Dirty runoff in New River allegedly tied to downtown Fort Lauderdale developments

Dirty runoff in New River allegedly tied to downtown Fort Lauderdale developments

View of murky water from a condo at Las Olas River House (Credit: Bobbi Ocean)

At least five projects underway in downtown Fort Lauderdale were hit with citation warnings after a channel of murky water was found near the development sites.

The city and county began investigating construction sites earlier this week after residents began complaining about an overflow of milky “sludgy” water spilling in Fort Lauderdale’s New River, according to the Sun Sentinel.

The bulk of the sludge is mostly between Andrews Avenue and Third Avenue, by where a number of projects are under construction.

Five contractors working with major developers in the city were cited by the city. It is unknown whether the contractors caused the issue, but officials told the Sun Sentinel that the contractors were not properly handling the water runoff at their construction sites.

The developments include Kolter Group’s 100 Las Olas mixed-use project, which at 46 stories is poised to be downtown Fort Lauderdale’s tallest building. The contractor is Kast Construction. The project at 100 East Las Olas Boulevard will consist of 121 condos, 238 rooms in a Hyatt Centric hotel, and 8,500 square feet of restaurants and retail on the ground floor, once completed.

Fort Lauderdale-based Stiles Corp.’s construction arm was also cited at 212 Southeast Second Avenue, where Stiles is planning to build a 27-story, 348-unit apartment tower.

Moriarty Construction, which is working with Property Markets Group for the redevelopment of the Las Olas Riverfront at 330 Southwest First Avenue, was also cited. Last year, PMG paid $29 million for 2.4 acres of the property from Fort Lauderdale-based developer Dev Motwani and his partners.

Moss Construction was also cited. Elevate Partners hired the contractor to help build a new a 25-story, 260-unit luxury rental tower called 4 West Las Olas, at 305 South Andrews Avenue.

And the city also issued a warning to Kast Construction at 116 South Federal Highway for not properly filtering a continuous flow of runoff there. Zom Living is planning a 456-apartment project on the site.

Fort Lauderdale spokesman Chaz Adams told the Sun Sentinel that the murky water does not pose a health hazard to humans, but it is a concern for aquatic life that relies on sunlight to live. [Sun Sentinel] – Amanda Rabines

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