Miami board approves design for second phase of apartments at Liberty Square redevelopment

Second phase will have six new three-story buildings with 204 units

Liberty Square
Liberty Square

The reimagining of Miami-Dade’s oldest public housing apartment complex will feature six new three-story buildings with 204 apartments, a hidden parking lot and a small park and playground.

Miami’s Urban Development Review Board on Wednesday approved the second residential phase of Liberty Square Rising, an ambitious redevelopment project by Related Urban, the Related Group’s affordable housing division. The project will replace a 753-unit apartment complex that opened 81 years ago and is home to roughly 600 low income residents.

A proposal by Modis Architects, the firm hired by Related to design the project, shows four of the new buildings would each have 36 units and two other buildings would each have 30 units. The structures would be built on a large swath of land that runs along Northwest 67th Street to the east, Northwest 65th Street to the west, Northwest 13th Avenue to the south and Northwest 14th Avenue to the north. Residents would park their cars in a parking lot behind the buildings that cannot be seen from the street. A green space with a playground would be placed in the middle of the lot.

The Liberty City land is being redeveloped as a public-private partnership under a 75-year lease with the county. Liberty Square, built in the 1930s under President Franklin D. Roosevelt as one of the nation’s oldest public housing projects, has been in disrepair for decades.

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Once completed, the affordable housing community is expected to include a 40,000-square-foot grocery store, more than 1,500 residential units, 15,000 square feet for local retailers, and a community and health center. It will have units set aside for very low-income residents with special needs, low-income seniors, as well as workforce housing.

Related secured a $23.1 million construction loan from Bank of America for the six garden-style buildings in December. The redevelopment of Liberty Square is a public-private partnership between the company and Miami-Dade, which awarded Related the bid to do the project in 2016. The total cost of the project is more than $300 million and will feature a 25,000 square feet recreational facility with a community center, multi-purpose rooms, national grocery store, basketball courts, and Olympic-Size swimming pool.

The first phase of the redevelopment is expected to be completed in the spring of 2019. It also consists of six garden-style buildings with a total of 204 units. The new apartment complexes will offer a mix of one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom units.