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Apartment Rents Forecast To Grow 0.8% Next Year

If you’ve been dismayed by this year’s apartment rent growth trajectory, brace yourself for 2024. Next year, multifamily rent growth will clock in at 0.8%, according to a new forecast by Markerr, compared to this year’s relatively robust 4%.

The 2024 prediction marks the lowest rent growth since 2020, or shortly after the pandemic began.

But because markets reflect regional differences, a closer look at different areas is important. For example, in 2023, Sunbelt and Tertiary markets are expected to outperform the top100 average, while Coastal and Rustbelt areas will underperform the same group. But within a year, the Rustbelt and Tertiary markets are expected to outperform the top 100 average.

At the top of the MSA forecasts for this year is Albuquerque which is projected to climb to 7.4%, followed by Wichita at 7.3%, Tampa at 7%, North Port, Fla., at 6.9%, Spokane at 6.9%, El Paso at 6.5%, Tulsa at 6.4%, Ogden, Utah, at 6.2% and Palm Bay, Fla., at 6.1%. Then, come 2024, the MSA forecasts shift dramatically with Augusta, Ga., in the lead at 4.1%, followed by Albany, N.Y., at 3.9%, Syracuse at 3.8%, Baton Rouge at 3.8%, Sacramento at 3.6%, Grand Rapids at 3.4%, Jacksonville at 3.1%, Chattanooga at 3.1%, Cleveland at 3% and Harrisburg, Penn., at 3%. And the top10 markets from 2023 are expected to fall to an average rank of 73 out of 100 in 2024.

When MSAs are calculated on a two-year compounded growth basis, Winston-Salem, N.C., North Port, Fla., and Chattanooga are forecast to lead the top 100 markets at 8.6%, 8% and 8 % respectively.

Winston-Salem wasn’t in the top markets in either 2023 or 2024. But it’s expected to jump into first place with the largest contributors to its rent growth being home prices, multifamily permits, job growth and occupancy rate. According to Markerr, “Said differently, home prices, multifamily permits, job growth and occupancy rate are driving the forecast higher while median gross income is forcing the forecast lower.”

In contrast, New York City was in the bottom 10 of the compounded two-year growth forecast at -0.4% because of unfavorable conditions of population growth, historical multifamily rent growth and median gross income.


Source:  GlobeSt.

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Recertification Voting Continues For Miami’s Wynwood Business Improvement District

After approval by the City of Miami Commission, starting Apr. 14, the Wynwood Business Improvement District (BID) has been up for a recertification vote by all property owners within its boundaries.

The Wynwood BID, which began in July 2013, is the largest one of its kind in Florida, covering a 50-city-block neighborhood that has experienced an exciting transformation, taking it from an abandoned industrial zone to a bustling arts and nightlife destination.

More recently, Wynwood has become a desirable location for new office and residential developments, and now, major new hotels from the world-renowned Arlo brand and the soon-to-be-launched Moxy by Marriot.

For three weeks, all 400-plus property owners within the BID’s boundaries have been asked to sign affidavits supporting its renewal, which the BID will then collect and count. To proceed with the recertification process, more than 50 percent of the votes, plus one, must be in favor. Once the three-week voting period has concluded, all affidavits will be forwarded to the City of Miami Commission and Mayor Francis Suarez for review and final approval.

“We are excited to collect votes from our area property owners to recertify the BID,” said Manny Gonzalez, long-time executive director of the Wynwood Business Improvement District. “The district has entered a new phase, with the ongoing expansion of residential and office capacity that did not exist previously. Our goal is to have another successful decade of embracing change like urban planning and landscape design while also working to maintain Wynwood’s place as an appealing cultural destination and creative center.”

BIDs function as special tax districts that allow for an additional assessment to support initiatives and programs that governments cannot fully cover. In addition to Wynwood, they have been successful locally in places such as Miami Beach, Coconut Grove and Coral Gables, and other major cities like New York.

In partnership with area businesses, owners, developers and residents, working with the City of Miami, the Wynwood BID has been a significant catalyst in the neighborhood’s growth, improving quality of life, and in ongoing synergies between new investors, and existing businesses and cultural venues.

