As I spend my days and evenings walking up and down the ocean strip of Fort Lauderdale’s beautiful State Road A1A, I pass the new, the good, the bad and the ugly. One place really stands out as the “bad”. Beach Place is a real squandered opportunity to have a nice, clean safe place for families, tourists and locals to gather. Beach Place on Fort Lauderdale’s strip is a disaster. I know for sure the politicians and local law enforcement would love this albatross of a development to be something from what it has ultimately become. Beach Place is now a rundown version of Miami’s Cocowalk in Coconut Grove. It has devolved from its short glory days of anchor upscale retail bars and restaurants to a destination for beer swilling Spring Breakers. The place as a structure has good bones as they say but the quality merchants have left and much that remains are tee shirt stores, pop up merchandisers and a venue where there have been reports of drugs being peddled on the premises.
It really comes down to lack of vision of the current ownership, Thor Equities. The place has that seedy feel with so many stores empty on the lower and upper levels. The 100,000 square foot facility was opened in 1996 with the vision of being a complement to Fort Lauderdale’s gorgeous backdrop instead it’s dark corners and rowdy late night revelers have sent tourists and residents seeking nicer ground. CVS is the one store out on the street that probably can stay afloat from the walk in beach traffic, and Lulu’s Bait Shack seems to draw a crowd when live music is present, but all in all there are much better places to visit when you are in Fort Lauderdale.
One beach observer on Yelp last year was on point:
”What a sad state of affairs this place is. What could be a great hub for both tourists and locals is just a sad-sad area sparsely filled with restaurants that no one goes to.
It’s not completely empty. There’s a Hooters, Lulu’s Bait Shack, CVS, American Social Club, Fat Tuesday’s and Crocs- yes I said that one for last, but are you really seeking any of these places out? Probably not.
The escalators have been broken for ages so you have to take the stairs. The bathrooms are disgusting. The parking is essentially a trap for tourists who don’t know where else to park- $5 for your first hour then a ridiculous amount after.
It’s not necessarily the safest place either.
The views though are amazing so it sucks that this place isn’t being utilized to its full potential.
The beach has better food options than anything in this “mall”. No need to stop by here.”