The owner of the Riverside Hotel expects to break ground in January on a two-story office and retail building next to the hotel in downtown Fort Lauderdale.
Las Olas Place, at Southeast Eighth Avenue and East Las Olas Boulevard, will feature 16,000 square feet of shops on the ground floor and 15,500 square feet of offices on the second floor. The rooftop can be used for events.
The Las Olas Co. said the building probably will open in spring 2017.
Vann Padgett, senior vice president and director of real estate, said the downtown needs merchants to accommodate more residents moving there. She said the firm wanted to build a boutique project that matched the existing Mediterranean designs along Las Olas.
"We didn't want to overdo it," Padgett said Friday. "This will be more in keeping with the character of Las Olas."
The Fort Lauderdale-based Las Olas Co. is looking for experienced retailers, as well as one to five office tenants. Padgett said businesses are struggling to find space due to the improved economy and a dearth of office construction over the past decade.
Las Olas Co. developed and still owns two existing Fort Lauderdale office buildings and has significant retail holdings from the New River tunnel to the Himarshee Canal.
The firm was started by brothers Preston and John Wells, who began visiting Fort Lauderdale in the 1920s. They bought property here and opened the Champ Carr Hotel, which now is known as the Riverside.