New Courthouse In Fort Lauderdale Delayed Again; See The Pix




The opening of the new, $213-plus million Broward Courthouse in downtown Fort Lauderdale has been delayed at least another three months because of construction glitches.

“I’ve been told it will be ready in March at the earliest,” Chief Judge Peter Weinstein told “It could be later.”

The project’s original timeline was for the judges and other courthouse personnel to move to their new offices in June with the building opening in July or August.

About a year ago, the opening was changed to January 1, 2016.

Now the date has been delayed again.

Weinstein explained at least one problem involved a subcontractor installing wiring.

“It wasn’t put in properly,” he said. “It had to be redone.”

The new 20-story building will be a dramatic improvement for Broward’s courts. At 714,000 square feet, it will have enough floor space to hold roughly three Wal-Mart supercenters.

Visitors will traverse a towering atrium to reach 70 uncluttered courtrooms done in a modern Scandinavian design.




New courthouse atrium

Entrance lobby

Entrance of the new courthouse




courtroom view


Courtroom in the new courthouse



Contrary to a rumor that has been spreading through the legal community, the jury rooms will have their own bathrooms in the new building. This is to protect jurors from undue influence during trials and deliberations by keeping them segregated.

Moving into the new courthouse will be a massive undertaking. The content of dozens of offices have be transferred, including sensitive court documents and investigative material that need to remain under guard.

Among the offices being moved is the Clerk of Courts, the repository of court files. The State Attorneys Office will be moving to the new facility, too.

Prosecutors will have two floors in the heart of the building earmarked, but the Clerk of Courts administrative offices will be on the 18th floor with sweeping views of the New River and Fort Lauderdale’s skyline.

The new building will also include courtrooms for criminal, civil, juvenile, domestic violence, family and county court. Some courtrooms and the Public Defenders Office will remain in the older east courthouse, which will continue to be used.

The even older 1950s era central courthouse, which current visitors enter from Southeast Sixth Street, is being torn down. That’s a good thing since the place leaked and was filled with rats when I worked there as a reporter in the mid-1970s.

As much as he looks forward to moving, Weinstein took the latest delay in stride.

“It’s a (huge) project,” the chief judge said. “Things happen. It will all work out.”



17 Responses to “New Courthouse In Fort Lauderdale Delayed Again; See The Pix”

  1. John Henry says:

    I didn’t think the old courthouse was being torn down since they began building something onto it on the corner of 6th & 3rd Ave.

    Either way we needed the new courthouse as much as I needed another hole in my head.


    The plans call for old central courthouse to be torn down after the new courthouse opens. There will be a parking garage built on the site, along with a large public plaza facing Northeast Sixth Street. The east courthouse, which contains criminal courts today, will be renovated but left largely the way it is.

  2. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    I love the “things happen” quote. How come in the PRIVATE sector prices n costs can GO DOWN n things can be done EARLY or PERFECTLY but any with “Broward County” in front of it is always LATE MORE EXPENSIVE and has “problems”?

  3. Penalty box says:

    Hey, what penalty will the builder be paying for being 6 to 9 mo the late?

    They should put the Federal Courthouse in the spot of the old courthouse after they tear it down. A judicial campus…..


    Locating the Federal Courthouse near the new state courthouse has been discussed. There has been discussion of a public/private partnership to build a Federal Courthouse, but nothing has jelled yet.

  4. Floridan says:

    Wow, I’d like to know what private sector company accomplishes projects “perfectly.” AT&T? the Dolphins? Chipotle? BP?

  5. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    Floridan another coward hiding under a fake name mentions firms TIED TO THE GOVERNMENT as an arguement showing no understanding of business in the FREE MARKET who ioperate WITHOUT government at their throats!
    Read todays stories how Darden Restaurants in Orlando was turned around in a year!
    I mean Ive sat in government meetings for 65 years in Florida NJ NYC the UK Germany Poland n you can count in one hand the times when something was actually accomplished in US municipal county n state or even Federal Government meetings.
    Germany n Poland have paperwork like in US but manage in most cases if you push to speed things up. The UK is slower but gets there.
    Similiar issues in the US take YEARS to resolve. France n Italy are worse than the US but thats not a great recommendation.
    In the private sector NO ONE would have a board with the unemployables like nearly half of the County Scho board n Commission. No ceo or managing diector of a private company who tell me at The Tower Forum like Bertha Henry did that the Panthers had to get 80 million dollars “because of a decision made 14 years ago!”
    When a German Government wanted to pay us a lousy 100 000 Euros for obe of our Nazi seized factories it didnt take years of lawsuits to get them n Lower Saxony State partly iwned Volkswagen the figure should be 3.7 Million Euros. This year when the business of one of our Department Stores as thought to be undocumented I had four hours with the Judges n they saw 400 000 Euros aas documented after I rechecked the archives files in Dresden n Potsdam n Berlin. The bloody government staffs drag their feet both in DC n abroad. Your need to kick butt or compensation cases drag on between useless State n the Bundesamt.
    Private Industry is industrious, government is a sleeping hunting dog that needs a polite kick in the axx

  6. thankful says:

    Thank you Commissioner Ilene Lieberman.

    Without your vision of a new courthouse in downton FLL we would have never gotten it.


