Excerpted from Bisnow story.
In South Florida, the focus is usually on the flashy, the sexy, the chic. But developers working in the suburbs of Fort Lauderdale are finding that it is profitable to leave trendy developments to others and focus on quieter deals in underserved areas, like the small cities of Sunrise, where the Florida Panthers hockey team plays, and Plantation, where major companies like Magic Leap and Virgin Cruises have recently established headquarters.
The area is transforming rapidly. Sunrise is bracing for an influx from a $1.5B development, Metropica, on 65 acres. And the Miami-Dade County Commission will vote Thursday on approving the country’s biggest mall and theme park, American Dream Miami, on 175 acres just south of the Broward County line. While rents are high across the board, people priced out of hot markets like Miami or Fort Lauderdale are better able to afford the western suburbs, and retailers are now coming to them. During the Bisnow West Broward Neighborhood Report event Wednesday, moderator Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.’s Lisa Neumayer asked panelists what they felt were common misconceptions about the western part of Broward County.
“West Broward has stronger submarkets than East Broward,” Franklin Street Senior Vice President Greg Matus said. He said a main suburban road, University Drive, is arguably the strongest retail corridor in all of Broward County.
“Retail is actually underserved in West Broward,” he said. “I live in Cooper City with five kids and I have to drive through traffic 10 minutes to find a restaurant. Pines Boulevard is probably stronger than Federal Highway.”