No Comments

Small-Scale Urban Developments Starting To Sprout. Thank A Change In The Parking Code

Five years ago, the city eliminated a parking requirement for small-scale buildings. Now, dense multifamily buildings are cropping up on small lots across the city.

The City of Miami removed a zoning provision in 2015 that previously required new apartment, office and retail buildings covering less than 10,000 square feet to include 1.5 parking spaces per apartment. The change has spurred developed of at least 10 rental apartment buildings, say experts, by making them more affordable to build.

“We wouldn’t have been able to build what we want to build on these small lots if we had to include parking,” Mikhail Gurevich, a developer with Miami-based Propolis, said. “It would have become uneconomical for us.”

In small-scale projects, each parking space costs an average of $40,000, say experts, and is difficult-to-impossible to fit on a 5,000-square-foot infill lot. Large developments with the advantage of scale can build a parking garage for about $20,000 per space.

Propolis has eight projects in the pipeline in Allapattah, Little Havana and Overtown. The lot sizes are all about 5,000 square feet.

“None of them have parking. If a site forced us to have parking, then we wouldn’t build,” Gurevich said.

Gurevich expects his first rental building in Little Havana to be completed in February. The 3-story building will offer 12 units at 125 NW Seventh Ave. The two-to-three bedroom and two-to-three bathroom units will be rented per room as a co-living facility. The rooms start at $875 per month.

The code change prompted Maytee Valenzuela, president of family-owned Tommy’s Tuxedos, to develop a Little Havana property owned by the family for 40 years as a way to keep up with rising property taxes. She is planning a three-story, nine-unit rental apartment building at 700 NW Second St. , though she expects it will be about three years before she breaks ground.

“The parking exemption gives us that option,” Valenzuela said. “We would have not been able to do this otherwise because the lot is 5,000 square feet.”

The elimination of the parking requirement helps offset rising land costs, said Tecela founder Andrew Frey, who initiated the zoning code change in 2015 and got it passed with the support of the then-commissioner Francis Suarez. Frey then built three neighboring townhouse-style, 3-story buildings at 771, 769 and 761 NW First St. starting in 2016.

The change also allows developers to build smaller-scale projects in neighborhoods where most buildings have two-to-three floors, including Little Havana.

“Keeping the integrity of Little Havana is important. The policy change will make it easier to maintain the environment of Little Havana,” Gurevich said.


Source:  Miami Herald

No Comments

ULI Recommends Changes To City Of Miami Zoning Code

A new Urban Land Institute report suggests city officials relax certain provisions of the Miami 21 zoning code to encourage denser developments on narrower lots and further incentivize developers who reduce or eliminate parking, among other recommendations.

Report co-author Andrew Frey presented his ULI focus group’s findings on Friday to Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, who declined to comment about how he will incorporate the report’s recommendations into a revamp of Miami 21 that is currently underway.

“We are focused that [growth] happens responsibly,” Suarez said. “That it supports things like transit; that it supports our resiliency efforts.”\

Frey, director of development for Fortis Design + Build, said the focus group was formed last year to look at aspects of Miami 21 that inhibit progress in areas of housing choice, affordability and mobility.

“We wanted to give specific textual recommendations that hopefully can shorten up the cycle between finding glitches or gaps in Miami 21 and filling them,” Frey said. “We tried to make the recommendations as concrete as possible.”

According to the report, city officials should consider deleting lot size minimums and density maximums in certain areas, such as those zoned T4, T5 and T6. The neighborhoods with T4 zoning allow a transition from single-family homes to multifamily buildings with room for small businesses and mom-and-pop retail such as Southwest Eighth Street in Little Havana. In T5 neighborhoods, developers can put up mixed-use buildings that accomodate retail, office and apartments such as Wynwood. And T6 neighborhoods allow developers to build multi-story condo, apartment and office towers such as downtown Miami, Brickell and Edgewater.

Getting rid of density maximums would allow developers to build more apartments sized smaller for mid-market renters because they would be able to build 100 or more units an acre . And by eliminating lot size minimums, Miami can encourage the development of more housing types such as townhouses, row houses and brownstones found in other major U.S. metropolitan cities, the report states.

The ULI focus group also suggested dramatic revisions to the parking standards in Miami 21, including having the Miami Parking Authority provide all on-street parking in single-family residential neighborhoods as residents-only at no cost. Other recommendations included significantly reducing parking requirements for new buildings and allowing developers to obtain parking reductions without having to pay impact fees.

Greg West, CEO of apartment builder ZOM Living and ULI Southeast Florida Caribbean District’s chairman, attended the mayor’s presentation. He noted that the report was produced with input from several heavy hitters from the real estate industry, including urban planner Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, the original author of Miami 21. In addition to Frey, the focus group included land use attorneys Iris Escarra and Steven Wernick, developers David Martin and Kenneth Naylor and architects Reinaldo Borges and Raymond Fort.

“We had a pretty big tent on whom we sought input from, which also included the people who originally wrote and drafted Miami 21,” West said. “I think from the private side and development community, we got a good base.”



Source:  The Real Deal

© 2023 FIP Commercial. All rights reserved. | Site Designed by CRE-sources, Inc.