Cultural centers

A cultural center is coming to Flagler Village in Fort Lauderdale

Rendering of the planned park and cultural center in the Flagler Village neighborhood of Fort Lauderdale (City of Fort Lauderdale)

City commissioners have approved a restaurant and music venue operator’s proposal to build and operate a new park with cultural center on city land in the Flagler Village area, just north of downtown. city ​​of Fort Lauderdale.

The city commission voted 4-1 at its meeting Tuesday night to approve a 50-year deal with Damn Good Hospitality Group LLC, a local company that operates Revolution Live, a live music venue with indoor and outdoor stages in downtown city ​​of Fort Lauderdale. Damn Good Hospitality also operates Green Bar & Kitchen, a restaurant near the southeast corridor of 17th Street in Fort Lauderdale; and Warren Delray, a restaurant in Delray Beach, according to its website.

The company plans to build a cultural center offering food services, exhibits and performances on a city-owned triangle-shaped block that spans 3.3 acres. The gated block at 301 North Andrews Avenue, two blocks north of City Hall, is known as the One Stop Shop property because the city government once had a permit office there.

A rendering of a concept plan for the site shows two structures for the cultural center occupying one-third of the site. The other two-thirds of the site would be open space which retains two existing banyan trees and three oak trees.

The city would retain ownership of the site and own all improvements to the property, including the cultural center and park. Damn Good Hospitality would build on the property and finance it at an estimated cost of over $100 million.

Damn Good Hospitality would pay the city an annual “licensing” fee that would gradually increase from $250,000 in the first year to $1.5 million in the seventh year of the agreement’s original 50-year term. The company is also responsible for maintenance and repair work.

The duration could be extended twice, by 25 years each time, up to a maximum of 100 years. Damn Good Hospitality could also transfer ownership of the project to another developer if the commission agrees.

The agreement states that it “does not establish a tenant-owner relationship, partnership, joint venture or agency relationship between the parties.”
The new park would be open to the public daily from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m., and the city would be permitted to use the cultural center, free of charge, at least 12 times a year for events that do not conflict with the uses expected revenue generators. by Damn Good Hospitality.

The company will receive all revenue generated from the property, including ticket sales, food and beverage sales, merchandise sales, concession fees and parking fees. Prohibited uses of the park and cultural center include gambling and adult entertainment. The company is also prohibited from naming any part of the park or cultural center without the approval of the municipal commission.

Led by Jeffrey J. John, Damn Good Hospitality made an unsolicited bid in 2020 to redevelop the One Stop Shop site. The city responded by soliciting alternative proposals for redevelopment, but received none.

Construction on the project cannot begin until 2024 because Damn Good Hospitality must complete a detailed site development plan for city review before applying for a building permit, said company attorney Stephanie Toothaker. .

Many critics of the project who spoke publicly at the commission meeting argued that the One Stop Shop property should become a pure park without a cultural center. But supporters said the cultural center would enliven the property. Even Commissioner Heather Moraitis, who voted alone against the project, agreed that “we need a restaurant or something to activate it”.

John of Damn Good Hospitality said the project reflects years of local discussions about creating pedestrian-friendly public spaces in Fort Lauderdale.

“When we came up with the idea for this project, I was really inspired by the community conversation about activating and programming our city and parks,” John said. “We will submit something special.”