Condos planned for Middle River in Fort Lauderdale

A 100-unit condo, called Riva, is being built in Fort Lauderdale at 1180 North Federal Highway, north of Sunrise Blvd

The condo craze continues in Broward County as developers capitalize on strong demand in a re-energized housing market.

Premier Developers plans to build RIVA on a two-acre site at 1180 N. Federal Highway, across from George English Park in Fort Lauderdale. The 100-unit development will have more than 400 feet of frontage along the Middle River.

Construction on the 15-story project is due to begin in the fall and be complete by early 2016.

Two- and three-bedroom units range from $550,000 to $1.3 million. Penthouses and custom units are priced from $2.45 million to more than $4 million. Buyers must make down payments of 35 percent before closing.


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Among the amenities: a 7,000-square-foot fitness club, private wine lockers and a water taxi that will take residents and their guests across the river to the Galleria Mall.

Over the past few years, foreign investors helped revive the moribund condo market by paying cash and renting out the units. But Bradley Deckelbaum, principal of Premier Developers, said the Fort Lauderdale-based business expects RIVA to attract primarily American and Canadian buyers who plan to live in the units most or all of the year.

"This will truly be their primary residence," he said. "It's not going to be the person who comes down for just two weeks over Christmas."

Decklebaum's family is celebrating its 100th year in the housing development business. His great-grandfather started building single-family homes on Staten Island, and the family later transitioned into luxury condos.

In the past decade, Premier built two other Fort Lauderdale condos: La Rive and Venezia. It also has a project in Hollywood, Renaissance on the Ocean, and another in the town of Palm Beach called Bellaria.

Since the end of the housing downturn in 2012, developers have planned, started building or completed nearly 4,000 units across Broward County, according to the Cranespotters.com database maintained by CondoVultures, a consulting firm.

Developers and analysts say the projects are needed to fill a dwindling supply of existing units. Still, the level of development in Broward remains far below the activity in Miami-Dade County, said Ken H. Johnson, a real estate economist at Florida International University.

"I'm not worried about a glut in Broward yet because the production is warranted," Johnson said.

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