The Real Deal Miami

Luxury mixed-use project on Miami Beach’s Purdy Avenue moves ahead

City’s land use committee signals approval for ordinance amending height, setbacks
By James Teeple | February 18, 2016 09:45AM

Sunset Harbor Residences

A rendering of Sunset Harbor Residences

In a rare move, a Miami Beach committee has recommended raising height limits and amending setbacks for a luxury mixed-use project in the city’s Sunset Harbour neighborhood.

A rendering of the proposed project

A rendering of the proposed project

The city’s land use committee late Wednesday approved a request from Deco Capital Group, LLC to raise height limits from 50 to 90 feet for a mixed-use project that is tentatively called Sunset Harbor Residences. New York-based RWN Real Estate Partners, which has also purchased property in Surfside, is a majority partner in the venture.

Deco Capital plans to build 15 luxury condos on top of premium retail at 1733-1769 Purdy Avenue, a total of eight lots acquired in 2014. The planned building will front Purdy Avenue and overlook Maurice Gibb Park.

The project now moves to the full city commission, which can refer it to the city’s planning board.

Bradley Colmer, founder of Deco Capital Group, said the 15 three-bedroom residential units in the proposed building will each be approximately 2,000 square feet with a breezeway on the retail level between Purdy Avenue and Maurice Gibb Park. The project continues trends in the fast-changing neighborhood, Colmer told The Real Deal. “I think we want to continue the trends with what has already taken place in the neighborhood – mixed-use developments, pedestrian walkability, covered retail spaces and indoor and outdoor cafes – things that ultimately locals want and have premium content.”

At the meeting, city officials said the ordinance will only apply to buildings with frontages of 200 feet on Purdy Avenue and would not affect other parts of the city, but Michael Grieco, the only commissioner on the committee to vote against the amendment, said other developers are now likely to request similar amendments. “We are making exceptions for a specific developer. If I were an adjacent property owner I would request the same thing,” Grieco said to the committee.

Residents of the Lofts at South Beach condominium, which is adjacent to the property, oppose the development and said some owners will lose views and northern exposure once it is built. At the meeting, Deco Capital Group attorney Michael Larkin said the Lofts had asked the developers for “financial compensation,” but that the cost was too high. Larkin said they will continue to negotiate with the Lofts’ residents.

The Sunset Harbour Homeowners Association and two of the three commissioners on the land use committee supported the development. Newly elected commissioner John Elizabeth Alemán said the height use amendment “was consistent with what the neighborhood was becoming and that there is ‘neighborhood consensus’ for the project. Committee chair Joy Malakoff called the project an “intelligent design.”

“Sunset Harbour will be helped by this,” Malakoff said, noting that while the committee was recommending approval, “the plans as shown to the committee will not be changed.”