Upscale senior housing in high-rise towers may eventually take root in downtown Fort Lauderdale. But for now, such housing is sprouting on a smaller scale north of downtown. A local developer once planned to build a high-end residential tower for senior citizens in downtown Fort Lauderdale. Instead, he sold the riverfront development site in 2021. Nevertheless, just north of downtown in the Coral Ridge area, a high-end, midrise apartment building for seniors opened in the summer of 2020, and now, another one less than two miles away is scheduled to open later this year.
Under construction since June 2021, Allegro Fort Lauderdale on North Federal Highway near Sunrise Boulevard will open in the fall as an eight-story, 186-unit apartment with ample amenities. These goodies include multiple restaurants, outdoor gardens, a dog park, an outdoor fireplace and fire pit, a salon and spa, a pool, a fitness center, a two-story theater, and a bourbon and whiskey lounge.
The menu of services for residents will range from housekeeping to valet parking, transportation, boat access, and much, much more. The company that will operate Allegro Fort Lauderdale designated 88 of the 186 apartments for independent living, 73 for assisted living, and 23 for memory care.
Monthly rents at Allegro Fort Lauderdale will start at $5,400, according to Raymee Alper, a spokesperson for the property operator, Allegro Senior Living, part of St. Louis, Missouri-based Love Companies. Allegro Senior Living is a 45-year-old developer and manager of luxury rental properties for seniors. Its portfolio of more than 2,600 apartments for seniors includes South Florida properties in Boynton Beach, Doral and Parkland.
“Many of our future residents [in Fort Lauderdale] have found that the pricing is comparable when they compare their current costs with all that’s included at Allegro,” Alper said in an exchange of emails. Along with its amenities and services, she said, the luxury property in Fort Lauderdale also will provide “stunning views of the adjacent waterway and Atlantic Ocean.”
Alliance Residential Company, a national developer of rental apartment buildings, is building Allegro Fort Lauderdale for Allegro Senior Living to operate. Scottsdale, Arizona-based Alliance Residential has a regional office in Boca Raton.
The owner of the Allegro development site at 1290 N. Federal Hwy. is “a joint venture between Alliance Residential and a large institutional investor,” Alper said, declining to elaborate. Broward County records show that the site’s owner is an entity called SHP VI/Holden Fort Lauderdale LLC, which bought the property in May 2021 for $13.3 million.
On Federal Highway north of Sunrise Boulevard, Allegro Fort Lauderdale’s location is a short drive from Belmont Village Fort Lauderdale, a 12-story, 204-unit apartment building for seniors that opened in 2020 near the Galleria Mall. The building’s 26-year-old property manager, Houston-based Belmont Village Senior Living, is a national developer and operator of upscale apartments for seniors. The company has about 30 properties but just two in the state of Florida, including one in Coral Gables.
The Belmont Village Fort Lauderdale quickly developed a local fan base. The three-year-old property at 1031 Seminole, located next door to a Publix supermarket and across East Sunrise Boulevard from the Galleria Mall, was voted by readers the best retirement community in Fort Lauderdale in 2021 as part of “The Best of Fort Lauderdale” awards program conducted by Fort Lauderdale Magazine.
A seniors-only skyscraper was supposed to rise 42 stories on a riverfront site in downtown Fort Lauderdale. Monthly rents were going to range from $5,000 to $6,000 for a mix of independent-living, assisted-living and memory-care apartments. The local developer behind the project, Canadian-born Jean Francois Roy, president of Fort Lauderdale-based Ocean Land Investments, had planned an amenity-rich property complete with five restaurants, a heated saltwater swimming pool, and 10 poolside hotel rooms for overnight visitors.
The 42-story tower, called Riverfront Residences of Las Olas, never materialized. Roy sold the development site at 333 N. New River Dr. East in June 2021. Why isn’t perfectly clear. He didn’t respond to a request for an interview. But Roy may have been motivated more by the appeal of a profitable deal than an aversion to the risks of senior housing development during a pandemic. He sold the development site on New River Drive East for $33.16 million, 53 times greater than the $624,000 he paid to acquire the property in 1986, according to county records.