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City Gives Easy Online Access To Miami Comprehensive Neighborhood Plan

This week, the City of Miami added the Miami Comprehensive Neighborhood Plan (MCNP) onto the publicly-available Gridics Municipal Zoning Platform, CodeHUB. The MCNP is a key zoning document that creates the policy framework that guides all future public and private development decisions in the City of Miami to ensure the City meets the needs of existing and future residents, visitors and businesses, while preserving the character and quality of its communities.

The incorporation of the MCNP into CodeHUB will help to drive smarter regional planning decisions for the future by integrating future land use, environmental, and infrastructure requirements into an interactive, parcel level, 3D map. This is the first time that the MCNP has been made available to the public in such an interactive and accessible tool, allowing the public to be actively involved in understanding the direction of their community, including how the infrastructure will change to support future growth. The most updated version of the MCNP and Future Land Use Map (FLUM) will be made available 24/7 through this new platform.

This week’s online publication of the MCNP follows the successful 2018 launch of the Miami 21 Zoning Code on the Gridics platform, providing citizens an up-to-date and fully digitized version of Miami 21, plus parcel-specific lookup tools for citizens to get zoning property record data for their property or parcel.



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Related Group, Block Capital Sell Wynwood Building For $77M

The Related Group and Block Capital Group sold the Bradley Wynwood mixed-use building in Miami for $77 million.

The five-story building, at 51 N.W. 26th St., was sold to ICONIQ Capital, a San Francisco-based investment fund with over $3 billion in real estate under management. It has 175 apartments, about 36,000 square feet of retail, and more than 300 parking spaces.

The sale was brokered by Jaret TurkellRoberto PesantScott Wadler and Omar Morales of Berkadia.


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Miami Board Approves Design District Height Increase, Paving Way For Dacra’s Mixed-Use Tower

For the next phase of development in the Miami Design District, Craig Robins is aiming high.

The Miami Planning and Zoning Appeals Board voted 10-1 on Wednesday to approve zoning changes in the luxury retail and cultural district that will allow Robins’ Dacra to build a mixed-use project anchored by a 36-story tower.

The nearly 1.8-acre development site is on two vacant parcels at 3750 Biscayne Boulevard and 299 Northeast 39th Street, acting as a gateway into the Miami Design District. Most of the district is owned and developed by a partnership involving Dacra, luxury goods titan LVMH and private investment firm L Catterton. The proposed gateway site is also near the FEC train tracks and the proposed site of a commuter train station to be developed by Brightline.

The proposed zoning changes would grant Dacra a height increase from 20 stories to 36 stories and shift unused intensity and density from other commercial properties in the Design District to the proposed 36-story building, which would rise on the Biscayne Boulevard property.

The city commission still has to vote on the request for final approval.

At the planning board meeting, Robins and his attorney Neisen Kasdin said the entire project would not exceed 845,000 square feet, which is what is currently allowed for the Biscayne Boulevard property, according to the Design District Special Area Plan. The project could entail a mix of offices, residential and some retail, although Dacra has not provided detailed renderings. The planning board also added a car dealership as an allowed use to the SAP.

“We have the right to build every single square foot that we are asking you for today,” Robins told planning board members. “There is zero impact that our project causes from what we can do as a matter of right….We just want to be able to do something that is architecturally significant.”

Still, Paul Mann, the sole planning board member who voted against Dacra, and attorneys for Manhattan-based private investment firm MacArthur Capital Group, which owns a neighboring property, said the height increase and the transferring of unused intensity and density from other properties would set a bad precedent.

“Any special area plan — past, present and future — can take advantage of this new density and intensity transfer program,” Mann said. “It seems to me like it is dangerous. I don’t see anything beautiful about a 36-story building sticking up in the middle of nowhere.”

The nearest tall building to the proposed site is the 12-story Quadro condominium at 3900 Biscayne Boulevard.

