Bank OZK originates $220m for mixed-use Fort Lauderdale arts district project

Hines and Urban Street Development will use the financing for the first phase of a multifamily, office and retail project.

A rendering of Food Art Technology Village in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Arkansas-based Bank OZK is starting 2024 with a high note with the origination of $220 million in financing for the first phase of a Fort Lauderdale, Florida, mixed-use project.

The January 2 deal with Houston-based manager Hines and Fort Lauderdale-based manager Urban Street Development will fund the construction of Food Art Technology Village, an 835,000-square-foot master-planned development in the Flagler Village neighborhood.

“At a time when financing and construction starts have materially slowed, it’s gratifying to be in a position to move forward on FAT Village, which we believe will be a transformational development for Flagler Village and Fort Lauderdale,” said Alan Kennedy, managing director at Hines.

The first phase of the asset upon completion will include 601 multifamily units, about 180,000 square feet of creative office space and more than 70,000 square feet of retail space, spanning food and beverage, shopping, entertainment and art studios and galleries.

For OZK, the loan extends a multi-quarter streak of lending activity amid multiple interest rate hikes made by the US Federal Reserve. The Arkansas bank has not shied away from lending in Florida and in 2023 originated a $215 million loan for a Miami mixed-use development and separate $277 million loan for a Miami Beach luxury hotel and condominium tower.

FAT Village is located two blocks from Brightline’s Fort Lauderdale high-speed commuter rail station, which connects the city to neighboring Florida metropolitan areas including Miami, Orlando and West Palm Beach. Hines noted the four-block village is intended to serve as the reimagined epicenter of Fort Lauderdale’s art-centric district.

Hines is working with additional partners beyond Urban Street Development on the project, notably Chicago-based alternatives manager Cresset Real Estate, Miami-based advisory Las Americas, New York-based real estate investment firm Hudson Capital and Fort Lauderdale-based real estate investment holding company Halmos Holdings.