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Cymbal envisions more than 1,000 rental apartments on New River site
South Florida Business Journal   Oscar Musibay  October 2012

Bjarke Ingels is the renowned architect Asaf “Asi” Cymbal has chosen to turn the former six-acre Cabi New River site in downtown Fort Lauderdale into a three-phase, 1,072-rental project.

Each phase of the Marina Lofts project would have about 350 units and a total of 10,000 square feet of restaurants and 25,000 square feet of retail.
Two towers would rise to 36 stories, with the third building at 25 stories, Cymbal told the Business Journal.

The project would take more than eight years to complete.

A key goal would be to connect the riverwalk to neighboring projects and incorporate existing businesses including Pirate’s Republic, formerly Shirttail Charlie’s, into the project as a mean to inject energy into the waterfront. Cymbal also plans to have a water taxi hub at the property, which he hopes will also add activity and life to the area.

Units would range in size from efficiencies to three bedrooms.

“I like rentals. It also speaks to my own aesthetic,” said Cymbal, referencing the 350-square foot apartment that he called home during his time living in Manhattan. “I identify with the rental market.”

He added that rentals are also very appealing to the demographic that looks to live in downtowns.

“Well designed efficient units appeal to the urban culture-demographic drawn to the artistic and downtown lifestyle,” he said.

Cymbal bought the Cabi New River site out of bankruptcy for $11.5 million.

In February, he sold more than a half-block of contiguous parcels in the Design District for a combined $11 million to Dacra President Craig Robins, who is developing a high-end, luxury retail mall in the neighborhood. Cymbal paid $2 million for the $10.5 million note in 2009.
Cymbal said he hopes to be before the city’s planning and zoning board by the end of this year.

In terms of financing the project, he said a national lender would need to take the lead. He may bring in an investor into the deal too: “We are open to an equity partner,” he said.