During the past decade, Wynwood has experienced an exponential increase in visitors, with the number rising from 240 thousand in 2013 to 15 million annually in 2023. Today, Wynwood supports 5,000 new jobs and generates more than 20 percent of the City of Miami’s parking transactions.

In partnership with the City of Miami Planning Department and Plusurbia, the Wynwood BID developed Miami’s first Neighborhood Revitalization District (NRD) plan to maintain the neighborhood’s distinctive street art and industrial feel, while encouraging a 24-hour community for live, work and play lifestyles.

The BID has accomplished significant successes through its partnership with the City of Miami Police Department, resulting in a 60 percent reduction in crime. Additionally, the BID has made a substantial contribution of $3.5 million towards Wynwood Works, a program aimed at developing 5,000 micro units of affordable housing and invested $1 million towards office development in the area.

The BID also has created a Clean Team to remove trash and debris daily to maintain a clean and attractive neighborhood. These notable achievements have garnered national recognition for the BID in the past decade, with awards such as being one of the greatest neighborhoods in America and being recognized for its Economic Development Planning by the American Planning Association (APA).

In the arts, Wynwood continues to thrive and be the home of the iconic Wynwood Walls, Museum of Graffiti, Margulies Collection, Mana Wynwood, Gary Nader Art Centre, the recently opened Paradox Museum, and many more.

The neighborhood remains a center for over 3,000 units of unique retail, restaurant and nightlife businesses, including Zak the Baker, Oasis Wynwood, 1-800-Lucky, Gramps and UNKNWN. Annual special events such as Miami Art Week, Miami Music Week and Wynwood Pride fill the community with pedestrian traffic and excitement.

Major developments in the area include the recently opened Arlo Wynwood hotel and The Dorsey, as well as upcoming projects such as The NoMad Residences, 29N Wynwood, 545 Wyn and The Wynwood Plaza.

Additionally, the neighborhood is experiencing growth in mixed-use residential and office spaces with developments including Strata Wynwood, WYND 27 & 28, Society WynwoodSentral Wynwood and The Gateway at Wynwood. Currently, there is 600,000 square feet of commercial retail space under construction as Wynwood continues to evolve.

Companies committing to office space in Wynwood include Founders Fund, Spotify, Technology SA and Pricewaterhouse Coopers.

The BID supports its City of Miami partners and surrounding communities by running numerous safety and cleanliness initiatives, including state-of-the-art interactive outdoor digital kiosks, neighborhood-wide security cameras and a dedicated Clean Street Team.

“Wynwood property owners and businesses believe in the wisdom of investing in infrastructure enhancements, safety initiatives, forward-thinking planning and destination branding that are key to the BID’s work,” Gonzalez concluded.

For more information, visit


Source:  Community News


Kayak Miami Beach Hotel Targeted In $14M Foreclosure

The Kayak Miami Beach hotel could be seized in a $13.68 million foreclosure lawsuit.

VMC Finance LLC filed a foreclosure complaint April 13 against Husha LH VN LLC, according to information confirmed by property data firm Vizzda. It targets the 51-room hotel at 2216 Park Ave., just west of Collins Park and the Bass Museum.

The $13.68 million mortgage was granted in 2018, the same year the hotel was bought for $20 million. According to the complaint, the loan matured Dec. 31, 2022, and the full $13.68 million, plus interest and fees, is due.

The hotel includes the Layla restaurant, the Parasol snack bar and a rooftop pool. Totaling 25,931 square feet, the hotel was built on the 13,600-square-foot lot in 1934 and expanded in 2014.


Source:  SFBJ

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The First Hotel In Miami’s White-Hot Wynwood Is A Temple Of Great Food, Fun Drinks And Cool Design

This past November, the Arlo Wynwood became the first-ever hotel in Miami’s super-hip Wynwood neighborhood, which is now home to the largest concentration of street art in the world. An “experience-driven” boutique hotel, Arlo Wynwood is also designed to serve as a “cultural hub” for locals and visitors as the burgeoning brand, which also operates Arlo SoHo, Arlo NoMad and Arlo Midtown in New York City, and Nautilus by Arlo in Miami Beach, puts it.

