The Fort Lauderdale Downtown Development Authority (DDA) has secured a $8.75 million construction loan to renovate Huizenga Park in downtown Fort Lauderdale. The DDA requested proposals seeking lenders to fund the Huizenga Park capital improvement project. After a thorough selection process, Synovus Bank was chosen as the best partner for financing the construction project, which is set to start in 2024.
“We are pleased to have closed on this loan with Synovus Bank, reaching yet another milestone in our efforts to revitalize and activate Huizenga Park,” said Jenni Morejon, president and CEO of the Fort Lauderdale DDA. “This is a crucial step in our mission to transform the park into a vibrant and welcoming space for our community. We are grateful to our partners at Synovus for their support and commitment and look forward to starting construction.”
Once construction is completed in 2025, Huizenga Park will transform into downtown Fort Lauderdale’s new iconic outdoor living room, dining room, and backyard – all in one. Key features include a multilevel restaurant, a spacious lawn, a designated area for dogs and an area for kids, unique European-style terraces, a restored Spirit of Fort Lauderdale fountain, and more. The park’s convenient access to the Riverwalk and Las Olas Boulevard will make it a signature destination for residents, employees, and visitors of downtown Fort Lauderdale. With its lush landscaping, picturesque views, and diverse amenities, the reimagined Huizenga Park will become an urban oasis.
“Synovus is committed to investing in local communities to help them thrive,” said Andy LaFear, government banker at Synovus. “Partnering with the Fort Lauderdale Downtown Development Authority to transform Huizenga Park will positively impact residents and visitors, creating a beloved destination for years to come.”
In January 2023, the Huizenga Family and the Hudson Family Fund at the Community Foundation of Broward pledged $2 million toward the project, kicking off the Huizenga Park Foundation capital campaign. In 2023, the park also received a significant investment of $5 million from the City of Fort Lauderdale, which complemented the $950,000 grant previously announced by the State of Florida last summer. More than $5.2 million in philanthropic contributions have been pledged to the park, highlighting the substantial community support for revitalizing Huizenga Park. Additional revenue from a long-term restaurant ground lease and DDA bond funds round out the park’s estimated $15 million budget sources.