Paul Savage, a lawyer for MacArthur, said Dacra’s proposed 36-story tower is unlike any other building in the Design District, which is largely made up of low-rise commercial retail buildings.

“It is certainly not appropriate or transitional to the area,” Savage said. “This has far-reaching implications, not to mention how the 36-story height will impact my client.”

Through an affiliate, MacArthur owns a one-story retail building with a surface parking lot at 3701 and 3737 Biscayne Boulevard, which is directly east of Dacra’s proposed project. According to city documents, MacArthur sought approvals in 2015 to change the zoning so the company could develop a four-story building consisting of two stories of parking and two stories of office space. At the time, Robins opposed MacArthur’s request which the company subsequently withdrew. He suggested that was the reason MacArthur wanted to object to Dacra’s plan.

“The MacArthur site is not developable because there is an alley that goes through it,” Robins said. “They have been pressuring me to support vacating the alley to build a massive high-rise….I will not be pressured or extorted into supporting something that will be bad for the community.”


Source:  The Real Deal

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Elon Musk Has A (Tunnel) Vision For Miami

When it opened in 1994, it was hailed as the greatest engineering feat of its time. The 31.5-mile Channel Tunnel, often called the ‘Chunnel’ for short, links southern England and northern France, carrying more than 10 million passengers and more than a million tons of freight each year. With 23.5 miles of the passageway running under the English Channel, the Chunnel is the world’s longest undersea tunnel.

While a tunnel underneath the Miami River being proposed by the world’s richest man, business magnate Elon Musk, wouldn’t be nearly as long or elaborate, the rewards for a city now infamous for having some of the worst traffic in the nation would be immense. And the technology to build a structure that would prevent water from leaking through Miami’s porous limestone and be strong enough to stand up to sea level rise already exists, according to two University of Miami College of Engineering professors.

“In a nutshell, yes, it’s a feasible project. This is not an idea that’s full of holes,” said Jean-Pierre Bardet, a professor of civil, architectural, and environmental engineering. “There are already tunnels in Florida that go beneath the seabed,” he said, noting the 4,200-foot Port of Miami Tunnel, which runs beneath Biscayne Bay, connecting the MacArthur Causeway on Watson Island with PortMiami on Dodge Island; and the New River Tunnel in downtown Fort Lauderdale. 


“The challenges are not too great, as limestone, such as that which underlies the City of Miami, is easily worked, as the PortMiami tunnel demonstrates,” said Sam Purkis, professor and chair of marine geosciences at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. “The challenge is that the limestone is so permeable and porous, that any subsurface structure will be immersed in the water table. This is quite typical for tunnels that have to be sealed in such a way that the water does not flood them. A plus of Miami is that it’s an area which isn’t particularly seismically active, so no earthquakes to worry about.” 

To solve the problems posed by limestone, engineers employed innovative technology to build the Port of Miami tunnel, Bardet noted. Ground freezing, a construction technique used in circumstances where soil needs to be stabilized so that it will not collapse next to excavations, and rapid grout injection, which helped solidify the earth before the massive tunnel boring machines even started drilling, were used.

Such techniques, said Bardet, would conceivably be used to build the tunnel underneath the Miami River, an idea that Musk, founder of SpaceX and Tesla, has discussed with Miami Mayor Francis Suarez as a solution to the city’s traffic gridlock.

“Cars & trucks stuck in traffic generate megatons of toxic gases & particulate, but @boringcompany road tunnels under Miami would solve traffic & be an example to the world,” Musk tweeted recently. 

With tunneling projects underway in California and Las Vegas, the billionaire tech mogul’s Boring Company “constructs safe, fast-to-dig, and low-cost transportation, utility, and freight tunnels,” touts the firm’s website.

But tunnels are extremely expensive to dig, costing between $100 million and $1 billion per mile. “In order to make vast tunnel networks feasible, tunneling costs must be reduced by a factor of more than 10,” The Boring Company’s website states.

Musk said he could build a 2-mile tunnel under Miami for as little as $30 million.

