Flagler Village has quickly emerged as Fort Lauderdale’s hippest destination
When a new neighborhood starts gaining attention, it’s often due to a combination of purposeful planning and fortuity. In the case of Flagler Village in downtown Fort Lauderdale, the rise to cool has been a mixture of the city’s dream for a live-work-play environment, the local arts community taking a first step, and the Great Recession (which led to great opportunity).
Flagler Village – roughly defined as the blocks just west of Federal Highway from NE Fourth Street to Sunrise Boulevard, began its transformation from seedy to hipster around 2008. When FATVillage (Flagler, Arts, Technology), a multiblock hub for artists of all kinds, created its monthly ARTWALK, foot traffic to the region quickly increased. Soon after, The Bubble (now known as Jump the Shark) launched a popular performance space and art gallery, and an edgy nightlife scene soon followed. Additional cafes, bars and shops hoping to tap into this new audience were able to take advantage of lowered rents when the recession hit, and the development of Flagler Village began to blossom.
Now, with a growing residential population thanks to a few large apartment buildings (conveniently adjacent to downtown), everything from pizza joints to beer gardens have been popping up. “Our goal as a community is to make Flagler Village the best place to live, work and play,” says Camille Hansen, president of the Flagler Village Civic Association. She calls the area, “a diversified community,” and says the audience is “becoming very young and vibrant.”