Chinese developer gets approval for 18-story condo in Miami Beach

The first major project by a Chinese developer on Miami Beach got a vote of approval on Tuesday from the Miami Beach Historic Preservation Board, which unanimously approved two variances allowing the project to proceed.  

China City Construction (CCCC Miami Beach LLC) plans to build an 18-story tower with 42 residences and 87 parking spaces at 6747-6757 Collins Avenue in North Beach.  The lot is one of the last undeveloped oceanfront properties on Miami Beach and one of the smallest measuring just 0.98-acres on a rectangular-shaped plot of land.   

Because of the building’s small footprint, the developer sought a variance to reduce by one foot the requirement of 22 feet of width for interior driveways. Otherwise, columns planned for the structure would protrude by one foot into an interior ramp used by vehicles to access a third floor parking area. The board granted the variance and an additional one that will allow the developer to build a nearly seven-foot-tall fence along the oceanfront portion of the building.  

Lawyers representing the Sterling condo just to the north of the planned building argued against the parking width requirement variance, saying it did not meet the requirement for “hardship” that is required for a variance. It is not clear whether they will appeal the decision in Miami-Dade Court, which has recently overturned three previous variance approvals by the city of Miami Beach.

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China City Construction paid $38.5 million for the site last year, buying it from developer R. Donahue Peebles, who had planned to build a 16-story condo with 13 units. Peebles bought the property for a recession-price of $4.6 million in 2010.  

China City Construction has hired Miami-based Arquitectonica to design the new ultra-luxury project, which will feature a rooftop penthouse unit and ground floor and 4th floor amenity decks. A staff report called the design “sophisticated and forward-thinking,” adding “the overall design concept and its execution represent the direction of new contemporary architecture that has come to define Miami Beach over the last decade.”  

This is the second major project that China City Construction has planned for Miami. In 2014 the company paid $74.7 million for a 2.4-acre site that encompasses an entire city block along the west side of South Miami Avenue in the city of Miami’s Brickell financial district.

Speaking to The Real Deal, Shan Gao, of China City Construction, said she hoped to see more Chinese investment in Miami.   “That’s what we all hope,” she said.