“The fact that he [Musk] mentioned this and that the mayor of Miami picked up on it and that there has been discussion is extremely positive,” said Antonio Nanni, professor and chair of civil, architectural, and environmental engineering. “We need the public to think about what can be done to address the issue of transportation. And irrespective of the outcome, you need to have a dialogue.” 

The project would involve building a tunnel for electric vehicles that would connect Brickell Avenue and Biscayne Boulevard.

Such an endeavor would need to be broken into two parts, according to Nanni, an expert on concrete and advanced composite-based systems. “There are the technological issues: Can we do it in Florida? Do we have the technology? Can we address the issue of potential flooding? And the answer is, no doubt, we can,” he pointed out.

Approximately two years ago, Nanni served on a special committee that studied the feasibility of drilling a tunnel under the Miami River to alleviate traffic congestion, concluding with other members on the panel that such a project could be done.

“The tunneling itself, the technology of digging and making a structure safe, exists. It’s state-of-the-art,” Nanni said. “And the advantage of working underground is that you would not, apart from the entry and exit points, impact the communities above ground.” 

But the overarching planning for the project would need to be clearly spelled out, he said, noting that questions—such as whether the tunnel would be a passenger-only passageway or include a dedicated rail line for freight and cargo companies—need to be answered. “These are the big questions policymakers need to address,” he explained.

Still, as intriguing as a tunnel under the Miami River sounds, viable, well-deigned transit alternatives such as extensions to the Metrorail, the reintroduction of light rail, safer bike lanes, and strategically placed water taxi networks shouldn’t be abandoned, said Sonia Chao, a research associate professor in the School of Architecture, who teaches in the area of sustainable architecture and urbanism, resilient design, and historic preservation.

“Creating more road lanes, above or below ground, shouldn’t be the end game,” she stated. “But, if a tunnel were to be introduced, one would hope it could be strategically placed so as to potentially mitigate storm surge wave action, as these destructive forces of nature may accompany an increasing number of stronger hurricanes.”

Joanna Lombard, a professor of architecture who is a founding member of the Built-Environment Behavior and Health Research Group at the University of Miami, said that while tunnels typically work best when they have a clear, utilitarian purpose, other initiatives such as creating safe and diverse neighborhoods, reliable infrastructure, and walkable access to parks, schools, businesses, and health care should continue to be addressed.

“A city needs life. Tunnels are basically connecting two points, and they don’t necessarily enhance the urban fabric,” Lombard said. “We know that what makes great cities are great places. The character and dynamism of a great place has typically depended on the density of activity and the multiple layers of choice embedded in the urban grid. What that looks like in a post-pandemic world is still to be determined,” he added. “For many people, commuting in person is less necessary than was once assumed. Having destinations within walking distance in one’s own neighborhood has always been a new urbanist standard. And now that just about everyone understands that indoor air ventilation systems can be sources for viral transmission, open spaces, landscape, and parks are more important than ever.”


Source:  UM News

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Largest Development Site In Wynwood Hits Market

2000 N. Miami Avenue became available for sale, presenting a rare opportunity for investors and developers to own a parcel of land in Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood, which has skyrocketed into a thriving arts center, nightlife hub, and tourist magnet over the past decade.

Currently, the 1.38-acre lot located on the corner of North Miami Avenue and NW 20th Street is currently the largest undeveloped property by square feet available for sale inside Wynwood, as well as one of the largest development sites over 1 acre that hasn’t been scooped up yet by a major developer. Tony Cho, chairman and chief vision officer of Metro 1, is the broker on the listing, with Andres Nava taking lead as the primary listing agent.

The property comprises four conjoined lots being sold together, which are all zoned T6-8-O NRD-1, allowing up to 8 stories by right and 12 stories with bonuses of mixed-use infill development. Under this zoning, the property can be developed into up to 207 units (310 with bonuses) or licensed for up to 414 hotel keys. The proposed development by Metro 1 Commercial, the Miami-based brokerage representing the owner-seller on the listing, would include a mixed-use residential and retail development with 206 apartment or condo units, 21,000+ square feet of retail, outdoor living spaces, and 360 parking spaces.

“This site is something truly rare in the Miami market, where Wynwood has been the dominant ‘hot’ neighborhood now for more than six to seven years. We feel that coming off of COVID-19, with more optimism in the commercial real estate market and investors poised to compete for high-quality deals, now is the time to bring this opportunity to the table. We anticipate a competitive process as the winning bidder will benefit from the accelerated population growth that has defined Miami as the fourth most densely populated city in the nation,” said Nava, managing director of Metro 1 Commercial.

The property is surrounded by some of Miami’s most exciting restaurant and retail concepts, including rooftop dining destination Astra, local cult-favorite burger bar Kush, and Wynwood newcomer Momosan Ramen by Chef Morimoto. In addition, the site sits adjacent to the Wynwood offices of Uber and Spotify and is just a block away from the Arlo Hotel, Wynwood’s first, which broke ground earlier this month.


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Miami Beach Gets Strong Response From Developers Looking To Build Office Space

Seventeen developers have expressed interest in building Class A office space on three municipal parking lots in Miami Beach adjacent to Lincoln Road between Alton Road and Meridian Avenue. The City put out a Request for Letters of Interest (RFLI) in November to test the waters as it seeks ways to diversify an economy heavily dependent on tourism and hit hard in recent years by hurricanes, Zika, and now the more prolonged COVID impacts.

In a letter to City Commissioners updating them on the process, Interim City Manager Raul Aguila wrote, “The list of interested parties includes accomplished real estate developers and investors, known both locally in the region and nationally.”

Fifteen respondents submitted their expressions of interest before the 3 pm deadline on February 11. They include:

  • 13th Floor Investments
  • Adler Group
  • Design District Management, Inc., D/B/A Dacra & Adventurous Journeys LLC
  • Andalex Capital
  • The Comras Company of Florida, Inc. & Terra
  • COO Premium Development, Inc.
  • Sterling Bay, Place Projects, and Deco Capital Group
  • David Mancini & Sons, Inc.
  • East End Capital
  • Integra Investments & Starwood Capital Group
  • Mangrove Real Estate Partners, Tricera Capital, Sasaki
  • Northwood Acquisitions and Northwood Investors
  • Oak Capital Group LLC
  • R & B Realty Group, LLC
  • Related Group (PRH Investments, LLC)

Aguila said two additional expressions of interest came in slightly beyond the deadline but before end of day on the 11th to bring the total to 17. They are:

  • RFR Holding LLC
  • Galbut Family Office LLC

The City initially planned to issue the RFLI early last year before the pandemic hit but delayed it while dealing with public health issues first. Then, following a difficult budget process in which the COVID budget gap came into focus and the beginning of the migration to South Florida by tech and finance companies, the City issued the request for expressions of interest which were due Thursday.

“The overwhelming response of [17] highly qualified parties validates my thesis that there is an unmet demand for Class A office space in Miami Beach,” item sponsor Commissioner Ricky Arriola said.

“One thing that the pandemic has made crystal clear, as have hurricanes and Zika, is that the Miami Beach economy is married to the tourist market,” noted Arriola, chairman of the Commission’s Finance and Economic Resiliency Committee. “Our hotels, our restaurants, our shops are heavily dependent on a robust tourist market. Having companies establish headquarters or substantial business operations in Miami Beach that are not tied to the tourist industry will create jobs and diversity and thereby strengthen our local economy.”

Despite the fact that Miami “is one of the few open markets in the United States,” Arriola said resort tax revenues “were still down.”

“That’s not good for our City budget and the operations of our City services,” he said.

The municipal surface lots for which the City sought expressions of interest include the P25, P26, and P27 lots located in a four-block area to the north of Lincoln Road. Any development would require replacement of the parking for paid public use. The City did not want – and would not consider – specific proposals or offers to develop the lots. Rather it sought expressions of interest only to determine if an RFP (Request for Proposals) process would follow.

