That’s a hard no: Coral Gables board rejects Allen Morris development near The Plaza megaproject amid public outcry

Nearby residents said they didn’t want another project like The Plaza, calling it a “monstrosity”

Miami /
Aug.August 19, 2021 03:30 PM
Allen Morris and Spencer Morris with renderings of Ponce Park Residences in Coral Gables (Oppenheim Architecture)

Allen Morris and Spencer Morris with renderings of Ponce Park Residences in Coral Gables (Oppenheim Architecture)

A Coral Gables board flat-out rejected all seven items related to the approval of a mixed-use apartment tower near The Plaza megaproject. That means the developer, The Allen Morris Company, will have to go back to the drawing board.

The city’s planning and zoning board rejected the proposed ordinances and resolutions at its meeting late last week, following mounting opposition to the project and high-density projects in the city. Prior to the meeting, Coral Gables staff recommended denial of most of the seven items.

Allen Morris, president and CEO of the firm, nevertheless plans to go before the Coral Gables City Commission next month.

Aerial renderings of Ponce Park Residences in Coral Gables (Oppenheim Architecture)

Aerial renderings of Ponce Park Residences in Coral Gables (Oppenheim Architecture)

Ponce Park Residences would have 161 apartments, as well as about 18,100 square feet of retail space, with a public park. The 179-foot, 16-story tower is proposed for 3000 Ponce de Leon Boulevard, 216 and 224 Catalonia Avenue, 203 University Drive and 225 Malaga Avenue.

A number of city residents spoke out against the proposed vacation of the alley and right of way, which would have given the developer an additional 13,145 square feet, for a total of 16,147 square feet of floor area ratio. They also opposed a transfer of development rights and a land-use change to high-intensity commercial from low-intensity commercial.

Morris said the process has become “politicized” and that there is a lot of misinformation regarding the vacation. He said the existing intersection at University Drive and Ponce de Leon Boulevard is “severely dysfunctional and dangerous.”

Residents said there has been a huge outcry regarding overdevelopment, predicting there would be a “mass exodus” if it continues. They called The Plaza, which is under construction on the west side of Ponce Circle, a “monstrosity.”

“We saw what happened to the people who live behind The Plaza,” said Coral Gables resident Tom O’Malley. “That neighborhood is destroyed.”

Attorney David Winker, who represents a group of residents south of the project, raised questions as to why the developer was seeking those changes. Winker, like others who spoke in opposition to the development, said “no one wants a concrete park.”

Jennifer Davis, a nearby resident, said the excessive overdevelopment “so close to our homes” is impacting the quality of life for residents.

Morris said he and his team have been meeting with individual neighbors and neighborhood groups to listen to their concerns. He said he plans to bring a project to the commission that answers any concerns of the neighborhood.

“Some [residents] are probably upset about other projects, and they can’t do anything about other projects they don’t like,” Morris said. “And this is the one they can speak up about.”






    Related Articles

    arrow_forward_ios
    Bar Invest Group CEO Jacques Barbera and MV Group USA CEO Manny Varas with 440 Costanera Road (Bar Invest Group, MV Group USA)
    Builder sells his Cocoplum home to Bar Invest CEO for $16M
    Builder sells his Cocoplum home to Bar Invest CEO for $16M
    John Ruiz with 530 Arvida Parkway (LPG for One Sotheby’s International Realty, John Ruiz)
    Fresh off Lionheart SPAC merger, John Ruiz drops $25M on Gables Estates mansion
    Fresh off Lionheart SPAC merger, John Ruiz drops $25M on Gables Estates mansion
     Shoma Group CEO Masoud Shojaee and his company's headquarters at 201 Sevilla Avenue in Coral Gables (Shoma, Google Maps)
    Shoma Group HQ faces foreclosure over allegedly unauthorized construction: lawsuit
    Shoma Group HQ faces foreclosure over allegedly unauthorized construction: lawsuit
    Rendering of the Legacy Hotel & Residences and exam room (Legacy Hotel & Residences)
    Lease roundup: Blue Zones to run Legacy Hotel & Residences health and wellness hub at Miami Worldcenter & more
    Lease roundup: Blue Zones to run Legacy Hotel & Residences health and wellness hub at Miami Worldcenter & more
    South Miami-Dade developer Wayne Rosen sells waterfront Coral Gables home for $7M
    South Miami-Dade developer Wayne Rosen sells waterfront Coral Gables home for $7M
    South Miami-Dade developer Wayne Rosen sells waterfront Coral Gables home for $7M
    915 and 920 Palermo Avenue in Coral Gables
    Shoma Group co-founder picks up Coral Gables apartment complex for $8M
    Shoma Group co-founder picks up Coral Gables apartment complex for $8M
    Medical Properties Trust CEO Edward K. Aldag, Jr. with North Shore Medical Center (WikiMedia via John Nuno)
    Medical Properties Trust expands South Florida portfolio with $276M buy
    Medical Properties Trust expands South Florida portfolio with $276M buy
    NRI CEO Brent Reynolds and Life Time CEO Bahram Akradi with the project (Life Time, BRI)
    Developer completes $500M mixed-use Life Time Coral Gables project
    Developer completes $500M mixed-use Life Time Coral Gables project
    arrow_forward_ios

    The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

    Loading...