miami_canstockphoto52415693 1030x385

Miami continues to show strong trends regarding flight-to-quality as both new-to-market and existing tenants seek new Class A and Trophy product space with focuses in Brickell, Miami Beach, Coral Gables and Wynwood submarkets. That is according to a recent quarterly report from JLL.

The report notes that Miami’s development pipeline remains robust–with some proposed projects stretching out to 2028–offering room for continued growth over the next five years. Many new plans and renderings are concentrated in Brickell and Wynwood, Miami’s most sought-after submarkets, the report says.

According to the report, this quarter, Miami recorded approximately 700,000 square feet of leasing activity, down -30.8% from 12 months prior.

“Though activity slowed relative to last year, this quarterly volume is only slightly less than pre-pandemic averages, signaling a return to normal, rather than a drop in demand,” the report says.

Overall, net absorption was positive this quarter, posting just shy of 60,000 square feet. Miami Beach, Wynwood and Aventura accounted for the bulk of positive absorption.

Unlike other Florida markets, office development remains robust in Miami, the report explains with nearly 220,000 square feet of new space delivered across two buildings – Eighteen Sunset (81% occupied), and 601 Miami in downtown, which remains vacant and available to lease. An additional 2 million square feet remains under construction, with 75% of new product located in Brickell and Wynwood. Miami Beach also remains an area of interest, the report notes, with three projects totaling over 288,000 square feet under development.


Source:  GlobeSt.

Rents for Class A office space in Miami are high, at $50 or more per square foot, and will continue rising as the market tightens, real estate experts told attendees at a recent conference.

Panelists also said that, despite the city’s increasing traffic problems, they expected sustainable demand growth for Miami commercial properties in the future, since the city is an appealing location and a gateway to Latin America.

“The market is tightening up,” said Angelo Bianco, managing partner at Crocker Partners during the Bisnow panel event. “Developers are getting better rates and lower concessions.” At the same time, he added, “Capital markets seem to be taking a break and people are more cautious. Deals are taking longer to close.”

Asked if office rents in Miami were becoming too expensive, W. Allen Morris, chairman and CEO of The Allen Morris Co., said that rents here were high compared to a city like Atlanta, “but they’re low compared to other global cities like New York, London, San Francisco or Chicago.” If developers can find any additional land – without condos – they would build more commercial space, Morris said.

Panelists at the conference at the Wells Fargo Center in Miami also discussed attracting new commercial clients. Many cities like Miami constantly compete to attract new companies and their tech-savvy millennial employees. Smart CEOs want to ensure that they locate or relocate in a place where millennials will be pleased with attractive, often non-traditional office space; nearby amenities (restaurants, retail); transit options (millennials rely less on their own cars); cultural opportunities and good schools. The city needs to develop more “live, work and play” communities, they said.

“It’s attractive to live in Miami,” said Rudy Touzet, CEO of Banyan Street Capital. “Over the next 5 to 10 years, millennials will be moving to Miami, Tampa, Atlanta. Things like education and transportation have to be improved,” he said. The attractiveness of Miami “will fluctuate, but demand will be sustainable if development is controlled.”

“It’s a cool, international city,” Bianco said.

Parking remains an issue, however. While parking availability is currently a necessary part of an office complex, some developers are looking at making changes, such as building parking garages that can easily be converted into other types of commercial space as car use diminishes in crowded urban centers.

And even though Uber and other companies have located their headquarters in Wynwood, the trendy area has problems.

“It’s not easily accessible by bus or trolley routes,” said Barbara Savage, senior associate principal and Stantec Architecture & Design. “Wynwood doesn’t have the views of high-rise buildings but the area has ample amenities and works well for certain types of clients in the range of 5,000 to 15,000 square feet. Art Basel, a major international event and a big draw for wealthy individuals from the U.S. and overseas, “made it challenging for people to get in an out of the area.”

Moderator Brian Gale, vice chair at Cushman Wakefield, noted that four projects have been proposed for Wynwood, totaling about 700,000 square feet, but “We’ll have to see if they are developed,” he said.

Speakers gave mixed reviews on the impact the new Trump administration would have on future growth and business confidence. The government’s moves to reduce regulations in the Dodd-Frank Act “will be good and will allow new credit” for real estate and the rest of the economy, Morris said. The economy is growing and jobs are increasing, he added. But restrictions on immigration could affect Miami. Overall,  Morris expects “positive growth” under the new government.

“I’m disturbed by what we see in Washington,” Bianco said. “We are the place that people go for stability and investment. Even after the financial crisis – which we caused – people still bring their money here. Trump’s aggressive, un-presidential behavior and constant tweets are creating confusion. No one knows what he will do. They should, at least take away his cell phone.”

Members of a second Bisnow panel saw employees of the future working remotely from home (or anywhere else); open, informal, shared workspaces, and an emphasis on mixed-use “live, work, play” developments. Echoing some of the millennial preferences discussed in the earlier forum, the panelists said these preferences will drive major changes in how and where people work. Innovation and technology will play much greater roles for future employees.

“Why own a car if you can Uber everywhere?” asked Juliana Fernandez, founder of AEI.  “Why own an apartment if you can Airbnb? Where do I want to work today?”

Co-working in shared spaces will likely appeal to people who don’t want to always work from home. Moreover, shared workspaces offer employees and the self-employed opportunities to meet, exchange ideas, talk and collaborate with people from different businesses.

