Melo’s fourth multifamily project coming to Miami’s Arts & Entertainment District

Miami Plaza, planned to have 437 apartments, nabbed zoning approvals

Aria on the Bay and Carlos Melo, Jose Melo and Martin Melo
Aria on the Bay and Carlos Melo, Jose Melo and Martin Melo

Melo Group won approval for its proposed Miami Plaza, marking its fourth rental project in Miami’s Arts & Entertainment District.

Counting the planned 437-unit Miami Plaza, Melo plans to add 2,274 apartments to the neighborhood anchored by the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts by the end of the decade.

Earlier this week, Miami’s Planning, Zoning and Appeals Board granted approval for a rezoning of the 0.87-acre site at 1502 to 1512 Northeast Miami Place, 1523 Northeast Miami Court, and 47 Northeast 15th Street where Miami Plaza would rise. The proposed 36-story tower would be located about a block north of Melo’s Melody Tower, a 497-unit building it completed last year, and Square Station, a pair of twin towers with a combined 710 apartments that broke ground in October of last year.

In June, the Miami City Commission granted final approval for Art Plaza, another twin tower project with a combined 667 units that is next door to the Miami Plaza development site. Both are adjacent to the Miami-Dade School Board Metromover Station.

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A fifth multifamily project may be in the works for downtown Miami. In July, Melo paid $10 million for a 45,433-square-foot downtown Miami church’s surface parking lot at Northeast Fifth Street and Miami Avenue, where it may develop a high-rise rental project.

During the latest board hearing, Melo Group attorney Iris Escarra said the developer wants to increase the square footage of the units at Miami Plaza, but that the density and height of the building are still under the maximum allowed under the current zoning designation, which allows up 500 units an acre and up to 48 stories. The rezoning allows Melo Group to increase the floor area ratio. In addition, the company obtained a reduction in required parking spaces down to 523 because of its proximity to public transit.

“This project is literally 45 feet from the station” Escarra said. “It is truly a transit-oriented development.”

The developer has also earmarked 14 percent of the apartments as workforce housing for people making 80 percent to 140 percent of the area median income. “We signed a covenant restricting rents for those workforce housing units,” Escarra said. “There are 61 units in this building and more than 250 when counting the other projects.”