Wayne Huizenga used to live at 516 Mola Ave., on one of the man-made finger islands known as Las Olas Isles, just off Las Olas Boulevard. His two-acre
In 2005, Huizenga sold this parcel for $9.8 million, and it switched hands a few times before Brad Tuckman purchased it in 2014.
But the land was only 2.7 feet above sea level. It would flood during heavy rains and king tides. Last year, Tuckman enlisted the help of Coastal Risk Consulting, a Plantation-based
“It was a surprise, because when I bought the property, I thought it only flooded a couple of days a year,” Tuckman says. “And it’s not just me. My neighbors flood too.”
Tuckman tore down Huizenga’s old house and divided the land into six parcels for new homes. He invested nearly a million dollars
“Somebody has to do this,” Tuckman says. “If not, no one will decide to live here.”
Tuckman reports a lot of new construction on Mola Avenue and says his neighbors are also demolishing old homes, filling in
Currently, residents are talking with City of Fort Lauderdale officials about raising the Mola Avenue roadway, which is the lowest-lying part of the block and frequently floods.
Shannon Vezina, a city spokesperson, said of the roadway, “It is one of the areas we closely monitor during the king tide and inclement weather. We are aware of the vulnerability to sea-level rise, high tide, and other impacts of climate change.”
Right now, Vezina says, there are no specific plans to raise it. However, she explains, the city takes proactive measures to prevent roadways from
Together, the 17 homes on Mola Avenue are valued at more than $32 million. In 2014, Mola Avenue residents collectively paid $457,273 in property taxes. With the new construction, Tuckman estimates an added $300,000 in property taxes in the coming years. He suggests that some of that money be used to finance the road-raising.
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“There is no protest. Everybody is working together and aware what is going in,” Tuckman says. “It’s not just a city problem or just a homeowner problem. It’s a matter of working together.”
Keren Bolter, a geoscientist and sea-level rise expert at Coastal Risk Consulting, says that in the future, property owners will have to reinforce their homes and band together to pressure cities to update municipal infrastructure.
“Brad should be acknowledged for what he is doing and taking initiative,” Bolter says. “The big idea is that there needs to be a whole new way of