The Marina Lofts, a major Fort Lauderdale residential development designed by acclaimed architect Bjarke Ingels, finally may be headed for a groundbreaking construction.

The Fort Lauderdale City Commission approved the planned 856-unit residential complex, called Marina Lofts, in 2013 despite criticism of Ingels’ unusual design of the development, including two buildings that appear torn apart.

Asi Cymbal, the developer, told Bisnow he expects to raise enough equity financing this year to start construction of Marina Lofts as a rental apartment property.

“We’re talking to potential [joint venture] and equity partners and hope to make a major announcement by year’s end,” Cymbal told Bisnow in a phone interview.

He told Bisnow his potential partners are “significant players in the multifamily and hospitality sector as well as some condo players.”

Cymbal has until June 4, 2019, to apply for a building permit for Marina Lofts and until Dec.4, 2019, to obtain one, according to Chaz Adams, spokesman for the city of Fort Lauderdale.

Cymbal paid $11.2 million for the six-acre site of the Marina Lofts development along the south bank of the Tarpon River across from the Broward Center for the Performing Arts.

He told Bisnow that apartment rents in Fort Lauderdale have increased substantially since August 2013, when city commissioners approved the development, making construction of Marina Lofts more feasible.

“We’ve seen amazing rents at Amaray Las Olas and Icon Las Olas. We’re encouraged by the rent growth in Fort Lauderdale,” Cymbal told Bisnow.

Both Fort Lauderdale developer Dev Motwani and Patrick Campbell of Miami-based Related Group told Bisnow they considered acquiring the Marina Lofts site but decided its location south of downtown Fort Lauderdale along the Tarpon River lacked easy access.

Cymbal plans to keep the Bjarke Ingels design of Marina Lofts but may alter it slightly. [Bisnow]Mike Seemuth

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