Other members of workplace panel were: Laura Kozelouzek, CEO of Quest Workspaces and the moderator; Grant Killingworth, first vice president, CBRE; John Guitar, senior vice president, Brightline; Natalia Martinez-Kalinina, director, Cambridge Innovation Center, Miami; and Edward Owen, Swire Properties.


Source: The Real Deal

Whether it’s Wynwood, downtown Miami or Miami Beach, commercial developers and brokers are starting to look toward one demographic above all others for how they market and sell their projects: millennials.

So said a panel of industry heavyweights during “Commerical Outlook: Examining the flurry of activity across South Florida’s retail, hospitality and office markets,” at recent The Real Deal’s South Florida Showcase & Forum.

From left: Stuart Elliott, Steven Kamali, Lyle Stern, Keith Menin, Donna Abood and Tony Cho

From left: Stuart Elliott, Steven Kamali, Lyle Stern, Keith Menin, Donna Abood and Tony Cho

Panelists included Donna Abood, principal of Avison Young’s Miami branch; Keith Menin, principal of Menin Hospitality; Tony Cho, president of Metro 1; Lyle Stern, president of the Koniver Stern Group; and Steven Kamali, founder of Hospitality House. TRD‘s Editor-in-Chief Stuart Elliott was the moderator.

“The millennial way of thinking has already started filtering into Miami’s evolving office market,” Abood said. “All Aboard Florida is building more than 800 market-rate rentals right next to its Class A offices as part of the MiamiCentral development in the downtown area. The project also has a built-in transit hub — a detail that helped convince global media company Cisneros to lease 30,000 square feet of office space before the project even opened. They’re speaking millennial languages. These guys don’t want to own cars, they don’t want to own homes.”

Abood added that the overall office market in Miami has been starved of supply, leaving brokers frustrated as potential tenants leave Miami-Dade County for greener pastures.

“We are tight on office space to the extreme,” Abood said. “Condo developers took prime sites that were really meant for offices. Since there’s been a dearth of new construction, the trend has been for investors to scoop up Class C or Class B office buildings and renovate them. Co-working operators like WeWork have also proliferated as smaller businesses and startups seek affordable office space.”

That’s been the case in Wynwood more-so than anywhere else in Miami, where companies have transformed a swath of the neighborhood’s aging warehouses into hip workspaces and shops.

“There’s still a big gap to fill for development in Wynwood. Top-shelf retail space in the neighborhood is pushing $100 per square foot and land prices are rising as a result,” Cho said.

His firm recently brokered the $53.5 million sale of nearly an acre to the Gindi family, which is planning to build a new two-story retail project.

“It won’t be long before Wynwood starts seeing hotel projects,” Cho said. “Wynwood is underserved in terms of hospitality leaving room for one or even several new hotels. Metro 1 is already in talks with several operators.

Outside of Wynwood, Cho said he’s also working on a dual-branded hotel in Brickell that’s geared toward the middle market instead of luxury.

“The first developer is a little bit scared,” Cho said. “But once the first person does it, everybody’s going to follow.”

One major point of fear: Zika, the mosquito-borne virus linked to birth defects, which made landfall in Wynwood earlier this year and wreaked havoc on local businesses as tourists avoided the neighborhood. Cho said the situation was overblown in the media, and that Wynwood’s retail market quickly bounced back once Gov. Rick Scott declared the neighborhood a Zika-free zone in September.

Menin conceded his hospitality firm hunkered down for the Zika fallout amid an already slow summer season, cutting costs as much as possible, paying staff quarterly and offering incentives to guests and events ahead of any drops in occupancy. “For us, we really just watch every dollar and every cent,” he said.

Stern was also keeping his fingers crossed, hoping a cold winter in the Northeast would keep business flowing to South Florida. “Usually around Yom Kippur, we start praying for icebergs in the Hudson,” he said. “That’s not always going to be the case.” He added that though business may be slowing in Miami’s already well-established neighborhoods, Miami River and especially Allapattah are seeing a boom in property sales — and development will likely follow soon.

Stern said two major investors have scooped up almost 20 acres of industrial properties in Allapattah over the past several years, totaling some $40 million in transactions. And with a swath of new national retailers coming to Brickell City Centre and Miami Worldcenter, the surrounding neighborhoods are poised to see a wave of hip street retail and restaurant concepts fill in the gaps.

“If you drew an arc from New York to Chicago to Las Vegas, there’s not another city in that entire arc that has the number of restaurants doing over $8, $10, $12 and $15 million dollars in business that we do in the Miami market,” said Stern.


Source: The Real Deal

The commercial real estate market outlook for Miami-Dade: Sunny, as long as more mass transit is on the horizon, said industry experts at the Building Owners and Managers Association of Miami-Dade’s 2017 Commercial Real Estate Outlook event.

In the office market, rents are at an all-time high in certain sub-markets, said Brian Gale, Cushman & Wakefield’s vice chairman of Brokerage Services who represents nearly 5 million square feet of office space in South Florida.

On Brickell, office space is hitting around $60 a square foot for Class A space; back in 2008 the high was in the upper $40s, said Gale, during the panel discussion at the East Miami in Brickell. Downtown Miami is just behind it, and Aventura and Airport West have also hit all-time highs, too, he said. Coral Gables presents a different story, he said. In 2007-08, rent in the trophy buildings was $46-$48 a square foot; today it’s the low $40s.

