New Boutique Hotel Coming to Downtown Fort Lauderdale
A nine-story hotel with 138 rooms is planned for the northwest corner of Las Olas Boulevard and Southeast 10 Terrace in Fort Lauderdale. Shops will line the first two floors. A second-floor restaurant will have an outside terrace that overlooks Las Olas. (3DD+/Courtesy)
FORT LAUDERDALE — Las Olas Boulevard may be getting a fancy new tenant: A nine-story five-star hotel with 138 rooms that would open by fall 2023, just in time for the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.
“It’s our belief that Las Olas can be Beverly Hills,” Ladd said. “Las Olas has all this charm. We want to make it Broward County’s Worth Avenue.”
Fort Lauderdale commissioners are expected to give final approval to the project Tuesday night.
The hotel would rise on the northwest corner of Las Olas Boulevard and Southeast 10 Terrace, right next to Ann’s Florist and Coffee Bar. Two levels of underground parking would have 85 parking spaces.
Shops would line the first floor, with a small and intimate whiskey den on the first level below ground. An upscale restaurant on the second floor will have an outside terrace that overlooks Las Olas.
The hotel also will have a rooftop café with a pool. A private dining room on the roof would be reserved for hotel guests and private events but the spa would be open to both hotel guests and visitors. The hotel’s design plays to the history of Las Olas, the developers say.
“We asked the architects to produce something that looks like it’s been there on the street for years and belongs on the street,” Ladd said. “And we think we did that.”
Fort Lauderdale’s famous boulevard is currently home to only two other hotels.
A new boutique hotel would have shops on the first two floors, with a small and intimate whiskey den on the ground floor. Two levels of underground parking would have 85 spaces. (3DD+/Courtesy)
“I’ve fantasized about doing a boutique hotel on Las Olas since 1995,” Ladd said. “There was no land available to do it.”
That changed four years ago when Ladd and Hudson were able to buy the property.
One tenant, a Lilly Pulitzer shop, has already moved. Two other tenants — YETI and Warby Parker — will eventually move to a new retail building Ladd and Hudson are building across the street.
The plan is to break ground in November and open by fall 2023.
“We would love to make the 2023 boat show,” Ladd said. “Let’s say you’re at the performing arts center and all dressed up Friday night and want to go for a drink. You don’t have a place to go right now. We’re going to try to create that at this hotel. We just don’t have those upscale places like that in our city and it’s needed. Fort Lauderdale needs an upscale hotel in the worst way.”
Commissioner Steve Glassman agreed.
“It’s been a long time since we’ve had hotel development along Las Olas,” he said. “But it only makes sense when you consider the people we’re attracting to that area.”
Not every tourist is looking to book a hotel on the beach, Glassman noted.
“You also have the people who want to be in a sophisticated downtown setting where they can walk to art galleries and shops and restaurants and be right in the thick of it,” he said. “Not only was the market not ready but our destination has changed.”
The posh new hotel will be a welcome new addition to the boulevard, says Emmett McTigue, former president of the Las Olas Co.
“I think it’s going to be a real asset to Las Olas,” he said. “A boutique hotel will do very well. I don’t think it will compete with the Riverside Hotel. I think it will be complementary.”
Jodi Jeffreys-Tanner, vice president of the Las Olas Association, seconded that.
“We like new and fresh things that bring more tourists to Fort Lauderdale and Las Olas Boulevard,” she said. “We’re growing. There’s new stores and restaurants opening up. It’s great time to have something new. There’s room for everyone on this boulevard.”