Behind the Project: Fort Lauderdale’s Newest, Tallest Condo-Hotel Mix

 Ed Jahn, Senior Vice President, Kolter Urban. Image courtesy of Kolter Urban In an…

Ed Jahn, Senior Vice President, Kolter Urban. Image courtesy of Kolter Urban

In an interview with Multi-Housing News back in May, Colliers International’s Mika Mattingly and Director Bradley Arendt commented on why Dania Beach is in its early stages of a major revitalization and what attracts investors to one of South Florida’s last remaining undeveloped urban cores. Now, we break down details about another big project in the area: 100 Las Olas—Fort Lauderdale’s first new condominium residence in more than a decade. The 46-story building features 113 luxury condominiums from the 16th floor, above a 238-key Hyatt Centric hotel. Additionally, a multi-level penthouse is available on the 45th and 46th floors.

Based in Delray Beach, Fla., development and investment company Kolter Urban has a vast experience of investing in projects with expected value in excess of $15 billion. The company’s Senior Vice President Ed Jahn gave some insights on the development’s condominium part and what sets it apart from other condo projects in the area. Additionally, he shares the measures taken to ensure residents’ safety and health throughout the property.

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What was the inspiration behind this mixed-use project?

Jahn: At its core, Kolter Urban invests in emerging downtown centers with a goal of developing iconic buildings for the community. Specifically, with 100 Las Olas, we knew the project would be the crown jewel of Fort Lauderdale as it is the tallest residential building in the city and the only for sale condominium in a decade.

In addition to being unique and beautiful, we wanted to develop a timeless project that would evolve with the changing landscape of Fort Lauderdale for years to come. Our decision to make this a mixed-use project allowed us to provide residents with a forever home while offering guests to the city a home away from home at the Hyatt Centric hotel located within 100 Las Olas.

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How do you expect it to impact the area’s multifamily market?

Jahn: South Florida is experiencing very low inventory across the board. The project provides brand-new developer inventory to the market with the best location in Broward County, at the epicenter of Fort Lauderdale’s dynamic downtown. The project brings a new level of luxury condominiums to the area and new luxury inventory to downtown Fort Lauderdale, where traditionally luxury residences were exclusively located on the beach.

What elements set it apart from other condominium projects in South Florida?

Jahn: The development is the tallest residential tower in Fort Lauderdale and offers a unique experience. Unlike traditional hotel-condos, 100 Las Olas offers complete separation between the 238-key Hyatt Centric hotel and the residences, which begin on the 16th floor. This means residents of 100 Las Olas have their own private entrance, amenities and elevators completely separate from the hotel, but access to the hotel when they want it. The project also provides walkability along Las Olas Boulevard with shopping, entertainment and more than 40 dining options right outside our door, which is a major draw for our homeowners.

Share with us a few details about the interior design of the project’s residential component.

Jahn: The residences at 100 Las Olas were inspired by the city around it. Fort Lauderdale is the yachting capital of the world and nautical influences can be found throughout the development. The hotel component of the building was designed with a light fixture representing a sail in the lobby and each room features images of sailors knots with an ocean-inspired color palette.

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How did you adjust your protocols to prepare for the new project opening amid these challenging times?

Jahn: Fortunately, our design didn’t require modifications as all entries are access controlled and we have plenty of outdoor space on our pool deck and clubroom areas. We did, however, change our building processes to meet or exceed the Center for Disease Control and Prevention requirements. We’ve added hand sanitizing stations throughout the common areas, we’ve limited the number of passengers in the elevators and we’ve added sanitized coverings to elevator touch screens.

How will this condo project integrate into the neighborhood?

Jahn: The project brings the first residential tower with a hotel component to the area in more than 10 years. The addition of this development offers new luxury residences, hotel rooms, and meeting and event spaces for the community. The ground floor restaurants, Harborwood Urban Grill, which opened in April and Eddie Vs, opening soon, add to the expanding list of attractions and dining options on Las Olas Boulevard, making the area a desirable location for locals and tourists alike. The rooftop hotel Poolbar, Eleva8, is also open to the public and is becoming a local meeting place. This project fits in seamlessly with the look and ambiance of downtown Fort Lauderdale.

Fort Lauderdale has been building luxury residential assets at an exponential rate for the past years. What are the reasons behind this growth?

Jahn: Primarily, people want to get out of densely populated downtown areas like downtown Miami and larger and oftentimes, tax-burdened cities like New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles. Fort Lauderdale offers a city feel with its energetic downtown area, but also provides a sense of paradise with its scenic beaches just a short drive away. The demand for luxury residences in Fort Lauderdale has increased exponentially because luxury buyers love the active lifestyle the metro offers. The city is also home to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, a major national airport for travel needs, and is nearby to cities like Miami and Palm Beach.

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How do you feel about the future of the condominium sector in Florida?

Jahn: Florida draws in nearly 1,000 people each day who are looking for a lifestyle shift. The pandemic has driven more to reconsider how and where they want to live, as our homes are becoming increasingly more important. People are choosing to live in condos for the walkability factor, as well as convenience, services, location and offerings not provided in single-family home living. I am confident in the future of Florida’s condominium sector and the demand we are seeing from buyers.