Las Olas Boulevard is in the midst of a retail renaissance.
The Las Olas Co., owner of the Riverside Hotel and a major landlord along downtown Fort Lauderdale’s signature street, says it’s planning to boost Las Olas’ profile by filling a handful of vacancies and a new building with a mix of well-established restaurants and retailers.
Vann Padgett, senior vice president and director of real estate, wouldn’t identify potential tenants. But she said the firm and fellow landlords Steve Hudson and Charlie Ladd have teamed with the Comras Co. to turn the street into a destination shopping and entertainment district that appeals to the increasing number of millennials living and working downtown.
“They need a place where they can go and have a lifestyle,” Padgett said. “We want to bring more of a national face to the boulevard.”
The landlords are searching for big-name national chains, as well as strong local and regional operators, to revitalize the street.
Padgett said the firm recently signed a lease with El Camino, an upscale Mexican restaurant from Delray Beach, for 817 E. Las Olas. That should open in the next six months, she said.
Jonathan Kingsley, a senior vice president of Colliers International, a commercial real estate firm, expects a new wave of Las Olas tenants in the next few years to include technology stores, internet cafes, upscale restaurants and trendy clothing boutiques. He said the transition is similar to the one that’s occurring along Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach.
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