Officials with the Plantation, FL-based developer have refiledan application for development review following a policy decisionby Broward County officials that halted development of 139 luxurymultifamily units on a 1.2-acre downtown site just off the NewRiver.

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"We're on the most prominent piece of land Downtown, facing theBroward Center for the Performing Arts and the Fort LauderdaleMuseum of Discovery and Science," Paul Rosen, who is co-managingwith Fabio Appugliesi, tells GlobeSt.com.

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Just within days of opening its sales center last week, thecompany quickly secured deposits on 44 reservations atEsplanade.

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The refiled development application follows the county'sdecision in April to adopt restrictive changes for its DowntownRegional Activity Center, which limited residential development inthe area to a maximum of 5,100 units.

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In that decision, the county is allocating the distribution ofthose development units on a first-come, first-serve basis. Thatbrought a halt to the New River Development project, even thoughthe city already had approved the plans.

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"We had a site plan that was approved and then revoked," Rosensays. "To our thinking, that was done incorrectly." He tellsGlobeSt.com, "We are in litigation on that issue. We feel verystrongly that we'll be successful in that litigation. Even iflitigation fails, we're applying again through normalchannels."

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Prior to the county's action, Rosen originally proposed aconstruction start date sometime in October. In response to thecounty's action, the city is recommending an amendment to itsComprehensive Land Use plan to increase the number of allowed totalresidential units in the regional activity center.

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That recommendation, though, requires approval from the FloridaDepartment of Community Affairs.

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"If the proposed amendment is ultimately found to be consistentwith state law and (is) recertified by the Broward County PlanningCouncil, it is expected that units will again become available inthe Downtown Regional Activity Center sometime in December 2001 orJanuary 2002," according to city records.

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This proposed comes at a time of significant consumer demand, inRosen's view. "Downtown Fort Lauderdale is going through arenaissance, with an estimated two million sf of new office spacebeing built or proposed," Rosen says. "We think most of our buyersare going to be young professional people who want to live, workand play all in the same area."

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