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Neology Secures Construction Loan For Third Apartment Community In Miami’s Allapattah

Neology Life Development Group, led by Lissette Calderon, announced that it has secured construction financing to build its third lifestyle-driven residential community in Miami’s historic Allapattah neighborhood. Located at 1470 NW 36th Street, “Fourteen Allapattah Residences” will deliver 237 apartments, along with 5,000 square feet of ground-floor retail, to one of Miami’s most dynamic emerging neighborhoods.

Berkadia secured a $57.5 million construction loan through lender Churchill Real Estate to build Fourteen Allapattah Residences, with groundbreaking expected this September. The property is located in a Qualified Opportunity Zone.

Neology’s portfolio now consists of more than 1,500 apartment units completed or under construction in Miami’s urban core, including The Julia, an upscale apartment community that will open in 2023, and Neology’s flagship Allapattah project, No. 17 Residences Allapattah, which opened in 2021 and leased up in record time.

“Fourteen Allapattah Residences is an important milestone,” said, Lissette Calderon, President and CEO of Neology Life Development Group. “It further establishes Neology’s commitment to Allapattah as the pre-eminent multifamily developer in the neighborhood with over 1,000 apartments recently completed or under construction. It also demonstrates our partners’ confidence in our business model and track record. Everything about this project – from the Opportunity Zone location to the attainable lifestyle component – makes good financial sense in today’s market. It’s an exciting time for Allapattah as we add another one-of-a-kind residential space to one of Miami’s original neighborhoods.”

She added, “To be able to bring this project to life with my partner America Opportunity Zone Advisors, led by my mentor and former Wharton Professor and head of Wharton Real Estate, Peter Linneman, along with his team of Jared Mintz and Kelley Brasfield, is a dream come true.”

Fourteen Allapattah Residences will consist of a 14-story building with 180 apartment units connected via a pool deck to a five-story building with 57 apartments including ground floor walk ups. It will offer studio, one- and two-bedroom units ranging 450 to 900 square feet. Apartments will feature European-inspired cabinetry, quartz countertops, energy efficient kitchen appliances, in-unit washer and dryer, energy efficient AC and heating systems, and smart home technology adaptors. Lifestyle amenities will include curated original artwork, a multipurpose lobby, media lounges and living rooms, a rooftop pool and clubhouse, poolside cabanas, coworking spaces, conference rooms, outdoor movie screen, an indoor and outdoor fitness and wellness center, with a yoga and cardio studio, dog park with dog wash area, bike storage, virtual concierge and smart package lockers, and a parking garage with electric car charging stations as well as a ride share lobby.

The property, which will open in early 2024, enjoys a highly visible location on NW 36th Street just 5 minutes west of Wynwood and 10 minutes east of the Miami International Airport, close to the health district, which is the country’s largest concentration of medical and research facilities after Houston. It is just a short walk from the Allapattah Miami Metrorail Station, the Rubell Museum, and SuperBlue.

The contractor for Fourteen Allapattah Residences is JAXI Builders, Inc.; the architect is Behar Font Architects; interior design is by designBAR; and Witkin Hultz Design is the landscape architect and GT Law provided legal counsel. Bilzin Sumberg Law’s Suzanne Amaducci-Adams and Manny Gonzalez led the transaction on behalf of the borrower.

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Allapattah’s ‘Authentic Bario’ Feel Makes Way For Increased Development

When she came from Boston in the late 90s to study at the University of Miami, Mileyka Burgos-Flores quickly got homesick. She missed the food and flavor of her Dominican family and she was desperate for a Dominican hair salon. The cafeteria workers she’d befriended at school had the answer: we’ll take you to el barrio, they told her.

That’s how Burgos-Flores, executive director of the Allapattah Collaborative, got to know the neighborhood built up by Black Miamians and immigrants from the Caribbean and Central America. She soon picked up on Allapattah’s distinctive features. The breezy porches where neighbors actually talked to each other across the fence. The cosmopolitan bodegas and the street vendors residents knew by name. And of course, local watering holes like Club Típico Domínicano, the 1980s restaurant that shimmies into a nightclub with live music on the weekends.

