Elevate Partners’ new downtown riverside development is part of a growing trend towards walkable urban living aimed at renters.

The north side of the New River near the Andrews Avenue Bridge will soon look quite a bit different.

On the site of an old office building, 4 West Las Olas is now going up. The 25-story, 260-unit apartment building is part of a southwest-of-Andrews movement that aims to make the riverfront stretch more appealing to urban city dwellers, with plenty of apartments emptying to walkable shops and restaurants.

Developers plan to offer diverse living spaces on the property, including studios, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments – although the vast bulk of the apartments will be one- and two-bedroom. The development will also offer nearly 12,500 square feet of retail. According to Elevate, 6,000 square feet of that will be available for restaurant, bar or shop uses. Popular longtime bar Briny Irish Pub will also remain in its current location at the riverfront ground level of the adjacent parking garage, which is being incorporated into 4 West Las Olas.

Plans for the development show an urban, walkable space with sweeping balconies and a rooftop pool. It will sit next to the residential towers now being built on the site of the old Las Olas Riverfront shopping and dining complex. That development, which sits on a site more than twice the size of 4 West Las Olas, will also offer rental apartments rather than condos. It will also feature a large amount of space for shopping and dining.

As ambitious as 4 West Las Olas is, the project to its southwest will be even larger – plans call for 1,200 apartments and 40,000 square feet of dining and retail.
Elevate Partners paid $24m for the site in the summer of 2017. According to real estate website The Real Deal, the Fort Lauderdale developer closed on an $80m construction loan for the project in early 2018. Elevate expects construction to be completed this summer.

Making way for 4 West Las Olas required the demolishing of the Sweet Building, a 1926 office building that for nearly half a century was downtown’s tallest. The building, which was renamed One River Plaza in the early 1980s, was massively remodeled in the 1950s and ’60s.

“The building was always planned as a redevelopment site. It just took a long time,” Thomas Vogel told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Vogel is a founding partner of Elevate; his father bought the Sweet Building in 1980.

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