Wynwood developers seek buffer zone for alcohol sales on Mana properties

Moishe Mana plans buildings up to 24 stories, with a total of 3,482 residential units

Jan.January 27, 2016 11:15 AM

Members of the Wynwood Business Improvement District want to place restrictions on the open-air commercial spaces Moishe Mana is proposing for Northwest Second Avenue from 22nd Street to 24th Street as the developer continues to work on getting their support for the massive mixed-use project he is planning for the neighborhood.

At a BID planning and zoning committee meeting on Tuesday, Mana’s team showed renderings and a 3D-computer graphic simulation of a windowless steel structure on Northwest Second Avenue that would incorporate modified shipping containers to house retail shops and cafes. There would also be a sculpture garden on Northwest 24th Street.

Citing their concerns about Mana’s current use of empty lots on Northwest Second Avenue for alcohol-fueled events, especially during the Second Saturday Artwalk, planning committee members said they are willing to accept the design if Mana agrees to place the food and beverage uses 100 feet back from the sidewalk.

“What is happening now [on Mana’s Second Avenue lots] is a disservice to the neighborhood,” said committee member and Goldman Properties Wynwood Managing Director Joseph Furst. “The idea of a 100-foot buffer is to put some distance.”

Project architect Bernard Zyscovich said he would raise the issue with Mana, but didn’t see it as a deal breaker. “Next time we see you, we will flip it around and put the food and beverage in the back,” Zyscovich said. “We are comfortable not having food and beverage within the first 100 feet.”

The steel structure would be temporary while Mana builds other phases of the development, which entails nearly 30 acres of residential buildings that would scale up from eight stories [the maximum height allowed in Wynwood] to 16 stories to 24 stories, as well as “flex” commercial zoning uses to allow collaborative work environments, retail stores, conference rooms, trade areas, and film and television production studios all in the same building.

Mana is seeking approval from the city of Miami for a special area plan, which allows owners of nine or more contiguous acres to seek multiple zoning changes for a specially designated district. When finished, Mana Wynwood would have 3,482 residential units, 51,146 square feet of civic space, 168,287 square feet of open space, and 8,483 parking spaces. The 24-story buildings would rise on the westside, near I-95. The proposed site also includes three acres for a public park called Mana Commons for gatherings and events.

Members of the Wynwood BID had previously expressed concerns that Mana’s special area plan application would run counter to the newly created neighborhood revitalization district for most of Wynwood that set new zoning regulations for the area, including capping building heights at eight stories.

However, the BID planning and zoning committee members said they believe they are close to reaching an agreement with Mana to recommend that the full board support the project. The committee plans to meet again with Mana officials on Feb. 2, a day before the developer is set to go before the city of Miami’s Planning, Zoning and Appeals Board.

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