February 23, 2024
ATS SE Sept 2023
Approximately 1,500 ghost orchids remain in Florida today. Found only in South Florida and Cuba, the flowering plant clings to trees by its roots and draws moisture from the air.

Photo: Carlton Ward Jr.

ATS SE Sept 2023
Related Southeast, the West Palm Beach-based unit of New York's Related Cos., says it will begin construction next year on two downtown West Palm Beach office towers totaling nearly 1 million square feet.

Photo: Related Companies

ATS SE Sept 2023
Indian River State College received $21.3 million in the state Legislature's latest budget, including $14.2 million to help it double its nursing program capacity.

Photo: IRSC

Southeast Florida Roundup

Seeking Protection

Mike Vogel | 9/28/2023

SPOTLIGHT

Three activist groups served notice to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that they intend to sue to force the agency to invoke Endangered Species Act protection for the ghost orchid. The groups are the Institute for Regional Conservation in Hollywood, the Center for Biological Diversity and the National Parks Conservation Association. They say the orchid is threatened by poaching, habitat loss and degradation and by winds from intense hurricanes. The groups say the agency should have made a protection decision in January but the agency workplan indicates a decision won’t be made until as late as fall 2026. The orchid is protected at Big Cypress National Preserve and other government and private preserves and sanctuaries.

BOATING

  • Charleston, S.C.-based marina company Port 32 opened its Fort Lauderdale marina on the Marina Mile west of Interstate 95. The company also recently purchased the Lighthouse Point Marina, also in Broward. It has locations in Jacksonville, Palm Beach Gardens, Tierra Verde, Tampa, Naples, Cape Coral and Marco Island. The company looks to acquire marinas on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts. The Fort Lauderdale marina can accommodate vessels up to 180 feet, has dry storage slips for 278 boats and a three-acre basin with room for 32 yachts.

LOGISTICS

  • Coral Springs-based e-commerce warehouse and logistics firm MyFBAPrep added 70-million square feet of warehouse space to the 15-million-sq.-ft. warehouse network it operates in Europe and North America. The company matches e-commerce sellers with warehouses that can pick, pack and ship. MyFBAPrep says it moves more than $1 billion in gross merchandise value annually.

REAL ESTATE

  • Mattamy Homes sold 7.3 acres in the Tradition development in Port St. Lucie for $4 million to Farrell Building Co., which plans a self-storage and office project, and nearly 17 acres for $11.5 million to Eden Multifamily, which plans 214, two-story townhouses.
  • Forté Development broke ground on Forté Luxe, a 15-residence waterfront development in Jupiter with prices from $4.35 million to more than $8 million.
  • Multifamily developer Housing Trust Group broke ground on University Station, a $100-million development with 216 workforce housing units, retail space and a new campus for Barry University College of Nursing and Health Services. Units in the development — which will be located near the planned site of a commuter rail station on the Florida East Coast Railway line in Hollywood — will be reserved for households making 22% to 80% of area median income. The project partnership includes the-city of Hollywood. Completion is scheduled for 2025.

RETAIL

  • Plantation-based pet product company Chewy expanded its suite of insurance and wellness offerings with new access to products in Florida, California, New York and Washington.
  • The West Palm Beach-based U.S. Polo Assn., the United States Polo Association’s official brand, posted a record $2.3 billion in global retail sales in 2022. The brand has 1,100 stores globally with plans to reach 1,500 in several years.

TECHNOLOGY

  • The Alan B. Levan NSU Broward Center of Innovation will host its second annual South Florida Space Day on Sept. 21. The event will focus on trends, challenges, opportunities and entrepreneurship strategies in the sector.

TOURISM

  • Downtown Fort Lauderdale charted a record 900,000 domestic visitors in 2022. That was up 162% from 2018 and 35% from 2021, according to a report from the Fort Lauderdale Downtown Development Authority and Colliers International. The report says 1,100 hotels rooms were added downtown in the past five years.

TRANSPORTATION

  • A group including the Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches and Downtown Development Authority formed the public-private partnership West Palm Beach Mobility Coalition, or WPBgo, to cut traffic and improve mobility downtown. The non-profit aims to reduce commute times, enable economic growth and improve quality of life.

Tags: Southeast, Environment, Feature

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