Lyle Stern, President of Koniver Stern Group, a retail leasing and consulting company that owns and operates properties on Lincoln Road, serves on the Board of the Lincoln Road Business Improvement District (BID). Stern kicked off the initial thought process about Class A space at the end of 2019, sending a white paper to Mayor Dan Gelber and City Commissioner Ricky Arriola, chair of the Commission’s Finance and Economic Resiliency Committee. Some of the southward migration had already started due to changes in tax policy that limited deductions for state and local taxes.

“I was getting calls from luxury residential brokers about the higher net worth families moving in,” Stern said. “They were looking for great Class A office space and they don’t all necessarily want to be in big buildings and, even if they do, they want to be in Miami Beach.” While there are a couple Class A buildings here, he said the newest had been built almost 20 years ago and they were pretty well leased. “There’s a lack of newer, elevated Class A office space in the City for these folks.” (Earlier this month, Related Group received approval from the Miami Beach Design Review Board for its proposed Class A office development on Terminal Island.)

He pointed to Starwood Capital’s Barry Sternlicht who is building a new headquarters here because there “wasn’t sufficient space for him at the quality level that was new.” When Carl Icahn, a Miami resident, decided to move his office to Sunny Isles, Stern said, he told Gelber and Arriola, “Maybe it makes sense to explore [Class A offices].”

Arriola put the item on a Commission agenda and the RFLI was developed. Once the decision was made to issue it, Stern suggested the Lincoln Road BID partner with the City on outreach. “We have the capacity,” he said. “Let’s partner to make this a great economic development initiative.” The BID’s marketing firm, Schwartz Media, generated media buzz while Stern reached out to developers across the country to make them aware of the RFLI. The City spent $8,000 on an eight-week strategic marketing campaign.

“This is not just about building office space so people have a place to go and the City has additional funds coming in,” Stern said. “For me, it’s how do we get back to where we were.” Class A office users would “infuse our local stores, our restaurants, our cultural facilities on a daily basis.”

The added benefit, Stern said, is additional parking. Not only would the office developers be required to replace the current parking, they would add parking for employees of the office tenants. They could also serve as overflow parking for the Convention Center, he added.

At the same time, he said, you’re taking parking lots that are “not pretty” and giving the City “the ability to take those three lots and continue to knit this quilt that connects the Convention Center, the New World Symphony, the cultural district, the Bass Art Museum, Lincoln Road, Española Way, Washington Avenue.”

It’s an opportunity, he said, to take “islands of concrete” and at the expense of private developers, create “spectacular” architecture with active rooftops and engaging areas at the pedestrian level “both for our tourists and as importantly, candidly, for our residents.”

“I feel great,” Stern said about the response. “In a world where there’s a lot of unknown, what’s known is that there’s a lot of interest in Miami Beach.

“It’s incredible and noteworthy that in the middle of a global pandemic our city received interest from some of the most successful, internationally relevant and community minded developers who have transformed neighborhoods with their vision, including Dacra, Sterling Bay, The Related Companies, Starwood Capital Group, Terra Development and East End Capital, each of them with a track record of spectacular architecture and cultural investment that attract international attention,” Stern said after the names were announced. “Truly a transformative opportunity for our city.”

“A lot of homes have been sold since March,” Stern said, “but that doesn’t continue forever.” The City “constantly needs to be improved and elevated and maintained and I think that’s what the opportunity is here.”

“The intended consequence,” Stern noted, “is more jobs for Miami Beach residents, less commuting time and traffic for Miami Beach residents who otherwise would go to the other side of the Bay to work.” Living and working here would allow them to “spend more time on Ocean Drive, Lincoln Road, Española Way, and Washington Avenue walking, shopping and dining.”

