Finally! A new “Destination” is coming to Fort Lauderdale! (well, sort of…)
For those of you who have read my articles over the last four years will know that one of my continual suggestions on improving our City is to establish more “Destinations” in Fort Lauderdale; places where one can get out of their car, walk in a defined, secure area with open air cafes, restaurants, shopping and entertainment, with nearby parking.
In Fort Lauderdale, our only true “Destination” is still just Las Olas Blvd. So far, our “do-nothing” Mayor and Commission (after more than 3 years in office), have yet to take any initiative in helping promote the “Destination” concept within any neighborhood. (Very sad, and an indication of their incredible lack of vision and initiative……) Well, if they won’t do it, others will.
I am pleased to report that several independent organizations here in Fort Lauderdale are coming together to form a “Design Exhibit” for the 500 block of Northwest 1st Street in Flagler Village, called “Better Block”. This concept involves setting up “pop-up” businesses (facades), cafes, art projects, live music, landscaping and food. It’s all designed to show attendees what the block could look like if developers and businesses worked together in a specific area to make it a place where people would want to go, to shop eat, drink and be entertained (a new “Destination”?).
The date for this “Better Block” demonstration is set for June 16th, from 10 am to 6pm. Please make a point to go there and see for yourself what a little coordination and work could do to take a ho-hum warehouse area and turn it into a special place. This is a great concept, and has been shown successfully in many other cities in the US. We should welcome this concept here and hope that it goes from a one-day venue into something more substantive in the near future. Sometimes you have to visualize the concept to make it happen.
Kudos to the organizers; Cadence Planning and Urban Development, along with the following groups: FAU School of Urban Development and Planning, FATVillage Arts District, Flagler Village Civic Association, Fort Lauderdale Community Redevelopment, Fort Lauderdale DDA, C&I Studios, Zahn Development, Hooper Development, Urban Matters, Luke Jenkins, Public Image, Living Foods Produce.
To learn more, go to: Better Block Fort Lauderdale.
I will be there to see what they have come up with and I hope you go to! Will our elected officials show up? We’ll see!