Patrons dine at the Wild East Bistro on Las Olas Boulevard near the New River. [Photo: Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau]
When the Northeast was getting blanketed with snow this winter, South Florida was enjoying another winter of 70-degree, cloudless days. Some call it "chamber of commerce" weather. Others call it home.
Greater Fort Lauderdale is teeming with attributes for locals — and those who might consider moving here. The public schools have enjoyed an upward trend in test scores, colleges are strong, and culture is growing, says Richard Barkett, CEO of the Realtor Association of Greater Fort Lauderdale. Athletic fields and programs abound with youth sports, and area parks provide ample space for activities and exploration.
For CEOs the business climate is "conducive to growth," Barkett says. The labor pool is rich with candidates from entry- to management-level. Home prices in neighborhoods across the area have mostly stabilized, bringing value to first-time, move-up or downsizing buyers.
"We enjoy the fringe benefits of living in a major metro area, from the strong cultural base to quality of life that's off the charts for any family," he says. "And did I mention the weather?"
The Sawgrass Mills mall launched a retail boom in Fort Lauderdale's western suburbs, including retailers like Ikea. [Photo: Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau]