Crescent Heights Scores School Board Approval To Buy Downtown Miami Land For Mixed-Use Project
Real estate giant Crescent Heights secured approval from the School Board of Miami-Dade County to purchase a lot north of downtown Miami, capping a yearslong effort to acquire the site.
Crescent Heights, a Miami-based developer led by Managing Principal Russell Galbut, is expected to pay $20.6 million for the property at 1370 Northeast Second Avenue.
The deal still hinges on the extension of the Omni Community Redevelopment Agency through 2045, which would have to occur by the end of this year, as well as zoning approvals. Crescent Heights is seeking tax incentives the CRA would provide for the Arts & Entertainment District site.
Crescent Heights would double the size of its assemblage with the acquisition of the school board’s 1.1-acre lot, to build a major mixed-use development designed by architect Rafael Viñoly, who designed the developer’s NEMA tower in Chicago. Crescent Heights owns the adjacent parcels immediately south.
The Miami project, called Casa Forma, calls for a 43-story, 1,100-unit residential tower on top of a podium with eight floors of parking and two floors of office space. The school board would receive roughly 100,000 square feet of office space and Crescent Heights would also provide about 1,100 parking spaces, half of which the school board would control. The build-out cost for the office space would be capped at $420 per square foot, according to the proposal.
The residential units at Casa Forma would likely be apartments, Galbut said. He expects to begin construction immediately after obtaining entitlements, and the project would take about 38 months to complete from groundbreaking. Crescent Heights plans to invest about $100 million into the project, he said.
Former Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho spoke in favor of the Casa Forma project proposal at his final school board meeting. The school board’s unanimous vote allows it to move forward with the sale and authorizes the superintendent to work with the developer on project submittals. Jose Dotres replaces Carvalho, who is now superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District.
The land sale in its current form has been in the works since the school board approved the sale to the highest ranked proposer, which is an affiliate of Crescent Heights, in March 2018. But Crescent Heights has been vying for the site for nearly six years.
Source: The Real Deal