The Real Deal Miami

New Midtown affordable housing project offers luxe living for $375 a month

Mayor Tomas Regalado says 3606 NW 5th Street will be an anchor for the neighborhood
By Alexander Britell | March 30, 2012 03:00PM

Clockwise from top left: Mitchell Friedman, Mayor Tomas Regalado and Commissioner Audrey Edmonson

One of Brickell’s remaining new construction condominiums might cost a buyer less than $400 per square foot.

But a new affordable housing project near Midtown is offering nearly identical amenities — for less than $400 per month.

Pinnacle Housing Group’s new Vista Mar affordable housing complex at 3606 NW 5th Avenue is replete with modern amenities from granite countertops and stainless steel appliances to wraparound terraces — with some even boasting bay views. The building already 100 percent occupied, with 110 families living in one-, two and three-bedroom units with rents ranging $375 to $995 per month.

Mitchell Friedman, a partner at Pinnacle, said the project’s construction, which is LEED Silver-certified came through combining a group of funding sources.

“In this particular case, we had funds from the state of Florida, U.S. government, the City of Miami, Miami-Dade County, and from a private bank, City National Bank,” he said. “When you cobble all of these together, you can make something like this happen.”

“When I first came up on a Saturday, the next Saturday I was moving in,” said resident Linda Griges. “The apartments are amazing; they have cherry wood cabinets, stainless steel apartments, I have a balcony [from which] I can overlook Miami.”

It is the 11th high-rise community built by Pinnacle in Miami, and the company’s 44th development nationwide.

“We have a shortage of affordable housing here in Miami-Dade County,” said County Commissioner Audrey Edmonson. “This will enable people to have housing, have a roof over the heads — a decent roof — where they can come home and be proud to say ‘this is where I live.”

Mayor Tomas Regalado told The Real Deal that the building’s location, a few avenues over from the center of Midtown, would provide an anchor for the neighborhood — and potentially spur further development in the area.

“It’s within walking distance of Midtown, and what you’re going to see is people are going to take interest in [surrounding] empty lots and houses, so it’s an anchor,” he said. “For Midtown, it’s a blessing, because I don’t think they will be able to go every day, but at least once a week, they will be going around, buying something and when there are people, crime is displaced.”

Vista Mar is the latest project in an affordable housing boom in Miami that managed to weather the downturn.

Indeed, when many area residential projects were dormant at the beginning of the downturn, developers like Pinnacle, Carlisle and Carrfour, among others, were building new affordable housing? ones, some, like Vista Mar, with a new standard of construction — from modern amenities to LEED certification — the latter particular popular at new Miami projects.

Affordable housing “has changed enormously,” Friedman said. “When you take a look at affordable housing projects that were done in Miami in the late 1970s and 1980s, even the early 1990s, and you compare them to this, there is no comparison.”