Grass River plans 252-unit mixed-use redevelopment of Wilton Manors shopping center

Wilma on the Drive would replace one of two buildings at the Shoppes of Wilton Manors

Wilton Manors Retail Redevelopment to Add 252 Apartments
Grass River Properties' Justin Kennedy with Renderings of Wilma on the Drive (Wilton Manor, Grass River Properties)

Grass River Property won approval to raze part of a shopping center in Wilton Manors to make way for a six-story, mixed-use building with 252 apartments.

The Wilton Manors City Commission on Tuesday voted unanimously to approve a development agreement between the city and Miami-based Grass River, along with a public access easement agreement and a plat amendment in support of the company’s redevelopment plan.

The commission also voted 5-0 to approve an allocation of 252 flexibility units to the residential component of Grass River’s mixed-use development at the shopping center at the intersection of Northeast 7 Avenue and Wilton Drive, called the Shoppes of Wilton Manors.

Flexibility units may be allocated in Wilton Manors to allow residential development in zones that include the Wilton Drive Arts and Entertainment District, which encompasses the Shoppes of Wilton Manors.

In 2018, Grass River and another Miami-based firm, Downstream Realty, paid $21 million to acquire the Shoppes of Wilton Manors at 2220-2292 Wilton Drive. 

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Grass River is led by the company’s founder, Justin Kennedy, who previously served as a co-CEO of LNR Property.  

Grass River plans to retain and renovate one of two buildings at the shopping center, an L-shaped structure along Wilton Drive anchored by Georgie’s Alibi Monkey Bar and Hunter’s Nightclub.

The second commercial building, which is set back from Wilton Drive, would be demolished and replaced with the six-story, mixed-use building, called Wilma on the Drive. It would have 252 apartments, a parking garage, and about 24,000 square feet of new commercial space. Grass River is planning apartments that range in size from 610 square feet to 1,771 square feet.

The planned six-story height of Wilma on the Drive is one story taller than the standard five-story limit on building height in Wilton Manors.

Grass River qualified for the building height bonus by meeting a set of conditions that included planning first-floor restaurants, lounges, and shops to activate the property at street level along Northeast 7 Avenue and Wilton Drive. Grass River also agreed to install public art on the property, to use only pervious paving materials in non-landscaped areas, and to meet a local open space requirement by designing the development with a 7,510-square-foot entry plaza and a new public courtyard spanning about 15,600 square feet.