Designed by Meyer Davis, an award winning, globally recognized New York City–based design firm with major hospitality industry cred, the property “draws on the neighborhood’s bold and curated artistic nature while embracing an eclectic industrial aesthetic where organic meets modern.”

“Ever since our pre-opening, we sought to embrace the creativity and diversity of the neighborhood in every detail, from our design and architecture, to our artwork and partnerships with lifestyle, wellness and food & beverage brands,” Jennifer Hiblum, Arlo Wynwood’s General Manager.


“Wynwood has embraced us, too. We’re honored to serve our community as the only hotel in the district, and welcome both visitors and locals to enjoy our public spaces and experience something different and memorable each time they come.” So far that definitely seems to be the case.

Chief among its attractions is MaryGold’s, an eclectic restaurant from James Beard alum Chef Brad Kilgore that’s already winning rave reviews, described as a Florida brasserie.

Meanwhile Bar Lab, the cool culinary and cocktail collective behind three-time “Top 50 Bars in the World” award-winner Broken Shaker, is seeing to the drinks side of the business, not only at the restaurant, but also a cocktail-centric third-floor indoor/outdoor lounge called Higher Ground, and a rooftop pool deck that have added a new dimension to the neighborhood’s nightlife.
The sprawling rooftop with panoramic neighborhood views, a picture-perfect pool, private cabanas, and a bar and café, is the spot to be on sunny days. It definitely makes up for not being next to the beach. There’s also a yoga deck and a pool table in the indoor lounge at Higher Ground if you prefer to hang indoors.

Reflective of its community, Arlo Wynwood will moonlight as a living canvas for a curated group of artists that spark curiosity from art connoisseurs and novices alike. Arlo Wynwood’s interiors will display more than 250 works of art from a range of artists, including Alain CastorianoCoruna LunaJessica PoundstoneJoe GeisLauren WilliamsMatthias LupriRyan Coleman, and Tom Abbiss, among others.

“We are thrilled Arlo Hotels is the first hotel brand opening in the district. We are attracting a new generation of creatives and entrepreneurs who want to live, work, eat, play and learn in our community, and Arlo will serve them well as their home away from home or remote workspace where inspiration awaits.”


Source:  Maxim

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Electrical Union Looks To Rezone Its Allapattah HQ For New Mixed-Use Development

A union representing electrical workers could rezone its headquarters in Miami’s Allapattah neighborhood to set up a mixed-use development.

The city’s Planning, Zoning and Appeals Board was scheduled to consider the application from the Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, part of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local No. 349, on April 19. It concerns the 1.83-acre site at 1544, 1649 and 1650 N.W. 16th Terrace; 1657, 1601 and 1667 N.W. 17th Ave.; and 1700 N.W. 15th Street Road.

The IBEW has owned the property since 1948. The main structure there is a 27,144-square-foot building that houses its union hall and apprenticeship school.

The union wants to change the zoning from “T6-8-O” and “high-density residential” to “T6-12-O” and “restricted commercial.” The density would be 150 units per acre, which would equate to 275 units on a site of this size.

In the application, the IBEW stated it wants to redevelop the property with a newly designed union hall and apprenticeships schools, plus professional offices, convention spaces, affordable/senior living and workforce residential units.

This would follow the trend of nonprofit organizations and religious groups in Miami capitalizing on long-held property with redevelopment as property values in the city soar.


Source:  SFBJ

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Multifamily Series: How Affordable Housing Is Changing

The shortage of affordable multifamily housing continues nationwide. The good news is that developers and architects are bringing solutions to the multifamily market.

It’s no secret that affordable housing is in short supply. Both the single-family and multifamily market struggle to meet the need. According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, not a single one of the 50 states has an adequate supply of rental housing that’s affordable and available to extremely low-income households—those who earn 20% to 60% of their area medium income. The Coalition pegs the shortage at 7 million homes.

When buildings become available for lease or sale, they fill quickly, and long waitlists result.