“For many years, Coral Gables was the darling of the office market. I would say it has a temporary black eye with less demand and blocks of spaces still existing. But Coral Gables also has the most to gain,” Gale said.

Gale sees the South Miami market as vaulting too, once new mass transit options fully kick in for the area.

“The traffic on Useless 1 is not getting any better. … Miami Beach needs to figure out a way to get light rail over there.” Gale said. “Rental rates will continue to increase in 2017. Looking further out, being a gateway city … there is no reason to believe we couldn’t be a $70 rental market in 2022.”

Growth in shared office spaces has exploded — for instance, WeWork recently leased 65,000 feet at Brickell City Centre and there are now more than 20 shared workspace centers in downtown Miami alone. Sometimes these shared office centers can act as an incubator for a building; when the companies grow out of the co-working space they take space on other floors, Gale said. In the broader office market, expect more smaller offices, with more open spaces and cubicle areas on the outside of the floor with the glass-walled offices in the center, he added.

In the industrial sector, with job growth projected to slow in 2017 and 2018, is that a concern with 1.8 million square feet coming online in 2017 and 1.4 million in 2018?

“That’s actually less than half of what we have seen in 2015 and 2016.” said JLL Managing Director Brian Smith, who led the team representing NBC Universal/Telemundo Enterprises in the record breaking lease of over 550,000 square feet for a world headquarters broadcast center in western Miami-Dade.

He said he looks more closely at population growth. In both the office and industrial markets, new-to-market tenants are pushing the records. The last three years have brought more than 700,000 square feet of new-to-market office tenants. But that’s more than the previous 15 years combined, Gale said.

The last two years saw 300,00 square feet of new-to-market industrial tenants, but this year it will be 2 million and perhaps 3 million square feet.

“John Deere, new names. We have quickly become one of the most important industrial markets on the globe,” said Smith. “Three large deals in the works may be the biggest ever, in addition to the NBCUniversal deal.”

To be sure, urbanization has transformed the retail landscape, with Miami’s downtown population now approaching 90,0000 people, a 30 percent increase since 2010, with an incredibly affluent demographic, said David Moret, president of Highline Real Estate Capital, which acquires and redevelops office and retail properties with capital partners.

Retail rents are in the stratosphere on Lincoln Road, surpassing $300 a square foot. They are hitting $200 in the Design District and Coconut Grove and Wynwood are flirting with $100 a foot, Moret said. How far will they go?

“I think we have gotten ahead of ourselves,” Moret said. “ I think there will be a reset. … We are already seeing resistance. We are seeing leasing volume way down on Lincoln Road.”

He sees the biggest impact coming from millennials, a group that will have the most spending power by 2017. This means tenant mix is more important than ever.

“Successful centers are going to be about creating experiences, to give people a reason to go there instead of click on their phone,” said Moret.


Source: Miami Herald

An entrepreneur who’s bought a big chunk of downtown Miami while promising some mold-breaking surprises was apparently not kidding: He wants to build an eye-catching 49-story tower with apartments so small there’s no room for ovens in the tiny kitchens. And there’s no parking.

Actually, that last bit’s not quite right. There will be parking — for bicycles. Is Miami really ready for this?

Moving-company and arts mogul Moishe Mana — who’s also building a mini-city on a large swath of Wynwood and has lately spent tens of millions to buy up property on and around downtown’s Flagler Street — certainly thinks so.

A rendering of developer Moishe Mana’s proposed “micro-living” apartment tower. (Zyscovich Architects)

A rendering of developer Moishe Mana’s proposed “micro-living” apartment tower. (Zyscovich Architects)

He’s the first in Miami to formally propose putting up a building consisting entirely of what’s been dubbed “micro-units” — compact, hyper-efficient and affordable apartments meant for young singles who want to live in dense urban neighborhoods and get around primarily on foot and public transit. The plan, which Mana’s team says fully conforms with downtown zoning rules, will have its first and likely only public review before the city’s Urban Design Review Board on Monday

MicroApartments3The blueprint calls for 328 apartments starting at 400 square feet, the minimum allowed by city code. The penthouse units top out at a relatively generous 600 square feet, but most will be 500 square feet and under, said the project’s architect, Bernard Zyscovich.

The apartments would be equipped with built-in furnishings, including beds and tables, that tilt, fold or slide into walls and cabinets, Zyscovich said. And the building, at 200 North Miami Ave., would be flush with amenities, including built-in superfast WiFi and fully equipped common kitchens and dining rooms for when residents want to entertain.

“It’s like living in a Transformer,” Zyscovich said. “The idea was, let’s make these apartments in the urban core, let’s make them small and let’s build in all the stuff that makes it desirable. We’re going for that authentic coolness that comes from being in the middle of everything. It’s for a particular type of person, probably Millenials but not exclusively so, who want to live an urban life and simplify their life, and not have all their money going to rent and furniture and maintaining a car.”

Rents, which have not been set, would be at market rates, but would be significantly lower than the norm downtown and in surrounding neighborhoods like Brickell — where high costs have some renters taking in roommates and doubling up in bedrooms — by virtue of the apartments’ small size. The substantial savings Mana will realize by not having to build costly structured parking will also help keep rents down, Zyscovich said.

A rendering of developer Moishe Mana’s proposed “micro-living” apartment tower. (Zyscovich Architects)

A rendering of developer Moishe Mana’s proposed “micro-living” apartment tower. (Zyscovich Architects)

The project takes advantage of a zoning exemption that allows buildings close to transit stations in downtown Miami to dispense with parking. The building, on a sliver of land that Zyscovich said would make it hard to fit in a parking garage in any case, sits a short stroll from the Government Center Metrorail station, three Metromover stops and the station for the All Aboard Florida train service, now under construction.

