OceanLand buys dev site near Fort Lauderdale Brightline stop

March 20, 2023

Jean Francois Roy’s firm paid $13M for less than an acre of downtown land

OceanLand Investments bought a mixed-use development site near the Brightline station in downtown Fort Lauderdale, marking the firm’s continued wager on the city. Canadian transplant Jean Francois Roy’s OceanLand purchased a 0.95-acre development site at 105, 113, 117 Northwest Third Avenue and at 110 Northwest Fourth Avenue for $13.2 million from Florida East Coast Industries, according to the buyer’s news release. New Wave Loans, a North Miami Beach hard money lender, provided an $11 million mortgage to OceanLand, records show.

The purchase, which comes as prices for South Florida buildable sites have dropped amid high interest rates, equates to $13.9 million per acre.

OceanLand hasn’t hammered out specific project details, though the site’s zoning allows for a mixed-use development. OceanLand’s other projects have been residential.

In Fort Lauderdale’s Rio Vista neighborhood south of the New River, OceanLand plans a 100-unit condominium at 501 Southeast Sixth Avenue. Condo sales at the project, called Sixth & Rio, launched last year after OceanLand scrapped a previous plan to build apartments on the site, citing an increase in construction costs.

The firm’s completed Fort Lauderdale projects include five Aqua-branded condominium buildings: AquaBlu, AquaVue, AquaMar, AquaLuna and AquaVita, according to OceanLand’s website.

Founded in 1990 by Roy, OceanLand’s portfolio spans more than 4,000 units in 26 projects, according to the release.

Downtown Fort Lauderdale has experienced an investment sales flurry for development sites.

Last year, Kushner Companies and Aimco bought a three-lot assemblage at 200, 300 and 520 West Broward Boulevard for $49 million, combined. Kushner and Aimco sold the 520 West Broward Boulevard site to Woodfield Development for $18.3 million in December, but are still pursuing their plan for a 48-story, 933-unit tower at 300 West Broward Boulevard. The developers also are working on plans for the 200 West Broward Boulevard property.

Woodfield Development plans a 41-story, 365-unit apartment building on its property.

FECI, parent company of the Brightline passenger train, has been selling its holdings around the Fort Lauderdale stop. In 2021, FECI sold an assemblage at 130 Northwest First Avenue for $17.6 million to the Damaghi family of Great Neck, New York.

Overall, more than 40 projects with roughly 16,000 units combined are on tap in downtown Fort Lauderdale as of last summer. Still, expensive borrowing costs prompted by rapid interest rate hikes over the past year could cause delays for some of these projects.