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The Neighborhood Boom: Warehouses Turned Into Wonderlands At FAT Village

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Giant murals, street art, bars, restaurants and galleries – sounds like Wynwood, right?

This neighborhood is just north of Downtown Fort Lauderdale, and it has a memorable name – FAT Village.

Flagler Arts and Technology Village, or “FAT,” is a playground for talented streets artists, millennials and any and all art lovers.

But a few years ago it housed empty warehouses and auto repair shops.

“Boy, we’ve come a long way. It’s amazing the transformation,” said developer Doug McCraw.

FAT Village is the result of a vision by McCraw.

He bought the warehouses in 2000.

“Fort Lauderdale, I would say, was not known for art so the opportunity here was huge,” he said.

Art installations now reside inside those warehouses, where crowds gather on the last Saturday of every month for the FAT Village art walk.

A chic coffee shop now sits next to the railroad tracks west of Andrews Avenue.

And the neighborhood is booming.

For example, in 2011, the Miami-based Related Group paid $13 million for The Manor at Flagler Village on North Federal Highway

In just three and half years, they sold it for nearly $149 million.

That is a big change since McCraw bought his warehouses

“The prices were very inexpensive, less than $25 a square foot,” McCraw explained. “Now you could be in the $200-$250 range.”

There are more than 40 housing developments in the works in FAT Village – some are pricy.

The average price per square foot is $350.

So if you bought a 1,000-square-foot condo, it will cost you $350,000 to buy it.

FAT Village is predicted to only grow in the next few years.

All Aboard Florida is scheduled to launch its Brightline next year, with trains running between Orlando and Miami.

The line will have a station in Flagler Village.

The issue now for many is high demand equals supply is running out.

“One of our challenges here right now is that we have no more space to rent,” McCraw said.

More from Vanessa Borge
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