Still, multifamily developers and champions face myriad issues: construction, labor, and land costs; lengthy planning and building review processes; restrictive zoning codes that favor single-family residences; and less available funding through tax credits, subsidies and grants, says architect Steven Lee, senior associate with Page & Turnbull(link is external), an architecture, design, planning and preservation firm. Neighborhood resistance to development also remains a deterrent as well.

Yet, for multiple reasons, many real estate experts express cautious optimism.

Developer Jeff Klotz, whose firm, The Klotz Group of Companies, operates in the South and Southeast, is one of them.

“We’re getting people into new housing that’s more energy-efficient and constructed with more durable materials to meet tougher building codes,” he says.

When it comes to design, more widespread efficiencies in layouts pare wasted space and permit more units, while better choices about which common spaces are needed benefit residents—and often the community.

Architect Matt Duggan, with TA , an architecture, master planning, and interior design firm, sees more reason to err on the positive.

“The affordable market is embracing more cutting-edge, sustainable, aggressive goals than the market-rate is, in part because local authorities that offer low-income tax credits and other funding mandate or incentivize doing so, often through competitive requests for proposals,” he says.

Additionally, partnerships between developers, government agencies and nonprofits are on the rise, and more municipalities require new market-rate buildings to include a percentage of affordable units.

In short, dire need in the marketplace means increased calls for creativity and collaboration, and developers are using their industry knowledge, influence, innovations in the spaces and partnerships to make them happen.

Garnering Community Support

Progress on a multifamily project takes community buy-in. Experts agree that involving the larger community—through meetings or calls, for example—makes a difference. When community members have a change to offer feedback and then feel heard, they’re more likely to have an open mind about the project.

Good design that actively reflects the concerns and needs of the community leads to exceptional projects a community can be proud of, Duggan says. Architect Eugene Flotteron, principal and director of architecture at CetraRuddy, an architecture, planning and interior design firm, says another plus is to incorporate common spaces within the building.

Faster, Simpler Approval Processes

Project approval has long been arduous and time-consuming. Experts recommend simplifying the process to gain inventory. Florida’s State Housing Incentive Program requires local governments to establish an expedited permitting process for affordable housing. In St. Petersburg, certified projects qualify for a program that ensures a 10-day response time for initial plan review.

Carol Stricklin, director of Pinellas County Housing & Community Development, encourages developers to ensure they understand local policy priorities for affordable housing and have entitlements in place for a project before applying for funding.

Results are promising when this work is done up-front. In Pinellas County, six affordable developments opened last year, providing 227 new homes. An additional six projects, which will add 970 units, have been approved or are currently under construction. Once buildings are completed, inventory is listed online at Florida Housing Search.

Buildings That Meet Code and Look Good

More buildings are wrapped in layers of insulation and have highly efficient systems to meet stricter codes that save energy costs and improve lives, says architect Carmi Bee, president of RKTB Architects, which designed the 100% affordable development 683 Thwaites Place in New York’s Bronx borough. The project includes insulation for energy efficiency and sound mitigation due to proximity to a subway line. Windows were minimized on the side facing the train and made prominent on the building’s other sides. Their arrangement can enhance a building’s aesthetics. That was the case at builder Structured Development‘s mixed-income Schiller Place Apartments. “Each of the 48 units has an attractive bank of windows,” says Principal Michael Drew.

Maximizing energy efficiency has been a driver for many buildings. Duggan’s firm was hired to design a 59-unit, income-restricted net-zero building in Tiverton, R.I., with the state and a utility partnering to see if the building might generate as much energy on site as it uses. The building, called Bourne Mill Phase 3, is all electric, with solar roof panels and thicker wall insulation.

Affordability shouldn’t come at the sacrifice of style, though. “Challenges such as affordability can make architecture better, something Frank Lloyd Wright expressed,” says architect Victor Body-Lawson of Body Lawson Associates.

Located in a historic mill complex, Bourne Mill Phase 3 has exterior cement fiber panels with lap siding that mimic the mill’s granite palette. TAT’s design for Station 25, an affordable 51-unit building under construction on a downtown Albany site, relates to an adjacent historic brick building in its choice of some materials and detailing. Both buildings incorporate brick stacked vertically rather than horizontally.

