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Addiction To Driving Is Handcuffing Development In Miami
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Residents of Miami rely too heavily on cars and it hinders progress and development of the city. Miamians are dependent in a region with few convenient alternatives.
This dependency has influenced municipal design, dictated the terms of zoning for new luxury Miami real estate development, and set the conditions for Miami's luxury real estate growth. Specific parking accommodations are mandated in construction layout. Charming, meandering, pedestrian-friendly boulevards always seem to end up on the cutting-room floor. As downtown is once again aflutter with high-density luxury real estate construction projects, the challenge is to maximize our limited infill while adhering to car-centric ordinances.
As many wish that Miami could be more like Manhattan, where commercial real estate and residential real estate elements are nicely integrated, it seems to be far off as zoning laws are crafted for an automotive society. Even though Miami is a downtown setting, it's urban core was created using suburban ideals and designs that embrace a car in every driveway. These standards encourage development around parking.
Dangerous conditions can be created when there is limited car storage space. Room is tight on city streets. Drivers are distracted as they look for a free space.
To solve this problem they create excessive parking in the form of garages and lots. This hurts independent establishments relying on their storefront for advertising. The storefronts are far removed from the street so catching the eye of a passerby is not going to happen. Limited options for independent businesses are only one thing that is influenced economically by the parking situation. There is a staggering correlation between space allocation and income disparity.
Pursuant to the “Miami 21” zoning code luxury Miami real estate developers must allocate one-and-a-half parking spaces per occupied residential unit without regard of that household’s size. A studio apartment has as much parking as a luxury three-bedroom apartment. We have a problem here. This is becoming a city of second-home wealthy users. When luxury Miami condo owners who live here part-time leave their cars parked in the off-season those larger households of full-time residents have a hard time dealing with their building’s jammed parking garage.
This hurts households with multiple income-earners who must drive separate cars to work.There is fierce competition for spaces, and it forces some to hunt for street parking blocks away. Guest parking is virtually nonexistent. The gist is that those residents with less money are fighting for even fewer parking spaces.
The current system won't let most luxury real estate developers take risks in designing projects with limited parking. There is one downtown condo project, Centro Lofts, which will be the first luxury real estate project with no parking garage.
An example for space-conscious growth is Wynwood. It was once an industrial neighborhood without any pedestrian action. Now, it is known for it's walking culture, its consumer traffic is a byproduct of limited parking.
It is believed that while downtown will continue to build to the sky as a financial district, the peripheral neighborhoods like Little Havana, Overtown, and Wynwood will become more efficient residential and commercial urban growth.
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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