  7. WestDavieResident says:

    @#4, Look no further than the I-595 Express Lane project.

    Here is what Senator Jeremy Ring (D) had to say about it when it opened “The I-595 Public-Private Partnership got it right. The project was on time and on budget. No days were added to the original contract time and all major milestones have been achieved on or before schedule.”

    And Former FDOT Secretary Ananth Prasad said, “595 Express is an exceptional example of how cooperation with the private sector has enabled the department to accelerate delivery of a much needed transportation project. By working together we were able to make this outstanding project a reality. Particularly noteworthy is that a project of this magnitude was delivered on-time and on-budget.”

    So why can’t Broward County officials ensure their work gets done on time? Especially the School District?

  8. Really says:

    The new courthouse is a joke and humongous waste of taxpayer money. It won’t be open any time soon and here are just some of its deficiencies:
    1. Four judges have to share a bathroom-gender neutral (boys and girls)
    2. The jury rooms (where jurors deliberate) are not part of the courtroom but out the courtroom and down the hall. A logistical nightmare.
    3.There will be no criminal court there. All criminal court will remain in the North Wing.
    4. The courtrooms have witness seats that your typical witness will have a tough time fitting in to.
    5. The arrangements for in-custody juveniles and adults are not secure. They will be paraded down the hallways with the general public.
    6. There’s alot more, but I won’t go into it.
    7. Buddy you let yourself get played like a fiddle by the chief judge.

  9. business as usual says:

    Tax dollars at work. You really think broward county construction division employees care? or commissioners? the contractor had an $8 million++ dollar change order the week after the contract was executed based on mechanical stuff not fitting in the building. No shoe horn was big enough to make it work. By then too far along to redesign so it has been”10 lbs of dog food in a 5 lb bag” since 201′.

    no accountability, no penalty and no apologies to taxpayers.
    business as usual. all the bcc jobs are this way. you just never read about them unless you read the BCC mtg back-up.

  10. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    “Change Orders” n “Budget Modifications” n “Change in Scope” are all government double talk for screwups or lying about real costs to get a project approved.
    It never ceases to amaze me why my German Development partner never has any of this crap or delays in the years my family invested with him 1991 to 2012 as South Florida governmental projects had and continue (Ft Lauderdale aborted Awuatic centre fiasco) to have. Of the PUBLIC DOESNT CARE so why should the public officials THE DUMB VOTERS KEEP IN OFFICE!

  11. Lieberman's Folly says:

    I don’t think you can blame it on Weinstien, I agree with # 6 that most of the credit ….or blame goes to Ilene Lieberman.

    She was in charge of the selection of the designer and the contractor. She tried to get an office in the building but that did not work out because of the Chait cloud hanging over her head.

    When this building is open and the public learns about it’s many problems, perhaps they will name it “Lieberman’s Folly”


    I’m not sure you can blame or praise Ilene Lieberman, because the courthouse was approved in 2009 on a 6-3 vote. After discussions about it for years, it got the go-ahead when Stacy Ritter became mayor and made it a priority. Ritter appointed Lieberman, at the time her BBF, to the task force to get the courthouse built.

    A new courthouse, a priority of the downtown business and legal community (another words, the insiders who give campaign contributions) was controversial. That is because voters had rejected a new courthouse proposal in 2006.

    Sun-Sentinel columnist Mike Mayo called it “a slap in the face of voters” and wrote that the Commission “could be seen in all its arrogant glory Tuesday” because it ignored the earlier vote and “cut voters out of the equation.”

    Ritter defended the vote in an op-ed piece in the Sun-Sentinel by pointing out that the price tag was cut from $500 million to roughly $320 million by shaving the size of the building from 25 to 17 stories. After the approval, the building height grew to 20 stories and the final cost has not been figured.

    Commissioners John Rodstrom, Lois Wexler and Suzanne Gunzburger voted against the courthouse. Only Wexler remains on the commission.

    Commissioners Liberman, Ritter and Kristin Jacobs, Diana Wasserman-Rubin and Ken Keechl voted for the courthouse.

    One interesting factoid: If the courthouse opens next year, it will be seven years from its approval in 2009. During an earlier seven year period, the expansion of Interstate 595 was approved and built.

  12. Chaz Stevens, MAOS says:

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  13. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    Look at the people who voted in favour of the project n thumbing their noses at a public vote! Would any decent person today say one single word praising their years of public office?

  14. Elizabeth Matramos says:

    Where there is personal money to be made, our very own Broward politicians will be there, the voter be damned.

  15. C Smith says:

    Funny how there is no mention of how the chief judge and court administraton took over the top floor (penthouse if you will). Or how the judges complained about their office and courtroom spaces causing further delays.

  16. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    The sewers of Rome have more class than this tasteless piece of over priced merde. Modernism at its ugliness. Broward County maybe be boring but does it have to be so uhly? The Court Rooms look like an indoor jail mini gym. The walls could be designed by a color blind caveman. The ceilings are as classy as an eskimo igloo. Who designed this a monkey with finger paints in a zoo?

  17. Wallace says:

    In addition to paying the contractor, we are paying a consulting general contractor $5,000 per day to manage the project. What have they done to earn their money?