There is lots to walk to nearby, including courthouses, government buildings and offices with tens of thousands of jobs, not to mention classes at Miami Dade College’s downtown campus two blocks away. The All Aboard station will have a food market, and Whole Foods and Publix stores can be reached by Metromover or city trolley.

Those who insist on having a car have options: The building site abuts a big city parking garage, and another public garage sits a couple of blocks away.

Two South Florida analysts predicted Mana will have no trouble renting out the building at a time where rents in Miami have risen much faster than salaries, creating a housing affordability crisis.

If Mana rents his apartments in the middle of the range for the area, or about $2.25 a square foot, that means someone could get into one of the 400-square-foot units for $900 a month, a relative bargain, while enjoying the privacy of his or her own space, noted Jack McCabe at McCabe Research in Broward County.

“They will fill it up,” McCabe said even as he expressed surprise at the apartments’ size and lack of fully equipped kitchens — though they will have cooktops. “Affordability is key right now. There is definitely demand for more-affordable rentals without a real kitchen in a cramped apartment that allows you to enjoy the lifestyle in downtown Miami.”

McCabe said the common kitchens, which Zyscovich said would have to be booked in advance, are a desirable feature for many people, and the compact units would not bother many of the South Americans and Europeans now flocking to the city who are used to living in smaller spaces than Americans.

The “micro-living” concept, which is catching on in other U.S. cities like Seattle, San Francisco and New York — the Big Apple’s first such building just opened in the Kip’s Bay neighborhood on the east side of Manhattan — can help solve not just the affordability problem but also relieve traffic congestion, said Suzanne Hollander, a broker and lawyer who teaches at Florida International University’s Hollo School of Real Estate.

“It’s very smart. It’s pioneering,” Hollander said. “Micro units are tiny solutions to big urban problems, and Miami is becoming a big urban city. It gives options to a lot of people who otherwise would not have them, so they can enjoy the urban living we are building.”

Micro-living buildings also carry other potential social benefits that could prove attractive not just to Millenials but also to retirees or business executives who need a pied-a-terre, she added.

“People sleep in a micro-unit. But, really, the whole building is their home,” Hollander said. “And the amenities here are amazing. What they’re trading is space for an A-plus location. This all encourages people to interact not just inside the building, but in the neighborhood, making everything more social.”

Another benefit, she said: Because the units are new and built to code, they are safer alternatives to the unregulated rooms in older homes or apartment houses that are often the only alternative for people on limited incomes.

Micro-units in New York and elsewhere are even smaller than Mana’s, with those in New York’s Carmel Place ranging from 260 to 360 square feet after the city waived its 400-square-foot minimum. That’s something some advocates are pushing to happen in Miami as well.

The no-parking alternative has a longer track record in Miami. Other developers have used the transit exemption to build no-parking residential towers downtown, including Related Group’s Loft buildings, but those units are for sale and tend to be larger. Units at Centro Miami, a high-rise condo tower now nearing completion, also without parking, range from 500 to over 1,111 square feet.

A new city zoning rule also allows for small buildings near transit routes to forgo parking. A small developer has broken ground on townhouse-like apartments without parking in East Little Havana.

Though Mana’s apartments will be small, the tower’s design aims to make a big impression, Zyscovich said. It looks like stacked blocks, with some sides on the west and south screened with a “veil” of metal mesh to shade them from the sun.

“It wants to say, I may filled with micro-units, but I’m cool,” the architect said.


Source: Miami Herald


Miami officials will consider the design plans of five new projects in the booming city, including the redesigned Miami Worldcenter, an apartment tower with no parking by a prominent developer and a mixed-use building in Midtown.

All five items will go before the city’s Urban Design Review Board on July 25.

The 27-acre Miami Worldcenter is a major mixed-use project that would reshape the north side of downtown. Construction has already started on its first phase, although it hasn’t gone vertical yet. The master developer is Miami Worldcenter Associates, led by Art Falcone and Nitin Motwani, with Los Angeles-based CIM Group as an equity partner.

The main public plaza at Miami Worldcenter

The main public plaza at Miami Worldcenter

The new design reflects Miami Worldcenter’s transformation from big-box, enclosed retail to “high street” retail that is integrated with the urban street grid and incorporates public space and art.

Other major projects proposed or under construction in downtown Miami and Brickell can be found on the Business Journal‘s interactive Crane Watch map.

The new Miami Worldcenter design was partially inspired by Dacra’s work in the Miami Design District, as its presentation includes numerous photos from that upscale retail district to the north. Miami Worldcenter would have a long paseo that crosses several streets, capped with public plazas at both ends – similar to the Paseo Ponti/Palm Court Plaza/Paradise Plaza stretch of the Miami Design District.

The Miami Worldcenter paseo would start around Northeast 1st Avenue and stretch from Northeast 7th Street to Northeast 10th Street. It would have a 25,000-square-foot main plaza of public space on the south side and a 14,000-square-foot plaza on the north side. Those plazas could be used for special events and performances, the application said. The public spaces would be lined with trees, water features and art. There would be a vehicle drop off circle at Northeast 2nd Avenue.

Miami Worldcenter was designed by Elkus Manfredi Architects and ADD, with Kimley Horn as the landscape architect. Greenberg Traurig attorney Ryan Bailine represents the developer in the application.

