CORAL SPRINGS (CBSMiami) – A South Florida businessman, who won $52 million in the Florida Lottery, is investing in Fort Lauderdale’s oldest African-American community.
Miguel Pilgram won the prize in 2010. He’s in the process of making two projects a reality.
Pilgram’s converting a vacant building at the corner of NW 15th Street and Sistrunk Blvd. into a blues club and restaurant.
And across the street, next to the Mizell Center under renovation, he envisions a three story structure with retail, lofts and a performing arts center. The center will offer art and music instruction for children
“Sistrunk was known for music, food and a lot of other experiences,” he said. “I would like to jump start that.”
In its heyday 50 years ago, Sistrunk was a vibrant community with stores, restaurants and nightclubs. But the boulevard saw a slow steady decline that’s taken years to turnaround.
Even now, there are many boarded up buildings and vacant store fronts.
But Pilgram has a vision for the future.
“It’s very similar to Memphis, where I’m from. Reminds me of home in many ways,” he said.
Not to say there haven’t been obstacles.
“The biggest issue is understanding the vision and staying the course,” he said.