Peter Zalewski says at end of
the first quarter of 2012, at
least one new condo tower—the
Orion on North Fort Lauderdale
Beach Boulevard—is proposed for
the Downtown Fort Lauderdale and
beach coastal market.

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL—The W Fort Lauderdale is offering a glimpse of what condo developers can expect in the next wave: foreign buyers giving the project traction. After a stalled start, the W Fort Lauderdale condo-hotel project in Downtown Fort Lauderdale is selling about two units a month, according to a new report from CondoVultures.com.

Through March, buyers snapped up more than 20 units for a total price of $16.5 million. The project offers 171 units in a 24-story residential tower. A twin tower offers hotel rooms. Buyers have paid an average of $765 per square foot, according to CondoVultures’ report.

“The W Fort Lauderdale was withheld from the market until the environment showed signs of improving,” Peter Zalewski, a principal at CondoVultures, tells GlobeSt.com. “Now that a general optimism is spreading throughout the South Florida market combined with dwindling developer inventory from the recent boom and bust, the W Fort Lauderdale is positioned to benefit from the buyers who think the time to purchase is quickly approaching.”

Zalewski says time will tell if the strategy was the correct one in dealing with South Florida’s recent price adjustment. What is clear is that foreign buyers and institutional investors are driving the demand in the Downtown Fort Lauderdale and beach market. These two groups have bought all but 45 of the nearly 5,100 units constructed during the real estate boom that started in 2003, CondoVultures reports.

Now, Fort Lauderdale is seeing new projects on the boards. At the end of the first quarter of 2012, at least one new condo tower—the Orion on North Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard—is proposed for the Downtown Fort Lauderdale and Beach coastal market, according to the CondoVultures.com Preconstruction Condo Projects list.