The lot coverage of Miami Worldcenter’s first phase, encompassing about 10 acres, would be reduced from 88 percent to 81.5 percent. The density would decrease.

The first phase would total 3.91 million square feet, down from 4.73 million square feet in the previously-approved design. That reduction would mostly come on the commercial/retail side, with 338,036 square feet planned instead of 1.09 million square feet. Most of the retail would be on the ground floor, with some extending to a second floor. The retail buildings would have parking on the upper floors, and in most cases restaurants or amenities on the rooftops.

The residential unit count in Miami Worldcenter phase one would increase to 1,011, from 914, and the parking spaces would increase to 3,998 from 3,901. The 58-story Paramount Miami Worldcenter condominium could have up to 577 units in 1.34 million square feet, instead of 485 units, and the 44-story Luma apartment tower would have 434 units in 545,762 square feet, instead of 429 units. Luma would be developed in partnership with Orlando-based ZOM.

Paramount would rise atop a podium filled with amenities and it would be connected via an elevated bridge to a parking structure with even more amenities atop it. Luma would also have an amenity deck. The features would include multiple pools, a soccer field, two tennis courts, a half-court basketball room, two racquetball rooms and fitness areas. The condo tower would also have a yacht-shaped amenity deck on its top floor.

The application notes that up to 8.24 million square feet could be developed in the future phases of Miami Worldcenter. The next phases of the project would include a 386-unit apartment tower along Northeast 7th Street, a mixed-use tower in partnership with Newgard Development and the Marriott Marquis Hotel and convention center in partnership with MDM Group. Representatives of Miami Worldcenter couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

Moishe Mana Proposes Apartments Without Parking

New York developer Moishe Mana wants to build 328 apartments with no parking in downtown Miami.

49-story apartment tower rendering

49-story apartment tower rendering

The 49-story would total 322,355 square feet at 200, 218 and 222 N. Miami Ave. Not counting the amenities and common areas, it would have 277,536 square feet of residential space, so that averages 846 per unit.

Downtown Miami allows developers to forgo parking requirements within close proximity of public transit. This property is near the Government Center Metrorail Station and a public parking garage. That garage is slated to be redeveloped with an apartment building incorporated into it.

Mana’s North Miami Avenue Realty LLC acquired the 14,325-square-foot site in 2014 for $4.2 million. It currently has some small retail buildings constructed from 1922 to 1925. They would be demolished to make way for the apartment tower.

Zyscovich Architects designed Mana’s project, which would feature a rooftop pool deck, a gym, a social room, an exterior courtyard on the 15th floor and micro amenity spaces of around 900 square feet on some residential floors. Mana is one of the largest landowners along Flagler Street in downtown Miami and has proposed a massive redevelopment in the Wynwood neighborhood.

Mixed-Use Project Could Rise In Midtown

Midtown 8 rendering

Midtown 8 rendering

A 28-story building in Midtown Miami would combine residential and retail space. Midtown 8 would total 389,989 square feet on the two-acre site at 2901 and 2951 N.E. 1st Ave. That would break down to 387 apartments, 29,549 square feet of ground-floor retail and 519 parking spaces.

The project would have an amenity deck featuring a pool on top of the eight-story parking garage, which would be connected to the apartment building by a series of elevated bridges. There would be an open-air driveway through the center of the project and a linear park with an art along the FECI rail line behind the building.

The property is owned by Midtown Opportunities VIB, but it’s under contract to developer Wood Partners, with offices in Atlanta and West Palm Beach. Midtown 8 was designed by StantecGreenberg Traurig attorney Ryan Bailine said his client hopes to apply for building permits for Midtown 8 in August or September and obtain them before the end of the year.

Wynwood Attracting Major Projects

Wynwood 26 rendering

Wynwood 26 rendering

The UDRB will also consider two new proposals in Wynwood, which has attracted many development applications after the neighborhood was rezoned. The Wynwood 26 apartment/retail building by the Related Group was previously covered by the Business Journal when the plan went before the Wynwood Design Review Committee.

Wynwood 25 rendering

Wynwood 25 rendering

East End Capital‘s Wywnood 25 with apartments and retail was also considered by the WDRC shortly after it was announced.



For a slideshow for the new renderings of Miami Worldcenter, plus the other projects, that will be presented to the UDRB, click here.


Source: SFBJ

Miami is a city that seems to reinvent itself every ten years or so.

Change is a constant. Neighborhoods are always reinventing themselves. Cranes and jackhammers are always busy erecting new buildings.  We’re so used to it, sometimes we don’t even notice when it happens.

In fact, looking back just 10 years ago, some areas of the city are nearly unrecognizable. So Miami New Times decided to take a tour back in time thanks to Google Map’s street views and compared ten neighborhoods to what they looked like less than a decade ago.


Then: A warehouse district that had a couple of art galleries moving in.

 Now: A pedestrian-friendly, “art-themed” tourist destination and creative business district with a few art galleries still hanging around.

Ten years ago artists space and galleries had already started moving into the neighborhood, but the only time people actually went was during the Second Saturday art walk. (Of course, at that time you could actually see lots of good art  —and drink lots of free booze.) Now, many of the galleries have moved out. The best art is painted on the buildings, and the former warehouse spaces are now lined with boutiques, cafés, and office space

27th Street

27th Street

27th Street

27th Street

Wynwood Building Before and After

Wynwood Building

N.W. 2nd Avenue

N.W. 2nd Avenue

N.W. 2nd Avenue

N.W. 2nd Avenue

N.W. 2nd Avenue

N.W. 2nd Avenue













Then: A shopping district focused on all your interior design needs.

