The Real Deal Miami

Neighboring condo association files appeal against Miami Worldcenter’s redesign

Appeal could nullify approvals for Worldcenter's redesign

November 11, 2016 10:40AM
By Sean Stewart-Muniz

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Rendering of the redesigned Miami Worldcenter

Rendering of the redesigned Miami Worldcenter

Miami Worldcenter is already starting to come out of the ground, but that didn’t stop a neighboring condo association from appealing the project’s high street retail plans.

The appeal challenges an October approval from Miami’s Planning & Zoning board that gave the green light for developers Nitin Motwani, Dan Kodsi and Art Falcone to move forward with their vast redesign of Miami Worldcenter’s retail component.

Michael Gongora, an attorney representing 900 Biscayne, told The Real Deal that the condo association wasn’t against Worldcenter’s original enclosed mall design — but wants to better understand how the 63-story tower will be affected by the shopping center’s new open-air design.

“The project is under construction and clearly will get built,” he said. “Sometimes the only chance an abutting property has to learn about a project is to file an appeal and come to the table.”

In January, the developers announced they were paring back Worldcenter’s retail component from 750,000 square feet to 450,000 square feet, as well as adopting a layout akin to Miami Beach’s Lincoln Road.

The move, as Motwani told it, was a hedge against the changing retail landscape nationwide. It also left uncertain the fate of Worldcenter’s original anchor tenants, Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s, which have not yet announced whether they’re sticking with the project.

Located at 900 Biscayne Boulevard, the appealing condo tower sits just across Northeast Second Avenue from Worldcenter. Its pool deck overlooks the project, as do all of its western-facing units.

Miami’s Planning, Zoning & Appeals Board is slated to hear the appeal come December, but Gongora said talks between the association and Worldcenter’s developers are expected to begin long before that.

If successful, the appeal, first reported by the Next Miami, could nullify the city’s approval of Worldcenter’s redesign. Gongora said the association will decide on the next course of action depending on how discussions play out with the developers.

Worldcenter and its accompanying condo tower, Paramount Miami Worldcenter, held a groundbreaking event in March. A spokesperson for the developers said the team is in contact with the association and “hopes to resolve any perceived concerns in-person over the coming days.”

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