The new building also pays homage to horizontal stone bands in the historic building with a playful projecting ribbon that wraps its way around the new building and transforms from a canopy at the main entry to a cornice at the roofline, says Duggan. A courtyard lies between the two structures to create an outdoor “room” that connects the two, Duggan adds.

The Benefits of Combining Affordable and Market Rate

In Chicago, a 2022 change in the tax law provided a tax freeze on a building’s assessed valuation if a percentage of affordable units was included, says Drew. In Fremont, Calif., architecture firm KTGY designed two affordable-housing buildings within a larger master plan led by market-rate clients. The number of affordable units satisfied the city’s requirement for projects to be approved, says architect Jessica Musick, principal. “The buildings anchor the corner of the Metro Crossing master plan community and are designed so they look and feel market-rate,” she says.

The Marcus Garvey Village building in New York’s West Harlem neighborhood represents a similar approach. “It’s the second phase of a development from Carthage Advisors where a 161-unit, market-rate building was completed first,” says Body-Lawson. “The goal was not to have a ‘rich door, poor door’ look, so we made the affordable building as nice and gave it its own character and place,” he says. “Colors are different, but some similar materials such as stucco were used. Cities have to be sustainable to survive, and that includes having a diverse mix of people.”

Straightforward Design

A common mantra today encourages simpler design that translates to lowered expenses. Musick, for example, advocates limiting design decisions to help focus project costs. “Maybe, instead of choosing from 10 window sizes, there are three to consider,” she says. Other options are to limit the number of unit plan configurations for each plan type. This simplifies the list of both construction techniques and materials and should lead to better execution, she says.

In south St. Petersburg, The Shores, a 50-unit affordable complex funded by the city of St. Petersburg and Pinellas County, used quality but affordable touches such as wood vinyl plank flooring, ceiling fans and grab bars in apartments and common spaces.

Smart Locations

Affordability is about more than the building itself. Location is key to help residents get to jobs and services. Transit-oriented developments in particular eliminate or reduce the need for cars and parking. Station 25 in Albany, on an infill site with a bus stop, is within walking distance of an employment center and near Albany Medical Center.

Both the Schiller Apartments and another Structured Development building, The Seng, an affordable-condominium project, are near mass transit. Schiller Apartments is also adjacent to a public park. Klotz’s company likes locations near mixed-use options, so residents feel amenities are almost on their property. His company also scouts for sites where governments have determined a need for affordable housing. That way, he can approach those governments to help sponsor the development in those areas.

Function Over Trend

Affordable buildings might have fewer amenities than market-rate buildings due to their available square footage and budget. Therefore, functionality is prioritized.

“A café, mailroom and lounge may be combined, which encourages socializing,” Duggan says.

An apartment building at 535 W. 43rd Street in New York City developed by Flotteron’s CetraRuddy includes seating in the mailroom.

Another goal is to provide health and wellness benefits for residents and neighbors, he says. Features such as outdoor space are critical and must be protected and secure in an urban environment, Musick adds. At Marcus Garvey Village, residents and the community will have access to green space, a community facility, retail outlets, an LGBTQ center, below-grade parking, and bicycle storage.

Creating Units for Long-Term Use

Unit sizes depend on the project and site, the number of units that make a project work financially, and the municipal requirements for securing financing. But a common goal is to make them look larger and wear better, since that helps to retain residents, Musick says. Design tricks help.

For more space in units, hallways might be eliminated in favor of open layouts or, instead of in-unit laundries, there may be common laundry rooms, Duggan says. For durability, luxury vinyl tile is easier to clean than carpet in units and public hallways. Good lighting expands space visually. Integrated lighting such as recessed cans help residents avoid having the expense of buying lamps, Flotteron says.


Source:  Realtor Magazine

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The Dorsey Mixed-Use Project Gets $165M Refi

Berkadia has arranged a $165 million loan to refinance the construction loan for The Dorsey, a recently completed, mixed-use development located in Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood.

