Sunshine Connections: Williamsburg inspires South Florida waterfront project
Brooklyn native and South Florida developer Asaf (Asi) Cymbal of Cymbal Development says that the Williamsburg area of Brooklyn is the inspiration for a six-acre development project along the New River in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
The Cymbal project, along with a three-acre site across the river being developed by The Related Group, are both parts of large scale plan to revitalize the Riverfront and increase residential and commercial activity on the north side of the river, near the the city’s historic district, which includes the Broward Center for the Performing Arts and the Museum of Science and Discovery.
Cymbal told the South Florida Business Journal that he hopes to change the lancscapes of Fort Lauderdale and Miami’s Wynwood by transforming them into modern neighborhoods. To make the investment in the New River project (his dream project he says) Cymbal sold parcels in Miami’s upscale Design District for a $9 million profit and purchased the prominent site downtown Fort Lauderdale along the New River.
In the brief interview conducted by the SFBJ, Cymbal said he is more proud of his mother than he is of his own accomplishments. In the 1980s his mother pooled her savings with a few thousand dollars from family and friends invested in a 64-unit apartment building near Brooklyn’s Coney Island, which helped lift the family out of poverty. Cymbal said, “That investment ethic and will to rise above led the family out of a low-rent area of Coney Island.”
The South Florida Business Journal reported last year that Cymbal was in the midst of raising $100 million in equity for new investments as part of a plan to invest $500 million in South Florida during the next few years.
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