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Design District Makeover Gets Increased After Zoning Board Gives Ok
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On Wednesday, Miami’s Planning, Zoning and Appeals Board voted to accept a revised luxury real estate plan to completely overhaul of the Design District. Some of these changes will increase the number of commercial properties, luxury residential units and parking spaces that luxury real estate developer Craig Robins would like to build.
It was unanimous as board members voted 11-0 to pass on the recommendation to city commissioners. They are ultimately responsible for accepting a plan that could turn the currently sleepy Miami retail and office intensive neighborhood just north of Midtown Miami into a walking-friendly destination with more green space, living space and high-end retail outlets.
The board accepted adding 12 parcels of real estate to the main plan for the most part along its western edge near North Miami Avenue. It turned down a zoning request that would have added a condominium on Biscayne Boulevard just north of I-195 known as Parcel 9 to be built as high as 48 floors. It will now be limited to 20 floors.
The completed project will cover 21 acres just north of Midtown and west of Biscayne Boulevard. It will create more than one million square feet of retail, residential, green space, and parking structures.
The goal is to unify the Design District and that nearby residents should not worry at all about any impact. This vote was only a recommendation that can be changed by city commissioners, who accepted the original plans last summer. Residents from Buena Vista, Brentwood and Baypoint who live east, west, and north of the planned project attended the vote at the chamber Wednesday night and dozens spoke up in support of or opposition to the luxury real estate plan.
The main issue was the luxury Miami real estate plan to increase the height of the luxury condo building on Biscayne Boulevard. The plan is said to be revolutionary in terms of American retail and also low-scale and pedestrian oriented. Many agree with the plans for the real estate project except for the tall luxury condo building, citing it as an eyesore out of character with the neighborhood.
One member asked if stores like Prada and Gucci might be a bit too high-end for the neighborhood. It was pointed out that the developer was was one of the people primarily responsible for the revitalization of South Beach. Others were concerned with traffic from the planned Biscayne Boulevard luxury building, which now backs up a few blocks north of 36th Street during the morning rush our. The new real estate plan to build taller and slimmer actually lessens density, so traffic can only get better. Original plans have the project turning Miami’s Design District into a high-end retail destination with a four block pedestrian promenade surrounded by department stores. Some other amenities include rooftop gardens and extensive green space.
The $312 million Miami real estate project would involve 540,000-square-feet of construction. City commissioners approved the initial plan with the recommendation of the PZAB. Wednesday, the PZAB was asked for the acceptance of 12 new parcels near N. Miami Avenue, and increasing the projects size to over 21 acres.
Andres Leiser is a local contributor for Constec Realty's Miami luxury real estate website. Andres Leiser has been involved in Miami real estate for over a decade. For more information please visit http://www.constecrealty.com
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