As the real estate market continues to heat up in South Florida, the Tarpon River neighborhood of Fort Lauderdale is drawing attention. Located just north of Davie Boulevard and west of Andrews Avenue, the one-square-mile area is attracting buyers of all kinds and even drawing people from other parts of Broward County. Realtors say the nearness to downtown, the tree-lined streets and vibrant parks are all part of the appeal.
The area has a median home value of about $320,000, up 6.5 percent from last year, while condos and townhomes have jumped by 11.5 percent to about $232,000. The speed limits and the crime rates are low — making the area popular with young professionals, couples, retirees and boating enthusiasts. Kayaks, paddleboards and small boats are commonly seen in yards, awaiting use on the New River.
Dominating the neighborhood are 1950s single-family homes typically ranging from two-bedroom homes (about 1,300 square feet) to three-bedroom houses (about 1,900 square feet). Most are single-story, but there are plenty of two-level homes with balconies, with some duplexes, bungalow-style homes and apartments sprinkled in. The mix of frame and concrete block houses fills streets lined with leafy bushes. Many sport boats, pools and small gardens grace yards.
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“People are out early in the mornings and the evenings walking their dogs and riding their bicycles through the neighborhood,” said Realtor Peter LeMieux, who lives in the neighborhood and works with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate. “It is a very nice neighborhood to start your family.”
The neighborhood also features higher-end homes on the water and new townhouses. One notable new development is the Pinnacle Housing Group’s 10-story rental apartment building, which has 112 one- to three-bedroom units ranging from about 600 to 1,000 square feet. Units in the mixed-income complex range from $721 to $1,800 a month.
6.5 the percent increase of median home values in Tarpon River from last year
Buyers can find single-family houses for about $300,000 — lower in some cases. The higher-end homes on the New River and Tarpon River waterfront can run up to the $1 million range.
“The prices are good and the market is very strong right now, so it is on the rise,” LeMieux said.
Both the neighborhood homes and the people who live in them span a range of ages, said Realtor Chelsea Holtfreter, a South Florida native with Bob Hodges and Sons Real Estate who has sold in the neighborhood for about a year.
“You have people who probably raised their kids in Weston and want to move east to be closer to everything,” Holtfreter said. “It’s one of the few areas near downtown Fort Lauderdale that’s still affordable.”
And the availability of apartments and mixed-income housing is likely to spark an influx of younger newcomers.
“Hipsters are moving to this area because there’s still some older apartments, and whenever that happens it’s like Brooklyn or Wynwood,” Holtfreter said.
New development has caused some concerns, especially among longtime residents worried about traffic. But most in the neighborhood are encouraged by rising property values.
“We enjoy the rise of the values of our homes but it doesn’t go without some sacrifice and that is the sacrifice of — we’re going to have more people here,” LeMieux said.
A lot of young hipsters are moving to this area because there’s still some older apartments, and whenever that happens it’s like Brooklyn or Wynwood.
Realtor Chelsea Holtfreter
That communal feeling was part of the appeal for Suzy Sebree, 31, who recently bought a home in the area after renting for about a year. She lived in an apartment in Wilton Manors and picked the area because of the safe streets, the river access and the affordability.
“It’s right in the middle of downtown pretty much, but it’s got kind of a nice neighborhood, suburban feel to it,” Sebree said.
As downtown Fort Lauderdale continues to grow and develop, neighborhoods like Tarpon River appear set to continue to bring in new residents and new real estate.
“I always boast the convenience to downtown and traveling, you’re extremely centrally located to anything you need to do,” Holtfreter said.
Background: A family-friendly neighborhood in Fort Lauderdale with plenty of green space and the perks that come with living near the water. Tarpon River follows the New River on the north and west, and is bounded by South Andrews Avenue on the east and Davie Boulevard on the south. Crime isn’t a problem and local schools have solid grades from the Florida Department of Education. Developers are building new townhomes and apartment buildings in the area.
Median ingle-family home values: $320,300 in June, up 6.5 percent over the previous year.
Median condo/townhome values: $232,300 in June, up 11.5 percent over the previous year. That’s one of the fastest rates of growth in Broward County.