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FORT LAUDERDALE, FL-Boca Raton-based Crocker Partners LLC and New York-based ING Clarion Partners are planning to develop Atlantic Center, a $175-million mixed-use development on S.E. Second Street. The project, just south of Broward Boulevard, will contain 400,000 sf of class A office space and a lifestyle retail/restaurant complex with 50,000 sf.

Developers are also considering building a four-star, 250-room hotel. Under development plans, the office space will be hurricane-resistant, with technology infrastructure and building systems that are designed to allow tenants to resume working immediately following a storm. “This will be the first hurricane-resistant building in Downtown Fort Lauderdale,” Crocker Partners senior vice president Angelo Bianco tells GlobeSt.com. “It will have impact-resistance glass and 100% power backup so tenants can maintain continuous operations.”

The project is projected to break ground in the first quarter of 2008 and be completed in 2010. “The entire South Florida market is very important to ING Clarion Partners. The fundamentals are sound and we continue to see opportunities in all major property sectors,” says Clarion managing director Ed Rotter, who is head of the acquisitions team responsible for the region. “We are very interested in expanding our portfolio here.”

The development team has acquired the land for the project and is seeking proposals from architects across the country. Bianco says that office leasing activity has been strong in Fort Lauderdale, driving the need for new office space. “The site is one of the last few remaining development sites in the Downtown area,” Bianco says. “It is located almost in the exact geographic center of Downtown.”

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