Arriola said, not only does the business community support the effort “because they recognize that having hundreds if not a couple thousand well-paying jobs year-round brings daytime and weekday customers to Lincoln Road,” but “I think residents should embrace it as well because it will strengthen our local economy and make our City budget less reliant on tourist dollars.” He sees the opportunity for an “influx of good paying local jobs” and less traffic so people “don’t have to leave the Beach to go to Brickell or the mainland to work. They can stay local.”

Until there’s an RFP, Stern said, “There’s nothing to talk about” but the RFP process “will cause folks to spend quite a bit of money to come up with some spectacular plans.”

“I just hope that my colleagues have the fortitude to move forward with this once-in-a-generation opportunity,” Arriola said. “We can expect there will be some resistance from some folks in the community, but we need to look ahead to future generations and what this can mean for the betterment of our city over the long term.”

Aguila noted in his letter, “the City Charter would likely require voter referendum approval of any development on these lots.”

“We should want the most amazing quality,” Stern said. “If we have to add some height, give some benefit, the long-term benefit to the city is spectacular and I think that’s what we should focus on.”

“It’s not about bringing developers from New York to build offices for wealthy bankers,” he emphasized. “It’s about activating amazing public spaces for people that are living and working here.”

“Look who’s moving here,” he said, citing one example – tech investor Keith Rabois who, according to The Real Deal, “paid a record $28.9 million for a waterfront mansion in Miami Beach.” Stern said Rabois is “taking office space on Brickell Avenue because Mayor Suarez has done an amazing job marketing the City. [Rabois] should be here and his friends should be here.”

“How is that possibly bad?” Stern asked.

“At the end of the day,” Arriola said, “we’re talking about converting surface parking lots… and hopefully turning them into beautifully designed buildings that will have ground floor retail [and] parking as well as jobs. So, we’re taking something ugly and turning it into something beautiful.”

Next steps: The results of the RFLI will be discussed at the February 19 Finance and Economic Resiliency Committee meeting. Should the Commission decide to issue an RFP, Aguila wrote, “Firms invited to participate in the RFP would include but not be limited to respondents to the RFLI.”

“The RFLI stipulates that the Administration may hold industry review meetings, following the receipt of expressions of interest, in order to discuss questions or concerns including any impediments to development with interested parties,” Aguila noted. “The objective of industry review meetings would be to obtain information to ensure preparation of an RFP that best promotes the City’s interests while maximizing benefits the City may receive from any development.”


Source:  RE Miami Beach


Ghost Structure From 2006 May Yield New Miami Station

A plan to complete a skyscraper in the heart of downtown – begun 14 years ago – has evolved again, this time destined to bring more than 250,000 square feet of office space to the City of Miami.

The latest proposal is called Miami Station and is planned for 530 NW First Court.

The mixed-use project is to be considered Feb. 17 by the city’s Urban Development Review Board.

PRH Miami Central LLC is the owner-developer of the property at the southwest corner of Northwest First Court and Northwest Sixth Street, where a mass of concrete and rebar – the ghost foundation of a tower never completed – has sat since 2006.

The property is across the street from the new 3 MiamiCentral development.

An earlier owner had a plan for a tower on the site approved under the city’s former zoning code before the enactment of Miami 21.

In 2019, a new owner proposed a project called Krystal II. The plan included a 32-story tower with 154 residential units, about 79,180 square feet of offices and 4,400 square feet of commercial use on the ground floor. Parking in the pedestal was designed for 251 vehicles.

That proposal was recommended for approval by the review board.

The latest proposal adds nearly 10 floors and more than doubles the parking spaces.

Miami Station is designed at 41 stories or 458 feet, with 309 residential units, 256,223 square feet of office space, 9,647 square feet of commercial-retail, and parking for about 525 vehicles.

The office space would take up 12 floors.

Miami 21 requires open space of 4,500 square feet on this property, however the new plan shows 10,931 square feet of open space.

Brian A. Dombrowski, an attorney representing the developer, wrote a letter to the city stating: “The Project seeks to redevelop the Property by activating the pedestrian realm and providing a mixed use structure … The Project is proposed as an urban center project providing for a variety of uses.

