Blue Road plans 20-story, 139-unit multifamily project in North Miami

Development site is now home to a truck depot and an automotive transmission shop

Blue Road’s Marcelo Tenenbaum and Jorge Savloff with Emblem Tower (Northmiamifl, Blue Road, iStock)
Blue Road’s Marcelo Tenenbaum and Jorge Savloff with Emblem Tower (Northmiamifl, Blue Road, Marcelo Tenenbaum, iStock)

UPDATED, May 12, 11 p.m.: Developer Blue Road won conditional approval to build a 20-story, 139-unit multifamily project in North Miami.

Emblem Tower Apartments is planned for a site just west of I-95, along Northwest 7th Avenue, a major north-south artery that doubles as State Road 7.

“This project probably will be the first development of any kind on this part of Northwest 7th Avenue in decades,” said Steven Wernick, a Miami-based attorney who advises the development team. “There has been no opposition at any of the public hearings.”

The transit-driven development site is zoned C-1, or “commercial district,” but it’s in a municipal overlay district where dense residential projects are encouraged. The Planned Corridor Development Overlay District allows up to 125 dwelling units per acre, Wernick said. “It also comes with design criteria and a pretty robust sustainability checklist,” he said.

The North Miami City Council unanimously approved a conditional use permit Wednesday for the market-rate Emblem Tower project, which is still subject to development review by city staff and site-plan approval by the city council.

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The conditional use permit gives Bay Harbor Islands-based Blue Road up to 18 months to obtain a building permit for Emblem Tower, and construction will take 24 months, Wernick said.

Market-rate rents at Emblem Tower probably will average about $2,500 a month and the building’s studios, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments are likely to attract young professionals and retail store managers, among other types of tenants, said Jorge Savloff, who leads Blue Road, together with Marcelo Tenenbaum.

Blue Road paid $4 million about five years ago for the development site at the intersection of Northwest 7th Avenue at Northwest 121st Street, Savloff said.

The 1.1-acre Emblem Tower development site now encompasses an automotive transmission shop, a truck depot, and a vacant lot. The site is a five-parcel assembly at 12041 and 12065 Northwest 7th Avenue, 654 and 660 Northwest 21st Street, and a vacant lot where Northwest 21st Street dead-ends at I-95.

Ivan Busto of Miami Beach-based real estate firm Buslam Company Partners is assisting Blue Road with the Emblem Tower development, and Uruguayan architect Carlos Ott is serving as a design consultant on the project.

In North Miami Beach, Blue Road and Fortune International Group last month launched pre-construction sales for Nexo Residences, a 16-story condo development with 254 units on a waterfront site at 13899 Biscayne Boulevard. Unit prices range from the $400,000s to just over $1 million, and Nexo will have liberal rules for the short-term rentals of units.