Back in 1996, Beach Place opened on Fort Lauderdale beach and was supposed to usher in a new age of retail goodness and restaurants and family fun on Las Olas. There was a Banana Republic retail store there, as well as a The Gap and a Limited Express. Now, there's a store that will sell you $5 flip flops and one of those t-shirts with George W. Bush on it that reads, "MISS ME YET?"
More importantly though, it's become a place where drugs are sold.
So, the city is calling Beach Place a nuisance.
And we mean that officially. They're officially calling it a nuisance. They labeled it as such with the city's Nuisance Abatement Board, which is an actual thing.
The original plan for Beach Place was to have an upscale place for tourists to go shopping and eating while they visited the beach.
But, the party crowd kind of threw a monkey wrench into that whole thing.
From the Sun-Sentinel:
"The original idea of Beach Place was to have a point of destination for tourists and residents to have a reason to visit the beach," said City Commissioner Dean Trantalis. "That culture has evaporated, and what we now seem to be catering to is the party crowd."
Cops say that they have been called more than 600 times in the past six months, including disturbances, assaults, alcohol violations and drug offenses, all at Beach Place.
In that time, they've made close to 50 arrests, 16 of them being drug related.
So, to combat this, the nuisance board took matters into their own hands in December, and forced Beach Place's management to monitor the property.
That would include adding more lighting to the area, and giving cops a live-feed to their surveillance cameras.
For now, the board will keep an eye on Beach Place, but say that signs that usually go up announcing their involvement won't be necessary.
Meanwhile, tourists and families will continue to hit up the Las Olas Riverfront while continuing to steer clear of Beach Place.