“The Project accomplishes being a traffic node due to its close proximity to the Overtown Transit Village Metro Rail Station, and being located within a City designated TOD (Transit Oriented Development). Various Metro Mover Stations are also located in close proximity. The Metro Mover/Rail Stations are located one block from the Property. The Property is also located one block from the (MiamiCentral Station and) Brightline Station. The Property is well served by bus and trolley routes as well,” he wrote.

The property consists of a total lot area of 45,007 square feet or 1.033 acres.

While the Krystal II proposal included building onto the 2006 foundation – the start of a parking podium – this latest proposal will remove the structure and start from scratch, according to Mr. Dombrowski.

“The property currently consists of an unfinished parking structure which is to be demolished and vacant land,” he wrote.

He added: “The proposed Project will line the sidewalks with trees, providing shade and a greater pedestrian experience.”

Miami Station is designed by ODP Architecture & Design.

The developer is requesting several waivers, including:

  • To permit up to a 10% increase in the maximum residential floor plate length. The project proposes a residential floorplate length of 189 feet where a maximum floorplate length of 180 feet is permitted.
  • To decrease required parking by up to 30% within the half-mile radius of a Transit Oriented Development.
  • To allow parking to extend into the second layer, above the first story, along the primary frontage.
  • To allow vehicular entry spacing at less than 60 feet. Pursuant to meetings with the zoning administrator, Northwest Second Avenue has been designated as a principal frontage, requiring the loading access to be relocated to the Northwest First Court frontage. In order to consolidate the parking access and loading access, vehicular entrance separation of less than 60 feet is required. The access points have been located to the furthest south portion of the frontage in order to reduce any potential pedestrian conflict.


Source:  Miami Today

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Coworking Company Leases Half Of Related Group’s New Wynwood Office Space

Coworking provider Industrious is coming to Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood after signing a lease for space in a building that’s under construction.

Industrious signed a prelease for about 41,000 square feet in the Dorsey – about half of the office space in the building. The 12-story project by The Related Group, Tricera Capital and LNDMRK Development will also have 306 apartments and 33,000 square feet of retail.

The Dorsey broke ground in December at 2801 N.W. Third Ave. and expects be open in 2022.

Click here to read more about this story.

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New Mixed-Income Project On Brickell Gives Teachers Top Priority

Brickell is best known as a financial center — and the luxury condos where many of its highly paid employees live. Those who earn less lofty wages can soon rejoice: housing is on the way.

One quarter of the apartments at the 500-unit Gallery at West Brickell will be reserved for households earning 50% of the county’s $59,000 median income — in other words, around $29,500. The rest will go to households earning up to 140% of the median — around $82,000.

Ten of the units at 201 SW 10th St. will be reserved specifically for teachers and other Miami-Dade County Public Schools employees in the target income ranges, thanks to MIami-Dade Public Schools participation as a co-developer of the 29-story apartment tower and the adjacent K-8 school next door. Other developer entities involved in this pilot project are Miami-Dade County Public Housing and Community Development department, and Related Urban Group.

“Teachers underscored the issue of affordable housing options in Miami-Dade,” Jaquelyn Calzadilla, communications director for county schools wrote in an email. “The partnership is an exploration of additional opportunities for our workforce in which they can voluntarily explore and benefit from.”

The selection process for the schools-designated units will be led by Miami-Dade County’s Public Housing and Community Development Department.

The pilot program resulted from a convergence of needs: for increased elementary capacity at Southside and for more workforce housing, Calzadilla wrote. The idea for this project was first floated in 2018.

Construction on the $156 million residential tower is expected to begin in the third quarter and open in late 2023, according to Albert Milo, president of Related Urban Group.

Units range from a studio for $755 per month, Milo said, to a three-bedroom, two bathroom unit for $3,000 per month.

