Ft. Lauderdale's Mixed-Use Project 13 Years in the Making

March 20, 2019
Downtown Fort Lauderdale, Fla.'s new "blockbuster" mixed-use project, The Main Las Olas, is being readied for occupancy by 2020, but its path to success was not straightforward.
Photo: Unsplash/Jacob Stone

Downtown Fort Lauderdale, Fla.'s new "blockbuster" mixed-use project, The Main Las Olas, is being readied for occupancy by 2020, but its path to success was not straightforward.

The site was purchased in 2006 by Stiles Corporation founder Terry Stiles, but the development process did not start until 2016. Stiles' brain child is now being built: a 1.5 million-square-foot office, retail, and residential complex, and while it has outlived its creator, (Stiles passed away in 2017), the vision remains in place. Robert Breslau, Stiles’s chief development officer, credits Stiles' unflagging determination as the major driver pushing the project forward, the Urban Land Institute reports.

“Terry was convinced that this was the right property and the last full block available for development in Fort Lauderdale,” he said at a panel discussion ... Though the site was purchased in 2006, building plans were neither approved that year, nor three years later, when the Great Recession struck—a fact that Breslau now recognizes as a blessing.

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