New York-based R&B Realty’s plans for an office building in Wynwood got a partial boost from Miami’s Planning and Zoning Appeals Board when it approved a change in zoning for the company’s two lots on North Miami Avenue and 29th Street.
Last week, the board voted 5-3 to convert the lots from “multi-family residential” to “general commercial,” but denied R&B’s request for a separate zoning change that would allow the property owner to build up to eight stories instead of five stories as currently allowed.
Steve Wernick, an attorney for R&B Realty, which is led by Aron Rosenberg, told the board that the zoning changes would allow the entire property to conform with the Wynwood Neighborhood Revitalization District zoning overlay, which was adopted last year to make commercial and residential high-density development easier in the trendy arts district. The R&B lots, located at 2916 North Miami Avenue and 2994 North Miami Avenue, fall inside and outside the overlay’s boundaries.
“We do feel there is merit in how we tried to unify the zoning here and also provide that transition with the eight-story cap on the western parcel,” Wernick said.
Planning and zoning staff had recommended denial of both zoning change requests because they would cause a “disruption of the existing desirable transition” and because the “benefit of the future development of the site is outweighed by the imposition of height on abutting properties,” said zoning board liaison Joseph Eisenberg.
Prior to the planning and zoning appeals hearing, the Wynwood Business Improvement District, or BID, also voted not to support R&B’s applications. “Our preference would be to take a comprehensive approach to rezoning requests on the boundary [of the neighborhood revitalization district],” said Wynwood BID boardmember David Polinsky.
The building proposed by R&B Realty is being designed by Kobi Karp and calls for more than 200,000 square feet of office space and a parking garage with more than 500 spaces. Through its LLC 2994 NMA Gateway Properties, R&B bought the 1.12 acre site for $18 million in two separate transactions in March and June of last year.