Wynwood board rejects zoning change for R&B Realty office building

Wynwood parcels R&B Realty owns at 2994 and 2916 North Miami
Wynwood parcels R&B Realty owns at 2994 and 2916 North Miami

The Wynwood Business Improvement District declined to support plans for a new office building on the border of the trendy arts district and Midtown Miami.

The proposed building, at 2994 North Miami Avenue, across the street from the languishing Walmart project, would have more than 200,000 square feet of office space and a parking garage with more than 500 spaces. New York-based R&B Realty, led by Aron Rosenberg, is the developer. Kobi Karp is designing the building.

During the board’s monthly meeting on Tuesday, R&B Realty attorney Steven Wernick sought the Wynwood BID’s blessing for a zoning change request that would allow his client to build part of the structure to 12 stories. Since one of the lots making up the site does not fall under the Wynwood Neighborhood Revitalization District zoning overlay, R&B needs city approval for the height increase.

Wernick told members R&B Realty wants the office building to be consistent with the new zoning rules that were approved for Wynwood last year making it easier for developers to build mid-rise commercial projects.

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“We are hoping that you will support the application,” Wernick said. “There are four five letters of support from properties generally in this area. We have not heard any objections.”

Still, the board unanimously voted not to support R&B’s rezoning request because the city’s planning department had recommended denial. Members of the BID board also expressed their desire to develop a cohesive strategy with the city on how to handle requests from developers with projects that have a footprint that falls inside and outside of the Wynwood Neighborhood Revitalization District.

“My view is that we went through tremendous pains to stop doing spot zoning,” said BID board member Jonathon Yormak. “We should look at the entire perimeter of the NRD holistically. To deal with one [project] at a time seems like a bad idea.”

After the meeting, Wernick declined comment on the board’s decision. Last year, R&B, through its LLC 2994 NMA Gateway Properties, bought four parcels, including a warehouse, totaling 1.12 acres for $6.5 million in March and $11.5 million in June.