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Ft. Lauderdale Readies For Building Boom

FORT LAUDERDALE (CBS4) – Those who may want to live the 'luxury condo' lifestyle in Ft. Lauderdale will quickly learn that it may not be as easy to actually own one in the downtown area.

Paul Greenberg owns one of the most popular bars on Las Olas, American Social.  He and his wife rent a condo nearby and said that they're ready to make one their own.

"I'd love to be able to buy a condo," said Greenberg.  "It's just me and my wife. We'd like a three bedroom condo and grow from there."

Recently, the D'Angelo Realty Group showed Greenberg a few condos located downtown, but he was in for a real surprise.

"All the units have been purchased," said John D'Angelo, the broker and owner of D'Angelo Realty Group.  "There's low inventory."

In all of downtown Ft. Lauderdale, there are only about 40 high-rise condos for sale and they're pretty pricey.

"In 350 Las Olas Place, there's approximately 165 units and there are two units currently on the market," said D'Angelo. "At the Water Garden, there are 315 units with six units for sale."

The good news is there's a building boom in downtown.

Click Here for the full list of projects.

Five new buildings are under construction right now and four of them are residential.  Another six have already been approved and are ready to break ground and five more are under review waiting for city approval.

In all, 4,000 residential units are in the pipeline.

Click Here for the projects' map.

"We're starting to see that live, work, play mentality sort of come to fruition in downtown Ft. Lauderdale," said Ft. Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler.

He is thrilled with the idea that thousands of people will be doing just that in the downtown area.

However, there's a catch. Not one unit will be for sale.  All of the new buildings are rentals.

Seiler said he's okay with that.

"A lot of people had their credit messed up by this recent downturn, so now they can come back and rent. A couple of years of  stability while renting, then they'll be in the market to buy again," said Seiler.

For Greenberg, that won't help him find a place to buy but it sure will do wonders for his already booming business.

"If there are 4,000 new rental units, that can be 10,000 to 12,000 people in town and it's great for obviously all businesses on Las Olas," said Greenberg.

Greenberg has just a month and a half left on his current rental. If he does not find something to buy soon he said he'll rent for another year.

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