“It’s a very warm and welcoming neighborhood,” said Burgos-Flores, whose work entails preserving the neighborhood and helping its small businesses thrive. “People don’t just go into local businesses to get their hair done, or to eat or to do their taxes. They go to hang out; they know each other and they keep an eye out for each other.”

That kind of pride among local residents is what drew art collector Mera Rubell to the area in 2019. Along with her husband Don and son Jason, the family converted a warehouse complex that previously housed a wholesaler of rice, beans and other food items into the Rubell Museum, previously located in Wynwood. The site sits cradled by the metroline and railroad tracks.

“This was a new frontier,” Rubell said. “Our dream was to create a kind of concentrated destination for culture. What’s nice is we’re not displacing anybody. These were old buildings that can no longer accommodate the heavy warehouse use it needs.”

The museum is just one of a collection of art spaces in the area, which runs from State Road 112 south to the Miami River and west from Interstate 95 to Northwest 27th Avenue. Jorge Pérez’s El Espacio 23 has also called industrial Allapattah home for the last two years. The newest addition to the art scene, Superblue, across the street from the Rubell, turned a warehouse into an immersive art space in May. The private museums are neighbors with a massive wholesale grocer; across the street, an open-air fruit market sells tropical fruit juices, coconut water and varieties of mangoes and bananas that swing from an awning.

Other recent additions have drawn people to the neighborhood through their bellies. Even on a weekday at lunch it can be hard to snag a parking spot at Hometown Barbecue, a New York transplant whose Brooklyn location is considered one of the country’s best barbecue spots.

It’s all quickly snowballing to turn Allapattah into Miami’s newest “it” spot. Burgos-Flores’ friends in the neighborhood share sightings of limousines ferrying partygoers to underground nightlife in the area. The charm that caught her eye two decades ago is still present; Allapattah remains a place where the word “authentic” still rings true. But there’s no denying things are changing.

New rentals are popping up and just as quickly evaporating due to demand from those who want to be close to the Miami Health District.

The latest is 14-story No. 17 Residences, on Northwest 17th Avenue. Renters — primarily medical and graduate students and health district employees quickly snapped up apartments, according to Lisette Calderon, CEO of developer Neology Life Development Group. Apartments start at $1,300 per month for a one-bedroom, one-bathroom layout.

“What I see that is exciting is the neighborhood being reimagined,” Calderon said.

Housing-wise, four other projects are in the pipeline.

The highest profile project on the books is a collection of eight buildings — many rising on stilts — designed by Danish star architect Bjarke Ingles for developer Robert Wennett. The project, at Northwest 12th Avenue, called Miami Produce Centerwill include residential units, hotel, office, retail space and a trade school on nine acres formerly home to a produce market. Permits have not yet been drawn, and the timetable is not yet set, said Javier Aviñó, Wennett’s representative for the project and Bilzin Sumberg partner.

Already underway is a senior affordable housing community at 1396 NW 36th St. The 13-story Mosaico should open by January 2022, said Jake Morrow, a principal at developer Interurban.

Along with No. 17 Residences, Neology is planning another 14-story rental nearby at 1625 NW 20th St., dubbed Allapattah 16.

Also in permitting is a third 14-story rental building, Allapattah 14, at 1470 NW 36th St.

For Burgos-Flores, whose work entails helping local mom and pops thrive, taking the foot off the accelerator just a bit seems wise.

“We love all this development that could potentially happen in the area, but we want it to be inclusive and equitable,” she said.

Small businesses she helps in the neighborhood are frequently priced out by rising rents, she said. The average resident is unlikely to be able to afford the luxury units coming up in the area. The median household income in the 33127 zip code is $34,510, according to the county demographic data from this year. Around 31% of the residents live below the poverty line. Displacing a community of people – many of whom first arrived via displacement after refugee crises in their home countries – would shred the neighborhood’s identity, Burgos-Flores said.

“People who live here want to stay,” she said. “And if they go, they want to go because they want to, not because they’re pushed out. They want to have the opportunity to stay and the opportunity to own here.”

 

Source:  Miami Herald

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