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South Middle River: A Place Where You Want To Live

by Lawrence Jackson-Rosen
Monday Apr 22, 2013

Perhaps you were fortunate enough to grow up in a place and time where there were neighbors who knew one another, watched each other's kids, helped each other with projects, held block parties, and looked in on seniors and the infirmed. You may have thought such communities had become mere memories of a by-gone age. But you'd be mistaken. To find a group of caring neighbors who continually work toward improving the quality of life for one another, look no further than Fort Lauderdale's largest officially recognized neighborhood, South Middle River.

This quiet, established, residential community lies walking distance from the City Halls of both Fort Lauderdale and Wilton Manors, and a ten-minute drive to the beach. South Middle River residents have easy access to all the businesses in Wilton Manors, while enjoying the lower prices, tax rates, and superior police and City services of Fort Lauderdale. The earliest homes built here date to Fort Lauderdale's first boom in the 1920s, but most are tiled-roof bungalows and ranch homes built during the City's major growth spurt following World War II. Many structures meet the 50-year benchmark for historic status, and the North Side School has been designated an Historic Landmark. Over the years, well manicured, tucked-away condominium communities, small apartment houses, modern two-story townhomes, and even the high-rise Drake Tower have been added. Here you will hear residents speaking Spanish, English, Portuguese, and French dialects. Neighbors of all races and many ethnicities, GLBT, straight, and of all ages contribute to a diverse community reminiscent of Queens, Brooklyn, or New Orleans.

The community's large number of households are also served by a limited number of, mostly small, businesses, many of which have demonstrated their commitment to being good neighbors and respecting the overwhelmingly residential nature of the neighborhood. Businesses are concentrated along both sides of NE 4th Ave. and the north side of Sunrise Blvd., with a few more along 13th Street. Most of these cater to the various needs of residents-from household and auto needs to foods and novelties.

South Middle River's Civic Association is among the most active in Fort Lauderdale. In an era when we can depend less and less on Washington and Tallahassee to look after the needs of citizens, the members of SMRCA recognize that neighbors must pull together to help provide our youth with guidance and programs to enable them to be successful, constructive citizens, to maintain the health, safety, and attractiveness of the community, to support each other professionally, and to provide a social support network consisting of humans who can meet face-to-face rather than merely in a virtual world.

For anyone looking for a community of friends where they will be appreciated for their participation and compassion, and not judged according to their accent, color, or orientation, South Middle River offers a place to settle and grow among neighbors who are more than simply near by-they are friends. What better investment could one make than to purchase a home in a community of good neighbors?

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