Developers plan a 42-story mixed-use residential tower, with some micro-dwelling units, for a vacant site in the City of Miami’s Omni Community Redevelopment Agency (Omni CRA) district.
The application lists 16th Street Partners LLC as owner-developer of Hakimian South Tower at 45 NE 16th St.
The new building is to be home to 631 residential units, approximately 3,140 square feet of commercial use, 469 parking spaces, and ground floor retail and amenity spaces.
Of the residential units, 125 will be micro-units.
The city’s Urban Development Review Board has recommended approval of the project.
Attorney Carlos L. Diaz, representing the developers, said the property fronts Northeast 16th Street to the south, Northeast Miami Court to the west, and Northeast Miami Place to the east.
He said of the 631 residential units, the right to build 198 units will be acquired through the city’s Transfer of Development Density Program.
In a letter to the city Mr. Diaz wrote, “the project is proposing to exchange 20% of the required vehicular parking spaces for bicycle parking at a ratio of six bicycle rack spaces for each required parking space as permitted by … Miami 21 (zoning).”
Board member Anthony Tzamtzis asked why there are hundreds and hundreds of bicycle spaces.
Mr. Diaz said there are 1,000 bike spaces in the building and explained “… the code was amended not too long ago so when you’re in a TOD (Transit Oriented Development area) close to transit, you have to provide one bicycle space per unit, minimum, and we needed some additional vehicular parking reductions and there’s a program where you can swap vehicular parking spaces for bike parking spaces. So, using those two (options) that’s why.”
Mr. Tzamtzis followed, “But you would agree with me that this doesn’t reflect reality?”
Mr. Diaz answered, “It’s the code, I totally agree … and I think the city is looking into that, to clarify it a little. Big projects in the urban core are having to provide a lot of bike parking.”
Mr. Diaz noted the project also proposes participation in the Miami 21 Public Benefits Program as it proposes a height of 42 stories, which would include 18 bonus height stories.
The firm is requesting special permission via a warrant to allow the smaller micro units, as required by the code.
Pursuant to Miami 21, the minimum unit size for micro dwelling units is 275 square feet and the maximum is 400 square feet.
Mr. Diaz said the city commission, in adopting the ordinance that permits micro units, noted that the smaller units have stronger occupancy rates than typical apartments and that individuals are attracted to micro dwelling units because of a desire to sacrifice space for lower per unit cost and proximity to transit, employment, and vibrant mixed-use neighborhoods.
“The property is perfectly located in an area with mass transit options and is within a rapidly developing neighborhood. As such, micro dwelling units are appropriate at this location and should be encouraged, as the city shifts towards best practices regarding unit size, transit options, and parking reductions,” wrote Mr. Diaz.
The developer is requesting several waivers to the code which would allow up to 30% reduction in required parking spaces; above ground parking along a secondary frontage; up to 10% reduction in the drive aisle width from 23 feet to 22; substitution of one industrial loading berth for two commercial berths; and up to 10% increase in the maximum lot coverage.
Hakimian South Tower is the first phase of a two-phase development.
The final waiver request is for a 10% reduction in the minimum building spacing requirement above the eighth story from 60 feet to 54 feet. Miami 21 requires that, above the eighth story, minimum building spacing between towers should be 60 feet.
“The applicant is requesting a 10% reduction in the minimum building spacing requirement for the proposed towers. This minor deviation is necessary to alleviate practical difficulties in complying with the strict requirements of Miami 21 and will promote energy conservation and building sustainability,” Mr. Diaz wrote.
The tower is designed by Corwil Architects. President Alberto Cordoves presented details to the review board.
“This is a beautiful infill area,” he said, noting the design of the project is intended to “take the pedestrian realm to another level.”
He said there will be a centralized lobby, flanked by two retail components totaling about 6,000 square feet.
Parking is on the second through eighth floors, screened by liner units, he said.
“We wanted to make sure this project is heavily amenitized, and we’re doing that,” he said. The ninth level is almost entirely amenities, including an Olympic-length swimming pool, said Mr. Cordoves.
There will be a small amenity sky lounge on the 42nd floor.
Board member Gia Zapattini said, “You did a wonderful job on the design,” and she asked if the project included affordable housing units.
Mr. Diaz said yes, 14% of the units will be workforce housing.
“I think it looks incredible, like a luxury condominium,” said Ms. Zapattini.
Board member Ligia Ines Labrada commented on a strong design element at a corner, which she feels is a missed opportunity to accentuate the main entrance.
“I think you lose a little bit of the opportunity to make a moment at the entrance. It makes me think that the main entrance of the building is at the corner, and you lose that grand entrance,” said Ms. Labrada.
She added, “Other than that, it’s a lovely building. I just wish you would have highlighted that main entrance somehow … that you would have articulated that ribbon to accentuate it.”
Mr. Cordoves responded, “That’s a great comment. Thank you.”
Board member Robert Behar said, “I like it. I’m going to support it … I think the project overall looks great, it works great and so, congratulations.”
Board Chair Ignacio Permuy said, “I’ve got to hand it to you, this is an exceptional articulation. When the massing appears to be a little on the heavy side, the way it’s articulated, it’s genius what you’ve done … you have a great project.”
The vote to recommend approval was unanimous.
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