Developer Alex Vadia has started laying the groundwork for a new residential, retail and restaurant project on nearly seven acres of vacant land just east of Midtown Miami.
At its regular planning and zoning hearing Thursday, Miami city commissioners authorized a request by three entities affiliated with Vadia to close some side streets and alleys within the proposed site, which is bounded by the Florida East Coast railroad tracks on the west, Northeast 2nd Avenue on the east, Northeast 29th Street to the south, and Northeast 31st Street to the north.
The application filed by Midtown Opportunities XIIB, Midtown Opportunities XIVB, and Midtown Opportunities XVB did not provide any specific details on Vadia’s plans. The companies’ attorney, Ines Marrero-Priegues, of Holland & Knight, declined comment. However, in a November 2014 letter to Miami Planning and Zoning Director Francisco Garcia, Marrero-Priegues said the project would be similar to Midtown Miami’s retail and restaurant components.
“Redevelopment of these properties is a natural extension of the successful Midtown Miami District,” she wrote. “The revitalization of this site with development mirroring the urban mixed-uses of Midtown will bridge the gap between Midtown and Biscayne Boulevard.”
According to a planning and zoning department staff analysis, closing portions of Northeast 1st Court, Northeast 30th Street, and Northeast 31st Street allows Midtown Opportunities to create a unified site “consistent in size to the nearby Midtown Miami.”
Building retail and restaurants on the ground level will help increase pedestrian activity on a stretch of Northeast 2nd Avenue that is largely deserted today, the analysis states. “The closures of these roadways will promote and facilitate cohesive development, economic growth and revitalization of the lots that it abuts,” the analysis states.
Miami city commissioners voted unanimously to approve Midtown Opportunities’ request without discussion. According to Miami-Dade property records, Vadia’s corporations scooped up the land between 2011 and 2012, paying a combined $11.9 million for the roughly 6.6 acres.