Edgardo Defortuna’s 16-year plan to build a new development along Biscayne Bay in Cutler Bay was shot down by the town council.
Defortuna, who leads Fortune International Group, sought to build 29 single-family homes on an 8.4-acre site south of Southwest 184th Street. The plan received heavy opposition from environmentalists and neighbors over concerns about traffic and wetland protection.
Defortuna’s subsidiary, Cutler Properties, initially purchased a 138-acre property in 2003. The development group was seeking to build 341 residential units as part of a mixed-use project on 40 acres and then would preserve the 93.15 acres bordering Biscayne Bay. The site, however, was never approved for an environmental permit by the South Florida Water Management District and the development group had to change its plans.
Cutler Properties then filed a lawsuit in 2008 against the water district but settled and agreed to only build on 8.4 acres. In 2016, the development group had to change its plans from a mixed-use project to low-rise, single-family homes. Ultimately, the plan was denied by the council in a 4-1 vote on Wednesday, according to Cutler Bay’s town clerk.
Fortune International Group declined to comment through a spokesperson.
Fortune International Group’s recent and current developments include condo projects such as Jade Ocean and the Ritz-Carlton Residences in Sunny Isles Beach, along with the Class-A office tower 1200 Brickell in Miami.
Cutler Bay in south Miami-Dade County is seeing more interest from developers. The homebuilder Lennar Corp. recently paid $19.5 million for a 58-acre lot near Southwest 104th Avenue.
Earlier this year, a Midtown Miami developer paid $7 million for the 39,000-square-foot Toys “R” Us building at 19525 South Dixie Highway in Cutler Bay.