City of Miami greenlights Brickell City Centre expansion, Wynwood zoning change

Smaller projects in Wynwood could take advantage of relaxed parking requirements

Brickell City Centre, Kieran Bowers, and Carlos Mattos
Brickell City Centre, Kieran Bowers, and Carlos Mattos

The Miami City Commission approved Brickell City Centre’s expansion, changes to Wynwood’s zoning code and a deal allowing the Adler Group to move ahead with its Miami Riverside project at its meeting on Thursday.

Commissioners granted final approval to a more than 100,000-square-foot expansion of Brickell City Centre, as well as changes to Wynwood’s zoning code meant to encourage single property owners to develop small-scale commercial projects. In exchange for payments into the Wynwood Parking Trust Fund, developers of new single buildings on vacant lots and adaptive reuse projects can now have reduced or no parking requirements.

The amendment to Brickell City Centre’s special area plan adds 15 properties owned by Colombian businessman Carlos Mattos to the massive mixed-use project’s footprint.

Brickell City Centre developer Swire Properties is partnering with Mattos on a 104,287-square-foot expansion that would entail a 54-story building with 588 residential units, 84,009 square feet of commercial space and 832 parking spaces, as well as a 62-story tower with 384 residential units, 3,275 square feet of commercial space and 399 parking spaces. Among the sites is the former home of Tobacco Road, the famed watering hole that lasted 102 years before a wrecking ball claimed it in 2014.

The commission also gave staff the green light to negotiate a deal with Adler to develop a new administrative headquarters on land the company owns next door to the city’s current operations hub near the Miami River.

By a 3-2 vote, the commission selected Adler’s site at 230 Southwest Third Street over a short list of city-owned sites that included vacant lots near Marlins Park in Little Havana, a park in the Arts & Entertainment District at 150 Northeast 19th Street and the Melreese Country Club, the proposed site for Beckham United’s massive soccer complex approved by voters in November.

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Voters In November also approved a deal allowing Adler to lease the land currently occupied by the Miami Riverside Center and redevelop the property into multi-tower project featuring a mix of apartments, offices and hotel rooms with about 37,000 square feet of retail space and a 1,000-space parking garage. Adler has a 99-year lease requiring the developer to pay annual rent of 3 percent percent of the entire project’s gross revenues, or $3.62 million a year with annual 1.5 percent increases, whichever is greater.

Rendering of the Adler Group’s Miami River project and David Adler

The agreement calls for the developer to build a public riverwalk and a new 230,000-square-foot administrative building on a site selected by the city. The developer’s neighboring 1.6-acre site at 230 Southwest Third Street turned out to be the most advantageous, according to an analysis prepared by Miami’s real estate and asset management department and the city’s real estate consultant, CBRE.

The Adler property is centrally located in downtown Miami, will take less time to develop than the other short-listed sites, is close to I-95 and provides users of the Miami Riverside Center a familiar location, the analysis states. However, developing on the Adler Group site could cost Miami taxpayers an estimated $146 million, the highest among the four other locations on the short list.

The city’s real estate department and CBRE dismissed Marlins Park and Melreese Golf Course because both are located outside downtown Miami, do not have access to public transportation, and could cause traffic congestion. The analysis also noted that possible development of the soccer complex would take Melreese out of the running.