“We’re addressing two major needs — quality education and quality housing,” Milo said. “The fact that it happens to be in an affluent area is even more beneficial. It goes to show even in higher cost neighborhoods, if the public sector and the private sector are working together we can tackle issues that the public wants to be addressed.”

The Gallery’s units will range from a studio with one bathroom for $755 per month, Milo said, to a three-bedroom, two bathroom unit for $3,000 per month. Amenities include a gym, theater room, outdoor theater, pool, business center, shared office space and lounge area.

Bidding is underway for the 7-story Southside K-8 Center at 945 SW Third Ave., according to Miami-Dade County Public Schools. Schools staff plan to make a recommendation to the school board in late spring. The school is expected to open in the fall of 2022, as first reported by The Next Miami.

The high cost of housing relative to teacher pay has been identified as a critical community issue. But the teachers’ union maintains teacher-dedicated housing is the wrong approach.

“If you need to use workforce housing, that simply indicates you’re not paying enough for people to live,” said Antonio White, vice president of United Teachers of Dade.

The union has not recently polled teachers on the project, White said. But past discussions have shown at least some resistance.

“Teachers would prefer to have the income to choose where they want to live,” White said. “Not many people want to live and work in the same place. These units are attached to the school site, so you’re talking about living where you work. Most people think it’s a joke to be offered public housing instead of decent pay.”


Source:  Miami Herald

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Here’s What Some Tenants Are Paying In The Miami Design District

Over the past decade, Craig Robins’ Dacra and his well-heeled partners have spearheaded the transformation of the once-gritty Miami Design District into a luxury shopping destination and cultural hub.

Last February, the ownership group achieved a major milestone when it secured a 10-year, $500 million refinancing from Bank of America for a 15-building, 497,000-square-foot portion of the Miami Design District known as Oak Plaza. But just weeks later, the coronavirus pandemic changed everything.

The properties were closed from mid-March to mid-May due to coronavirus restrictions, and again for 10 days in June “due to civil unrest,” although no damage occurred, according to loan documents. The landlord provided millions of dollars in rent abatements to tenants, and also secured loan modifications to defer three months of debt service.

While the pandemic has put other projects in the Miami Design District under severe financial pressure, observers expect the Oak Plaza properties to come back strong.

“Oak Plaza is well positioned to return to its strong pre-pandemic performance given the high-quality, luxury nature of the retail tenancy and targeted clientele coupled with experienced long-term institutional sponsorship,” a recent DBRS Morningstar report observed. “However, the property is likely to continue to experience stress in the short and medium term until the pandemic fully abates, the economy recovers and international travel resumes.”

As of September, the Oak Plaza properties were 88.5 percent occupied by 86 tenants. Overall, tenants have an average underwritten annual rent of $78 per square foot, with retailers typically paying triple digits while showroom tenants pay somewhat less.

By total rent paid, Hermès is the top tenant in the portfolio, paying $113 per square foot for a 13,500-square-foot building on Northeast 39th Street, in the heart of the district. The second-priciest lease goes to jeweler Harry Winston, which pays $209 per square foot for 7,200 square feet in the Palm Court building across the street from Hermès.

By square footage, the largest leases are for luxury furniture retailers Holly Hunt and Fendi Casa/Luxury Living, each paying about $50 per square foot for more than 20,000 square feet in showroom space.

Thirteen of the tenants, including Christian Dior (11,000 square feet), Fendi, Louis Vuitton (10,000 square feet), and Tiffany & Co. (5,000 square feet), are considered affiliates of the landlord because their parent company, French conglomerate LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, owns a stake in the partnership via the investment firm L Catterton.

In 2019, the properties generated more than $231 million in sales, or more than $1,000 per square foot, among tenants reporting sales. Since the start of the pandemic, the landlord has provided $4.7 million worth of rent deferrals to 35 tenants and $4.9 million in rent abatements to 27 tenants, according to DBRS Morningstar. Eight tenants totaling nearly 30,000 square feet have moved out since March.


Source:  The Real DealClick here to read more about this story.

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