Miami-Dade approves Resia’s workforce housing project in Medley

Using the Live Local Act, firm proposes four 12-story buildings with 948 apartments at Palmetto Metrorail Station

Miami-Dade Approves Resia’s Workforce Project In Medley
Resia’s Ernesto Lopes with a rendering of Palmetto Metrorail Station in Medley (LinkedIn, Resia)

Miami-Dade planning and zoning officials are on board with Resia’s plan to add 948 workforce housing units on a county-owned development site in Medley under Florida’s Live Local Act

The new state law allowed the Miami-based developer to bypass public hearings and receive administrative approval this week for its planned complex of four 12-story buildings on a surface parking lot adjacent to the Palmetto Metrorail Station at 7701 Northwest 79th Avenue.

“This was the first site plan submitted to the county under the Live Local Act,” said Pedro Gassant, a Holland & Knight partner representing Resia. “Because of that, we were able to expedite the process. This project creates a tremendous opportunity to house people in a place where they can utilize public transit.” 

The project now moves on to the permitting phase, with Resia planning to break ground “very shortly,” Gassant added. 

Resia is partnering with MagicWaste Youth Foundation, a foster care assistance nonprofit organization that has lease and development agreements with Miami-Dade County to develop the project. It will also include 7,500 square feet of retail and a 1,596-space garage for both residents and the public. The project is expected to generate $178 million in rent to the county during the life of the lease’s 90-year term, a Miami-Dade memo states. 

The proposed 948 units will be for households earning no more than 120 percent of the area median income, which is $68,300 in Miami-Dade. The new state law strips local governments’ authority over high-density projects that provide below-market rate housing. 

Even though the project is within the town of Medley, Miami-Dade has jurisdiction because the proposed development is in a Rapid Transit Zone. 

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Formerly called AHS Residential, Resia is a national multifamily development firm and a subsidiary of publicly traded Brazilian homebuilder MRV. 

Unlike other proposed Live Local Act projects in other South Florida municipalities, Resia’s development adjacent to the Metrorail has generated zero controversy.

“This was a perfect site to utilize the Live Local Act,” Gassant said. “You don’t have any single-family homes that are nearby, and the parking lot is under-utilized.”

Other projects are getting some resistance from local governments. 

In October, Miami Beach planning and zoning administrators concluded that a site plan application for a new project on the site of the Clevelander and Essex hotels at 1001 and 1020 Ocean Drive had “major deficiencies.”

Utilizing the Live Local Act, the properties’ owner, Montreal-based Jesta Group, is seeking to redevelop the Art Deco hotels into an 18-story project that includes 87 luxury condos and 55 affordable housing apartments. Jesta’s proposal sparked outrage among Miami Beach elected officials and residents who want to protect the low-rise character of South Beach’s Art Deco Historic District. 

Also in October, the Doral City Council approved a settlement agreement with Aventura-based Apollo Companies tied to the firm’s planned mixed-use project on an 18-acre site at 4090 Northwest 97th Avenue. Apollo is proposing Oasis at Doral, a complex of seven buildings with 630 apartments. Of those units, 40 percent would be set aside for workforce or affordable housing.

Apollo agreed to reduce the height of four proposed buildings from 12 stories to eight stories. The other three buildings would rise four stories.