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New Luxury Apartments Mark Transformation of Hallandale Beach

Integra Investments completed ArtSquare at Hallandale in November 2018.

Hallandale Beach has traditionally been a sleepy oceanfront city known for its annual influx of French Canadians, a couple of casinos and some trailer parks.

But change is here, as evidenced by ArtSquare at Hallandale Beach, a new luxury apartment project at 401 North Federal Highway, which Tuesday night hosted a ribbon-cutting for the last of its six buildings.

Victor Ballestas, a principal of ArtSquare’s Miami-based developer, Integra Investments, said his company was already in the midst of developing Aventura ParkSquare — a 1.2M SF mixed-use project in the adjacent, and more affluent, city of Aventura — when a broker showed him the Hallandale parcel, which had been repossessed by a bank.

“The thesis we came up with is: If you develop a well-placed rental project on the fringe of everything that’s going on, in the path of progress, such projects will drive traffic to where people want to be,” Ballestas said.

ArtSquare is composed of six buildings with 358 units on 8 acres. One- to three-bedroom units start at $1,600 per month. The project has a pool with cabanas, a 24-hour gym and latch technology that uses cellphones to unlock doors. Orangetheory Fitness and Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee will be tenants in the 12K SF of retail. Nearby are the Gulfstream Park casino, which underwent a $200M overhaul in 2006, and the Aventura Mall, which has been undergoing a $214M expansion.

Ballestas said his team essentially got a discount on the land because it sits a few blocks north of a main east-west corridor, Hallandale Beach Boulevard. It is still on a busy commercial street, U.S. 1, and sits next to the Big Easy casino, which was bought by billionaire Jeffrey Soffer and is expected to be redeveloped. 

Ballestas said he is able to offer Class-A amenities to people who want the Aventura/South Broward area at slightly cheaper rents than they can find at the beach or in more prime neighborhoods. Ballestas said that because it was just residential and retail, the ArtSquare project took about 30 months, start-to-finish, compared to the Aventura project, which has seven different uses and took 60 months.

He said it is 65% leased, to a wide mix of renters, and that Integra would hold the project through stabilization. Beyond that, he said, the decision on when to sell will be up to his investors.

“Hallandale has been trying to get development in this corridor for a long time,” Ballestas said. He said the success of ArtSquare is proving that the area is ready for more development. “Hopefully not too quickly, though, because we want to do more there.”

Integra is in talks regarding other Hallandale projects, perhaps something for active seniors and/or something that could take advantage of the area's designation as an opportunity zone, he said.