Now: A shopping district focused on all your designer clothing needs.

The Design District pulled off a neat trick in which it completely changed what it is without having to change its very specific name. A decade ago the area was where rich people sent their interior designer to shop for furniture. Then developer Craig Robins came in and turned it into an area where rich people shop for clothes.

N.E. 39th Street

N.E. 39th Street

N.E. 39th Street

N.E. 39th Street

N.E. 39th Street

N.E. 39th Street








Then: A place tourists only went because their car was towed.

Now: A place tourists go because they read about a cute café on Yelp.

Sunset Harbour used to be where South Beach hid its blight. Now the area is home to some of Miami Beach’s best restaurants, two brand new grocery stores, and more construction to come.

Bay Road

Bay Road

Bay Road

Bay Road








Then: Losing its soul.

Now: Finding a new soul.

Once Miami’s “hippie” neighborhood back in the day, Coconut Grove served as a warning of what can happen to a neighborhood when it allows chain stores and restaurants to come in and take over. At least ten years ago, Coconut Grove still had its reputation as college kid’s go-to drinking spot, but a 2008 ordinance pushedlast call up to 3 a.m., taking much of the remaining fun out of the area.

Now Coconut Grove is finally trying to get its groove back.

Main Highway

Main Highway

Main Highway

Main Highway








Then: Cheap neighborhood with old homes in a good location.

Now: Expensive neighborhood with new luxury high-rises in a good location.

It seems one Russian billionaire or another buys up a plot of land with plans to turn it into an exclusive luxury high-rise in this neighborhood every other week.

N.E. 28th Street

N.E. 28th Street

NE 28th Street

NE 28th Street








Then: High-rises

Now: Lots, lots, and lots more high-rises.

Brickell’s character hasn’t actually changed that much, there’s just a lot, lot more of it nowadays.

U.S. 41

U.S. 41

S. Miami Avenue

S. Miami Avenue








Then: Quirky shopping district

Now: Miami’s fast-fashion capital

Lincoln Road’s renaissance began in the late ’80s, and by the 2000s the pedestrian mall had taken on a unique, quirky flavor. Sure, there was a Gap and Johnny Rockets, but there were also theaters, gay clubs, jazz hangouts, and New Age crystal shops. Now it’s completed its metamorphosis into a home for shopping mall stores like H&M, Forever 21, and Lululemon. At least there’s a really cool parking garage now.

Lincoln Road

Lincoln Road

Lincoln Road

Lincoln Road

Lincoln Theater

Lincoln Theater








Then: Abandoned motels and blight

Now: Boutique motels and charm

The Upper Eastside’s MiMo architecture was always charming, but locals seemed to have forgotten for a while. Now, developers have restored some of those old motels, and with them, the character of the neighborhood.

73rd Street

73rd Street

MiamiNeighhoods- Upper Eastside - ne_73rd_st_- 2

73rd Street








Then: South Beach’s quiet neighborhood

Now: South Beach’s neighborhood full of jackhammer noise.

With the revitalization of South Pointe Park, scores of new nightclubs and restaurants, and new construction, the South of Fifth area isn’t quite as quiet as it used to be.

Ocean Drive

Ocean Drive

Ocean Drive

Ocean Drive








Then: Destination for New York grandmothers

Now: Destination for New York hipsters

Ten years ago, the area was the beach’s forgotten district. Now it’s booming with boutique hotels, craft cocktails bars, private clubs, and some of the city’s hottest night spots.

Collins Avenue

Collins Avenue

Collins Avenue

Collins Avenue







Source: Miami New Times

The metamorphosis that’s already taken Wynwood’s industrial district from urban blight to urban paragon in record time seems poised for a dose of development Muscle Milk that could pump up the scale of construction along a broad, mostly vacant swath of the neighborhood to new, and somewhat controversial, heights.

The two biggest players in Wynwood’s snowballing transformation, at odds for months over a massive redevelopment proposal that some fear could overwhelm the human scale and funky vibe that define the district, have reached an agreement that softens its impact on the neighborhood fabric of spiffed-up warehouses, and likely clears the way for its preliminary approval by the Miami City Commission.


That would mean that Wynwood’s largest landowner — moving-company and arts entrepreneur Moishe Mana — can move ahead with an ambitious 30-year blueprint for what amounts to a miniature city containing nine million square feet of space on some 24 acres of mostly vacant land stretching from the neighborhood’s main street, Northwest Second Avenue, to its western edge at Interstate 95. The contemplated Mana district, centered around a green public central square, or “commons,” that would cut diagonally through the development, is aimed at luring tech companies, commercial trade and arts and cultural institutions to Wynwood.

The board of Wynwood’s Business Improvement District, a city-chartered agency that represents most property owners in the rest of the former industrial zone, voted Wednesday to support the Mana Special Area Plan after winning a series of concessions aimed at making sure the developer’s new buildings mesh with the surrounding fabric of simple industrial buildings, many of which have been transformed into art galleries, offices, shops and dining and drinking spots.