The 306-unit property was co-developed by Related Group, LNDMRK, and Tricera Capital. Berkadia Managing Directors Scott Wadler, Brad Williamson, and Matt Robbins, Senior Managing Director Mitch Sinberg, and Vice President Michael Basinski of Berkadia South Florida arranged the loan on behalf of the Miami-based sponsors.

The lender, MF1 Capital, delivered a quick and certain closing despite recent market volatility and provided the 30-month, interest-only loan to take out the existing construction financing.

“Despite the macro headwinds, lender confidence remains high for those projects of the highest quality,” said Jon Paul Perez, President of Related Group. “In the case of The Dorsey, we had several factors working in our favor: namely an unmatched location in the world’s most desirable neighborhood, gorgeous designs and a development team that’s second to none.”

Located on the corner of NW 29 Street and NW 3rd Avenue, The Dorsey is at the epicenter of the Wynwood neighborhood. The property features 73,000 square feet of office space, and 36,000 square feet of ground floor retail. The office portion is fully leased to Schonfeld Strategic Advisors, a New York-based hedge fund making The Dorsey their second headquarters, and Industrious, a leading coworking provider with over 160 locations globally.

The Dorsey also includes 306 luxury apartments, with floor plans ranging from 450 to 1,600 square feet. Residents will enjoy a highly curated set of on-site amenities, like a fitness center with a spin and yoga room, a first-class pet spa, a resort-style rooftop pool, an outdoor courtyard, and more. The development also boasts a collection of world-class art displayed across all common areas.

“The Dorsey is the premier mixed-use development in one of the most desirable 24-hour submarkets in the nation,” said Wadler. “The Property’s strong lease-up velocity and best-in-class features and finishes led to significant lender interest in the refinance.”

The Dorsey’s modern mixed-use design blends with Wynwood’s walkable, urban neighborhood. The project’s impactful integration into the neighborhood has already brought accolades as it was named the Multifamily Development of the Year for South Florida at the 2023 CoStar Impact Awards.


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Foreclosed Wynwood Site Fetches $26M

Gamma Real Estate sold a foreclosed development site in Miami’s Wynwood district for $26 million, property records show.

The New York-based seller gained control of the 1-acre assemblage that encompasses 2825 Northwest Second Avenue, 169 and 179 Northwest 28th Street, and 166 and 172 Northwest 29th Street last year through a foreclosure auction, after the U.K.-based owner The Collective went bankrupt.

The site consists mainly of vacant lots, except for a one-story, 10,500-square-foot retail building at 2825 Northwest Second Avenue built in 1936; and a one-story, 2,000-square-foot commercial building at 166 Northwest 29th Street built in 1953, property records show.

In 2019, Gamma had lent the now-defunct co-living company $23 million for a mixed-use project and, in 2021, Miami’s Urban Development Review Board approved a 12-story development for the site. But it never broke ground. The approved plans included 180 residential units, 70 hotel rooms and 9,508 square feet of ground-floor retail.

Jonathan Kalikow, president of Gamma Real Estate, declined to reveal the buyer, known in records only as 2825 Wynwood Holding LLC, but did divulge that it’s a “sophisticated institutional investor” already active in Florida. 2825 Wynwood Holding LLC ties to Investment Property Exchange Services, or IPX1031, a company based in Phoenix, AZ with locations nationwide that handles 1031 exchanges on behalf of clients.

Cushman & Wakefield‘s Robert Given and Troy Ballard negotiated the sale.

The site, which sits at the corner of NW 29th Street by the northern end of the neighborhood, houses a single-story apartment building, two retail properties and four vacant lots.


Source:  Commercial Observer


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After Years-Long Saga, County Will Take Over Hundreds Of Miami Beach Affordable Units

In Miami Beach, where housing costs have skyrocketed since the COVID-19 pandemic and affordable units are scarce, a struggling nonprofit that controls more than a dozen low-income and elderly housing properties will turn over its entire portfolio to Miami-Dade County in hopes of keeping the buildings affordable.

Under a deal approved by the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners last week, the Miami Beach Community Development Corporation will transfer ownership of its 16 buildings, totaling 357 income-restricted units, to the county, which manages thousands of affordable units countywide.

