A mixed-use tower of up to 48 stories or 683 feet may be allowed on a vacant parcel in Midtown Miami.
The Miami Planning Zoning & Appeals Board on Wednesday voted unanimously to increase the maximum possible height limit for a 1.64-acre parcel at 3501 Northeast First Avenue from 33 stories or 350 feet to 48 stories or 683 feet. The height increase will have to be approved by the Miami City Commission.
The parcel is owned by real estate investor Alex Vadia, who purchased the land from Midtown Miami developer Jack Cayre for $4.8 million in December 2011, records show.
Jeremy Calleros Gauger, the city’s assistant planning director, said the height change merely does away with obsolete height regulations governing Midtown Miami, and makes it consistent with the property’s T6-24A-O zoning, as well as the maximum development rights of neighboring parcels.
Midtown Miami was a 56-acre former rail yard for Florida East Coast Industries until it was redeveloped as a retail and residential area, beginning in 2005. The overlay district governing Midtown Miami’s development predates the existence of the city’s Miami 21 zoning code.
“There have been a number of [zoning] changes since Midtown was originally approved,” Calleros Gauger noted.
According to Miami 21 zoning regulations, a 24-story tower can be constructed on a T6-24 zoned property as of right. An additional 24 floors of future development can be obtained by offering public benefits such as affordable housing or public land parks. Developers also have the option of paying into a fund for public benefits.
Under T6-24, a developer has a right to build 150 residential units per acre or a hotel.
The additional height doesn’t mean a developer will have the right to construct a denser building, Calleros Gauger added. “The overall mass of the building doesn’t change, but it can go taller — narrower and taller,” he said.
Since 2010, Vadia has been buying and selling land in Midtown Miami.
In September 2019 he paid $26.4 million for a 4.6-acre parcel at 3055 North Miami Avenue that was slated to become a Walmart, until litigation from nearby residents derailed that project.
And in 2013, Vadia sold a parcel at 4101 Northeast Second Avenue for about $12.1 million to the Related Group. The Related Group and Dezer Development constructed the 60-room Hyde Midtown Hotel and then sold it to Haim Yehezkel for $21.8 million in April 2018.