Making a Great Downtown Neighborhood Even Better

We’re the Downtown Fort Lauderdale Civic Association! We are fortunate to represent an area and population with an excellent demographic profile living in a beautiful environment with terrific retailing, dining and cultural resources steps away.

I personally have been fortunate to spend much of my career working on planning initiatives in great cities globally.

Stan-Eichelbaum-President-Downtown-Fort-Lauderdale-Cive-AssociationStan Eichelbaum President Downtown Fort Lauderdale Cive Association. There is, of course, always talk of “hot” cities with reports of migration to them by the latest college graduation classes. The “hot” cities to most are the Portlands, the Denvers, the Chicagoes, the San Franciscos, the Bostons, the New Yorks and select others. The more we have studied them, we’ve come to realize that it’s not “hot” cities that ring the bell. It’s cities with great neighborhoods…the Pearls, Lodos, Sohos, Upper Eastsides, Chelseas, Back Bays, Near Norths and others. It’s the potential that exists for our downtown.

The goal of the Downtown Fort Lauderdale Civic Association is to help make downtown and center city a great neighborhood. Yes, there are challenges. There have been many journal articles about residential towers with high levels of amenities becoming their own self-sufficient walled “cities” with residents minimally interacting with the streetscape. Inarguably several of our downtown buildings have that level of facilities. In our goal to be a neighborhood, not just a city district, we are committed to creating the awareness and connectivity to all our great downtown offers.

What’s needed? The real neighborhood successes are not one dimension of greatness… safety or arts or restaurants…but holistic strength! Downtown Fort Lauderdale matches the holistic indexing like few other places! We have clear neighborhood definition, good and growing population density, safety, supreme cultural accessibility, strong employment proximity, excellent retail and dining servicing and an unmatchable infrastructure aesthetic. The Downtown Fort Lauderdale Civic Association goal is to continue to make a great neighborhood better and better. And it’s happening…happening quickly. We are hearing it as neighborhood residents greet each other every Sunday morning at the growing Las Olas Sunday Market…toast each other at Downtown Fort Lauderdale Civic Association social events, cultural activities and meetings… and gather on the sidewalks when walking pets or exercising. And we’re seeing it at standing room only forums monthly as the community is informed of new area projects and policies and discusses important issues such as traffic congestion and pedestrian safety. And after a terrific past year, we are headed to the next plateau of a great neighborhood.

We kicked off the season with the first Downtown Fort Lauderdale Civic Association Literary Club Meeting with authors Chuck Malkus (The Ultimate Ponzi: The Scott Rothstein Story) and Laura Berger (Radical Sabbatical). We are making progress on the start of a Downtown Fort Lauderdale Civic Association Economic Club. We have started plan-ning for evening “River Walks”. We are engaging a group of young professionals in a planning session to assure events appealing to all age groups and we are monitoring and inputting to major community issues.

In the final weeks of last year we co-sponsored a neighborhood Block Party with Broward College, Florida Atlantic University, Nova Southeastern University and Lingua Center. Later in the month we again brought the neighborhood together for our Annual Cultural Season Preview. Eleven organizations contributing to community vitality previewed their “Coming Soon” activities. In mid-December, Downtown Fort Lauderdale Civic Association members gathered for our Annual Holiday Reception at Las Olas fine Arts.

In January members at the monthly meeting heard Fort Lauderdale Police Chief Frank Adderley and former senior FBI official Wiley Thompson reflect on “How Public Safety and Law Enforcement Have Changed Over Past Decades”. All thought it a mesmerizing session.

A Downtown Fort Lauderdale Civic Association Task Force on Traffic Congestion and Pedestrian Safety is readying a comprehensive plan for resident input at our 7 PM February 20 membership meeting at Watergarden Condo.

We continue to work with local government agencies, the financial community, commerce, cultural, health and education organizations to achieve all possible to make Downtown Fort Lauderdale as great of a neighborhood as it can be. Expect more forums and more great events!

If you want to be an active part of making Downtown Fort Lauderdale the greatest of neighborhoods, you can join the Downtown Fort Lauderdale Civic Association and/or volunteer to help at Membership is the best value in town: $25 per couple, $15 per individual, $99 per business.

Stan Eichelbaum, President
Downtown Fort Lauderdale Civic Association

Last modified onMay 15, 2014
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