The county will take on the nonprofit’s debt and set aside nearly $13 million for improvements to the buildings, which have faced sanitation and maintenance complaints in the past but seen only limited upgrades as the nonprofit has dealt with financial woes. The group’s portfolio includes 14 buildings in Miami Beach and two in the city of Miami, all of which will be legally transferred to the county by the end of this year.

As part of the arrangement, the county has agreed to maintain the buildings at their current levels of affordability. More than half of the tenants make less than $10,000 per year, according to the nonprofit, and more than 80% are elderly or disabled.

“It is a huge relief to know that the hundreds of residents living in these affordable buildings no longer need to worry about losing their homes in the midst of an affordable housing crisis,” County Commissioner Eileen Higgins, whose district includes part of Miami Beach, said in a statement. “When I met with the residents to tell them the news last week, they too were relieved.”

It’s a change years in the making.

In 2013, Miami Beach reviewed the organization’s finances and found serious irregularities, including evidence funds had been spent on unauthorized or ineligible activities. The executive director resigned, two city officials quit and a third was fired. Miami Beach was left on the hook for the misspent funds and negotiated a more than $1 million settlement with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

After the scandal, the nonprofit stopped receiving government subsidies. It began offloading some assets to make ends meet — subtracting from, instead of adding to, the city’s affordable housing stock. Miami Beach took over five of its properties, and the group also sold some of its units at market rate. In 2018, the nonprofit transferred ownership of Madison Apartments, an affordable housing building in South Beach, to the county.

The group tried to maintain control of its remaining properties, despite pressure from county officials. But ultimately, its leaders conceded the buildings and their residents would be better off under county control.

“We had exhausted all other options,” said Cristian Arango, the Community Development Corporation’s chief of operations and lone remaining staffer.

“What really matters is the tenants and fighting off gentrification in Miami Beach.” Miami Beach has repeatedly fallen short of its affordable housing goals. The city has about 2,000 units of income-restricted, subsidized housing, records show, shy of a 6,800-unit benchmark it set in 2017.

Arango said the loss of government funding, along with a failure to anticipate rising utilities and property insurance costs, contributed to the nonprofit’s limited ability to make a dent in the problem in recent years.

“You’re already running a building with very thin margins because your rents are so low,” Arango said. “Someone has to absorb additional costs, especially for rehabilitation projects.”

The Community Development Corporation will no longer own or manage affordable housing, though it’s not clear if it will cease to exist. The group will receive $350,000 plus closing costs from the county for the sale of two of its buildings, money Arango said will be put toward the community in a way that has yet to be decided.


Source:  Miami Herald



Wynwood-Edgewater Mixed-Use Midrise Wins Backing

A developer plans to build a midrise mixed-use residential building with ground floor retail on land near where Edgewater meets Wynwood in the City of Miami.

Owner-developer Wynwood 21 Apartments LP proposes property at 100 NE 21st St. for the 11-story building. The project, named Wynwood 21, is to be home to 97 dwellings, about 3,550 square feet of restaurant and 2,538 square feet of retail. It was referred to as Omni 21 in earlier paperwork, and in one rendering.

The city’s Urban Development Review Board unanimously recommended approval.

The property has a principal frontage on Northeast 21st Street to the north and a secondary frontage on Northeast First Avenue to the west. An existing structure is to be demolished. The property, two-thirds of an acre, has a commercial parking garage to the south and single-family residential building to the east.

The developer is requesting waivers allowing for:

  • A 30% parking reduction within a transit corridor.
  • Substitution of one commercial loading berth for two residential loading berths.
  • A 10% reduction in required side setback above level eight from 30 feet to 27 feet.
  • A 10% reduction in required drive aisle width minimum from 23 feet to 22 feet.
  • A 10% increase in required lot coverage maximum from 80% to 88%.
  • Parking to encroach into the second layer, along the principal and secondary frontage, with an art or glass treatment approved by the planning director upon recommendation by the review board.

The board was told the parking garage façade along that frontage will be fully screened with an art treatment. The building will have a full pool deck. Amenities also include a dog walk area, barbecue area, fitness center and more.


Source:  Miami Today

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