Las Olas Boulevard adjacent to the Las Olas River House, with retail and restaurant space.
  • Riverfront, will have 2 Towers: 42-story 461 feet, and 38-story, 441 feet apartment buildings on the site of the Las Olas Riverfront development. Both Buildings will include a ground level pedestrian arcade of shops and restaurants, 1887 parking spaces.
  • Residences of Las Olas, a 471-foot, 42-story apartment complex with 419 rental apartments along the New River between Las Olas River House and Southeast Third Avenue with retail and restaurant space, 562 space garage

 But the section of future high-rises is book-ended by the city's past: the 1903 Bryan Homes and 1905 New River Inn to its west and the 1901 Stranahan House on the east.

"You don't have a better neighbor than that historic district," Mayor Jack Seiler told Riverfront's developers of the property to their west. "There's a lot of positive synergy that can be created. ... With them there, it sort of stops the high-rises and transitions to a really cool neighborhood."

Source: The Sun Sentinel by Larry Barszewski