Miami board approves Midtown 6, 7 on second try

Despite vote, some board members thought design was too boring

Oct.October 06, 2016 12:45 PM

After a one-month delay, Miami’s Urban Development Review Board gave Midtown 6 and Midtown 7 its blessing Wednesday afternoon.

Last month, board members put off recommending approval for the mixed-use project’s special use permit until developer Magellan Development Group submitted more detailed drawings.

Architect Grace Ames satisfied the board’s request during a 30-minute presentation. “I am happy that you responded to us,” said board member Neil Hall. “Sometimes, I feel we make comments that go unheeded.”

Hall said the new drawings provided a much clearer picture of how the project will look. “I like the scale and the positioning of the buildings,” Hall said.

Magellan is partnering with Alex Vadia, who owns the land, to build two 32-story towers that will house a total of 838 apartments and 39,718 square feet of retail space in the podium underneath the two towers.

Despite recommending approval by a 4-0 vote, some members were still not satisfied with the design. “I find the treatment of the large facade unacceptable,” Anthony Tzamtzis said. “I find it monotonous and too plain.”

Robert Behar agreed with Tzamtzis. “There should be more continuity between the podium and the tower,” he said. “I don’t think it is there yet.”

Recently, Magellan executives told The Real Deal that Midtown 6 and Midtown 7 would cost between $100 million and $200 million to develop. The company also has an unnamed institutional investor that is acting as an equity partner.

Magellan is seeking approval for a major use special plan and other rezoning requests from the planning and zoning board. However, the company won’t begin construction on Midtown 7 and its 391 units until seeing how successful its Midtown 5 project, which is close to completion, will be.

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