Miami board approves three rental, condo projects in Overtown, Wynwood and Edgewater

Two proposed mixed-use projects would add 510 apartments, and a planned three-tower development would add 705 condos

Two Roads Development’s Reid Boren and Taylor Collins, Omni America’s Mo Vaughn and New Jersey investor Mitchell Newman
Two Roads Development’s Reid Boren and Taylor Collins, Omni America’s Mo Vaughn and New Jersey investor Mitchell Newman (Two Roads Development, Omni America, Getty)

A pair of mixed-use projects and a mega-condominium development scored Miami board approvals for their designs, a key step toward breaking ground.

The Miami Urban Development Review Board on Wednesday gave the green light to three condominium towers, including an Edition-branded condominium in Edgewater, despite protests from neighborhood residents. 

It also approved Omni 21, a 97-unit apartment building with ground-floor retail on the border of Edgewater and Wynwood; and Overtown Block 19, a 413-unit multifamily project with ground-floor retail in Overtown. 

The planned developments sailed through with unanimous votes. Board members offered complimentary remarks about the architectural designs for the trio of projects. 

However, the objections raised by condo owners of an older building in Edgewater could possibly delay the Edition-anchored project. 

Two Roads’ Edgewater mega-project

Two Roads Development, a Miami-based and West Palm Beach-based firm led by Reid Boren and Taylor Collins, recently won state approval to terminate the condo association of Biscayne 21, an 11-story building with 192 units completed in 1964. The redevelopment site is at 2121 North Bayshore Drive. Last year, Two Roads bought out a majority of the owners in a roughly $150 million bulk condo sale. The developer intends to demolish the older building, and replace it with the 55-story Edition-branded condominium and two other luxury towers reaching 56 stories each. 

Combined, the three proposed buildings would add 705 units to Edgewater, a Miami neighborhood that has experienced rampant condo and multifamily high-rise development since the 2010s. 

Two Roads’ proposed three-tower project at 2121 North Bayshore Drive
Two Roads’ proposed three-tower project at 2121 North Bayshore Drive (Arquitectonica, Getty)

At the meeting, a few Biscayne 21 holdouts objected to the review board even considering Two Roads’ request for six waivers, including the elimination of 347 parking spaces, a 10 percent reduction in the space between two of the towers, and allowing two driveways spaced less than 60 feet apart at the northeast corner of the project.

Bob de la Fuente, a lawyer representing two Biscayne 21 unit owners, told the review board that his clients are appealing Two Roads’ plan to terminate the condo association. Miami 21, the city’s zoning code, requires developers to provide statements that they have full ownership of a development site before seeking any city approvals, de la Fuente said.

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“The applicant does not have 100 percent control,” de la Fuente said. “There’s a total of eight [unit owners] who do not consent. Their consent is required to proceed with this application. Accordingly, they cannot be before this board today.”

Barbara Falk, a resident of a nearby condo building, objected to the scale of the Edgewater project, noting the area’s narrow streets are in a flood zone that doesn’t have a pump station. “There will be chaos with all these people in 705 units,” she said.

Under Florida law, condo terminations must be approved if 80 percent of the owners are in favor, and less than 10 percent of the owners object. The eight Biscayne 21 objectors represent roughly 5 percent of the condo association’s membership. 

Rendering of Omni 21 at 100 Northeast 21st Street
Rendering of Omni 21 at 100 Northeast 21st Street (Modis Architects, Getty)

In a statement after the meeting, Two Roads said that plans to break ground on The Edition Residences, the project’s first phase, are moving forward.

“Our team followed all proper protocols and spent months working closely with Biscayne 21’s residents and condominium association to facilitate a seamless termination plan,” the statement said. “Ultimately, 95 percent of the building’s owners accepted our purchase offer, which represented a significant premium on the unit value.”

The review board did not address de la Fuentes’ and Falk’s objections when its city commission-appointed members discussed the Edgewater project among themselves. Instead, they praised Bernardo Fort Brescia, co-founder of Miami-based design firm Arquitectonica, for his conception of the Edition-anchored development. The board approved Two Roads’ request 6-0.

Omni 21 and Overtown Block 19

The two mixed-use projects also received 6-0 votes from the review board. 

Omni America, a New York-based development firm co-founded by former Major League Baseball player Mo Vaughn is proposing Omni 21, a building with 97 apartments and roughly 6,000 square feet of ground-floor restaurant and retail space. The 10-story building would be built on a 0.6-acre site at 100 Northeast 21st Street on the border of Edgewater and Wynwood. An Omni America affiliate paid $4.5 million for the property in 2020, records show. 

Rendering of Overtown Block 19 project at 1135 Northwest First Court
Rendering of Overtown Block 19 project at 1135 Northwest First Court (Nichols Architects, Getty)

The other mixed-use project is in Miami’s historically Black neighborhood of Overtown. An entity managed by Mitchell Newman, a Morganville, New Jersey-based investor, is proposing Overtown Block 19, a building with 413 apartments, 23,000 square feet of ground-floor retail and a parking garage. Newman’s entity has owned the 1.3-acre vacant development site at 1135 Northwest First Court since 2008, records show.