“There was a lot of reasonable anxiety that you would have this district-within-the district that would be out of scale and out of character with the area,” said Albert Garcia, a member of the BID’s board and its planning committee, which negotiated the deal with Mana. “Over the last six months we’ve made a lot of progress in dialing that back so that it doesn’t suck the life out of Wynwood, which is the nightmare scenario. It’s a much better plan. I believe Mr. Mana understands our vision and it’s now a shared vision. We like to do things on a community basis and seek consensus. That’s the DNA of Wynwood. Wynwood is a special place. It’s not a race to the sky.”

Mana’s architect and planner, Bernard Zyscovich, said the developer and his team are happy with the revised plan. Though it’s now scheduled for the first of two commission votes on Thursday, Zyscovich said Mana will likely ask for a two-week postponement to address issues brought up by residents of neighboring Overtown and Commissioner Keon Hardemon, whose district includes both neighborhoods. Those concerns include how the new development would affect adjacent residential areas in Overtown as well as the availability of jobs for residents.

“It’s all positive,” Zyscovich said. “I think we have a great plan, a plan that’s going to create a whole neighborhood that’s exciting and beneficial to our neighbors.”

The BID also had to relent on some issues. Mana would not budge on plan provisions that would allow him to build residential towers of up to 24 stories. But Mana’s team agreed to push those off Second Avenue to the western portions of his property along Northwest Fifth Avenue and I-95, and to conform to current, lower zoning where new buildings would face the existing neighborhood.

Mana’s proposal, unveiled at the end of 2015, riled BID leaders and neighboring property owners. After more than a year of planning, they had just won city approval for special zoning rules designed to control development by increasing allowed heights in most of the old Wynwood industrial district but capping them at eight or 12 stories, depending on location. The goal of the Neighborhood Revitalization District, as the new zoning plan was dubbed, is to foster development of relatively inexpensive housing and new office and retail space while preserving the neighborhood’s modest scale and pedestrian-friendly ambiance.

To take advantage of the increase, developers must pay into a special fund to help finance parking garages, affordable housing, creation of public green space and landscaping and improvement of streets and sidewalks, but Mana wanted to be exempted from the fees. He has now also agreed to participate in funding the programs.

Other changes to Mana’s initial plan aim to ensure his district is closely connected with the surrounding neighborhood. The rules would now require “active uses” like shops and restaurants at sidewalk level along principal facades and pedestrian passageways to break up large structures and encourage walking.

“If you’re a pedestrian crossing the street or you are driving down the street, it’s going to feel continuous and harmonious,” Garcia said. “We didn’t want those jarring transitions where you might have eight-story buildings on one side of the street and 24 stories on the other.”

New rules also allow Mana to begin building his taller residential structures only after he has completed defined percentages of the promised commercial and cultural buildings and public amenities, including meeting space and the central commons. That’s to ensure that those elements, which BID leaders and other neighborhood supporters say are critical to Wynwood’s evolution and comprise the most significant pieces of the Mana plan, don’t get lost or left for last, they said.

“What will make Wynwood an interesting place in 10 years from now and 20 years from now is if that art school and the cultural institutions and tech set up permanent camp here,” said David Polinsky, a developer who is a BID board member and chair of the planning committee. “Not everybody’s happy with the scale [of the Mana plans]. But the board feels reasonable compromises were made. There are still lots of good things that can come out of the [project] if it’s executed well.”

Those good things, Zyscovich said, will include buildings with large, flexible floorplates that can accommodate everything from showrooms and meeting rooms to offices, art exhibition galleries and “maker spaces.” Mana is now working on a plan to create an international trade center on site to link buyers and suppliers of products in Asia and Latin America, he said. Mana also plans to replicate elements of his Mana Contemporary art center, a converted tobacco warehouse in Jersey City, New Jersey, that combines artist studios and exhibition galleries with services such as fine-art storage, transportation and conservation, Zyscovich said. The plan also includes hotels, but the potential residential buildings, Zyscovich stressed, are secondary.

“Our main idea is not to create more residential, which everyone is doing,” Zyscovich said. “We’re looking for a job creation strategy. Showrooms, office infrastructure, entrepreneurial spaces — all that is very much the idea.”

There are some unsettled matters. Mana, whose holdings are centered around the former Wynwood Free Trade Zone complex, which he purchased in 2010, has been using the facility and adjacent vacant land for large special events under a temporary permit, including a reggae performance that recently drew a reported 60,000 people.

BID leaders want those events curbed because they say they’re disruptive and detract from Wynwood’s particular ethos. Mana has in principle agreed to abide by normal city rules for such events. They also want Mana to support a proposed expansion of the boundaries of the BID — a special taxing district that levies a fee on property owners to support special services like security and trash cleanup.

Some Mana properties now sit outside the BID boundary, but the expansion would mean all of Mana’s holdings would be subject to the levy. Mana — whose failure to vote on any of his properties contributed to a defeat last year of a previous effort to expand the BID — has agreed to support the expansion. But he has not committed to paying the additional levy. If the city commission approves Mana’s development plan on first reading, the BID agreed it would negotiate the terms of his participation before the second reading.

The BID board made it clear last week that they would rescind support for Mana’s plan if he doesn’t follow through on his promise to support the expansion. Because the plan is conceptual and doesn’t bind Mana to building as promised, there is still substantial concern in Wynwood over the proposal and its potential impact on the neighborhood renaissance, Garcia said. But if Mana does follow through on his promises, he added, Wynwood stands to benefit significantly.

“On the plus side, if it’s developed as planned and does bring the economic stimulation it promises, it’s a win for Wynwood and for Miami,” Garcia said.


