Kolter wins approval for oceanside Fort Lauderdale condo development

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October 8, 2020
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As reported in The Real Deal.

Kolter Urban got the green light to develop 3000 Alhambra, a high-rise oceanside condominium development in Fort Lauderdale.

City commissioners on Tuesday gave final approval to a rezoning and site plan for the project at 3000 Alhambra Street that developer Kolter Urban dramatically redesigned. They voted 5-0 to approve a two-building, 26-story development with 215 units. Kolter executives were unavailable for comment.

Kolter Urban, part of Delray Beach-based Kolter Group, also plans to build retail-store and restaurant space spanning 5,150 square feet, along with 497 parking spaces, including 120 public parking spaces. The project architect is Miami-based Kobi Karp.

Commissioners also voted unanimously to change the zoning of the development site from A-1-A Beachfront Area District to Planned Development District, to raise the maximum building height from 240 feet to 300 feet. The height of the redesigned 3000 Alhambra development is 299 feet and five inches.

The original 18-story, 310-unit design drew criticism from condo owners in the central beach area of Fort Lauderdale who complained that 3000 Alhambra would block “view corridors” from street level to the ocean.

The revised site plan has two buildings instead of one, as initially proposed, and it has 95 fewer condo units and 8,000 fewer square feet of retail and restaurant space than the original site plan, which Kolter submitted to the city government in March 2018. The revised site plan sets the two condo buildings about 68 feet apart and includes about 48,400 square feet of public open space on the ground level of the property.

“No one liked” the original site plan, Fort Lauderdale Vice Mayor Steven Glassman said at a meeting of commissioners on Sept. 15, when they initially voted in favor of the rezoning and revised site plan for 3000 Alhambra, located in the city district Glassman represents.

The original site plan “had a lot of massing. It was very square and fat,” Stephanie Toothaker, an attorney for Kolter, said at the city commission meeting on Sept. 15. “We ‘skinnied up’ the buildings,” she said.

The 2.6-acre site is between North Birch Road and State Road A1A. Kolter acquired it in exchange for property near the historic Bonnet House in a 2017 swap with the Fort Lauderdale government.

“The intent of the land swap was to relocate more intense development away from the historic Bonnet House property and to provide parking in the North Beach area, which was deemed a significant need for the area,” according to a staff report by the Fort Lauderdale Planning and Zoning Board. The board unanimously approved Kolter’s proposed rezoning and site plan revisions on July 15.