The Real Deal Miami

Miami Beach board grants variances for townhome project facing Bay Road

Design board approved variances designed to save large Banyan tree
By James Teeple | November 01, 2016 01:00PM

1344 15th Terrace and Gregg Covin

Rendering of 1344 15th Terrace. Inset: Gregg Covin

The trend of developers focusing on building luxury boutique projects is continuing in Miami Beach.

Rendering of 1344 15th Terrace

Rendering of 1344 15th Terrace

On Tuesday, the Miami Beach Design Review Board gave design approval and granted four variances for a three-townhome project to be built on a corner lot at 1344 15th Terrace, just across the street from the Flamingo South Beach.

Developer Gregg Covin, who is also building Zaha Hadid’s One Thousand Museum in downtown Miami, is behind the project. Property records show that a Covin company, 1344 15th Terrace Townhomes LLC, purchased the 6,000-square-foot lot this past June for $1.58 million.

On Tuesday the Design Review Board granted four variances to the project in order to preserve a large Banyan tree that sits on the property. The variances will let Gregory Neville of NVL architecture P.A. reduce the width of the driveway and bring it to a zero lot line, reduce the size of the garage door and slightly reduce the size of rear parking spaces, allowing the tree to be preserved. The project will have six parking spaces.

Neville told the board that saving the tree will have a “positive impact on the neighborhood,” and he called the project “a very modern, very forward looking building that the market and the city is looking for.”

Landscape architect Barry Miller of Savino Miller Design Studio plans to build a rock driveway instead of a paved driveway in order to protect the tree’s root system.

Developers are increasingly favoring small projects because they can be quickly built and sold while some large projects can take several years to complete, exposing developers to more risk in an increasingly uncertain market. Small projects also appeal to baby boomers and empty nesters relocating from large suburban homes to more urban neighborhoods that offer restaurants, cultural activities and a car-free lifestyle.