Source: Miami Herald

Miami’s urban core markets generated $1.2 billion in retail property sales last year, with more than half of the total occurring in Brickell, downtown and Wynwood, according to a recent commercial real estate report prepared for the Commercial Industrial Association of South Florida.

From left to right: Moderator and Downtown Development Authority Executive Director Alyce Robertson, Tony Cho, Raymond Fort, Andrew Frey and Jon Paul Perez

From left to right: Moderator and Downtown Development Authority Executive Director Alyce Robertson, Tony Cho, Raymond Fort, Andrew Frey and Jon Paul Perez

The findings were made public Friday during a panel discussion sponsored by the association that featured Tony Cho of Metro 1, Raymond Fort of Arquitectonica, Andrew Frey of Tecela, and Jon Paul Perez of the Related Group.

On the leasing side, the Biscayne Boulevard corridor, Brickell, downtown Miami, the Design District, Midtown, MiMo, Little River and Wynwood accounted for a combined 10 million square feet of leased space. Vacancy rates range from as low as less than 2 percent in Brickell to 12 percent in the Design District.

Miami’s urban centers will continue to experience rapid growth in the commercial retail sector in 2016 as the market for luxury condo sales slows down, the panelists told audience members huddled inside an unfinished office suite at Three Brickell City Centre.

“There is going to be a slowdown and a correction in ultra high luxury,” Metro 1 founder and CEO Cho said. “I think we will see a shift in type of projects [getting built]. I see more infill, mixed use projects catering to millennials.”

Frey, Tecela’s principal, echoed Cho. “With waterfront luxury high-rise condos, there is going to be an oversupply and there is going to be a decline in value,” Frey said. “I don’t think that is any real surprise to anyone. That is separate from the rest of the real estate industry, including multifamily, retail and office. I think [those sectors] seem to be doing pretty well.”

The panelists specifically singled out the ongoing transformation of Wynwood, which has morphed from an artist-driven warehouse community into a thriving, hip retail and office neighborhood over the last decade. With the new zoning overlay that was approved for Wynwood last year by the city commission, the neighborhood is poised for even more growth once developers in the area complete new residential buildings.

“I most recently fell in love with Wynwood,” said Perez, a Related vice president. “I didn’t understand it until about a year ago. You get this real sense of a new neighborhood that is truly transforming and changing.”

Frey said the new zoning overlay is good because Wynwood developers can now build projects with more density. “You will have actual residents, locals and repeat customers that live in the neighborhood,” he said. “With the new rezoning, you have opened a fantastic development opportunity there.”

According to the association’s market report, Wynwood experienced $165 million in retail property sales volume in 2015 and the vacancy rate is right at 6 percent. The average lease price for retail space is just above $80 per square foot.


Source: The Real Deal

When Avra Jain bought the Vagabond Hotel in Miami’s MiMo district two years ago, she couldn’t capture the interest of traditional real estate investors.

Comparable rates along Biscayne Boulevard were $60 a night — or $20 an hour, she quipped. Now, after redeveloping the property into a boutique hotel with financial backing from friends and family, off-season rates stand at $159 a night, and the coming season will command $229 to $259 per night.

Changes taking place in the commercial real estate market in neighborhoods like MiMo and Wynwood are spurring widespread revitalization in Miami and creating other newly emerging areas, panelists said Friday at the Miami Association of Realtors’ RCA Super Conference, held at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables.

In MiMo, Jain realized that dilapidated motels were hurting the area, so she purchased seven motels along the Biscayne Boulevard strip and shut them down. “And that is when the neighborhood started to change,” she said during a panel, “Emerging Miami: Miami River, Lemon City & Little River.”

Much more change is on the horizon. In a year, the MiMo District “will be lit up with neon and restaurants and will surprise everybody,” she told more than 100 conference attendees. Retail rents are rising rapidly, and now stand at about $50 to $70 per square foot, and $45 for second floor office space, Jain said.

Meanwhile, as Miami’s once gritty Wynwood transforms and rents there rise as well, art galleries, local businesses and creative types are being priced out, and are moving to more affordable and newly emerging — yet historic — areas like Little River and Lemon City, the panelists said. That’s where Thomas Conway’s MADE, a new co-working space for creative entrepreneurs, has recently opened. Creating a sense of place is key, the panelists said.

“We’re basically being the stewards of revitalizing these neighborhoods,” said Tony Cho, founder and CEO of Metro 1.

With investors redeveloping property, Wynwood has quickly become a thriving neighborhood, with a curated collection of new shops, restaurants, bars and breweries that attract a pedestrian crowd at all hours of the night. “It’s remarkable,” Cho said of the transformation. “It has exceeded my original expectations.”

Along with that, commercial rents are now as high as $80 per square foot on Northwest Second Avenue in Wynwood — compared to $10 per square foot 10 years ago, Cho said. In fact, Starbucks and other national retailers are starting to look into the area. That poses a challenge to retaining the neighborhood feel, the panelists said.

“People are fearful that Wynwood will turn into Lincoln Road,” Cho said.

The speed of transformation is accelerating, and with so much commercial activity in Miami, Jain said she does not worry about a downturn similar to what South Florida experienced in the last cycle.

“I don’t think Miami necessarily has to be roller coaster any more,” Jain said, citing commercial markets in Miami that are still underserved and the continuing demand for boutique hotels. “I’m starting to see it differently.”


Source: The Real Deal