Will the city of Miami go mini? Commission to vote on smaller micro units

Ordinance would establish 275 sf minimum for micro units

(Credit: Getty Images)
(Credit: Getty Images)

The city of Miami will vote on a new standard of micro units at a commission meeting this week.

The ordinance would bring the minimum size of micro units to 275 square feet, smaller than the 400-square-foot minimum currently in place. It was recommended for approval by the city’s planning, zoning and appeals board on Nov. 1 and will go before the commission on Thursday.

Micro units allow developers to build more units using a smaller footprint and also tend to have stronger occupancy rates than larger apartments, according to Urban Land Institute studies cited in the city’s resolution. South Florida developers like Moishe Mana and even Jeff Greene have touted the advantages of building micro. In downtown Miami, Mana scored approvals last year for a 49-story, 328-unit mixed-use apartment tower at 200 North Miami Avenue, which would include micro units geared toward millennials.

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Property Markets Group is also building a luxury rental tower downtown with smaller units and more shared amenities.

For properties zoned for more than 150 units per acre, the Miami ordinance would limit micro-unit developments to transit-oriented areas, including near Metrorail and Metromover stations, bicycle and other transit sites. One parking space per micro unit would also be required.

In West Palm Beach, Greene recently pulled his plans to develop the city’s first micro apartments after concluding the numbers didn’t work. The city approved those plans, which called for units sized between 300 square feet to 549 square feet, in April.