Allen Morris scores approval for once-controversial Ponce Park Residences

Developer committed to partially fund overhaul of Coral Gables park, cover cost overruns

Allen Morris Scores Coral Gables OK for Ponce Park Condos

From left: Allen Morris Company’s Allen and Spencer Morris along with a rendering of Ponce Park Residences in Coral Gables (Getty, Allen Morris Company)

After a number of rejections and opposition from neighbors, the Allen Morris Company secured approval for a downsized version of its plans for Ponce Park Residences in Coral Gables that’s been years in the making. 

The latest version of its plans call for a nine-story building with 57 luxury condos at 3000 Ponce de Leon Boulevard, across from the major mixed-use Plaza Coral Gables development. In 2021, Allen Morris proposed a 16-story building with up to 160 residential units. 

Last week, the Coral Gables City Commission voted unanimously on first reading to pass ordinances changing the land use to high-rise intensity from low-rise intensity, vacating the alleyway between the properties and changing a zoning district boundary. Allen Morris will also contribute $2 million in public improvements and will cover the funding gap or raise money to fill the gap for the revamp of Ponce Circle Park and pay for any cost overruns. The park currently sits between the Allen Morris site and the Plaza. 

The commission will vote on additional ordinances tied to the project at a later commission meeting. 

Zyscovich Architects is designing Ponce Park Residences, which will include about 20,000 square feet of ground-floor and mezzanine retail space and a cobblestone paseo that will replace the existing alleyway. Amenities will include pools, restaurants, a gym and spa. 

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One Sotheby’s International Realty will lead sales and marketing of the project, the brokerage’s president Daniel de la Vega told The Real Deal. Sales are expected to launch this year. He said the exact unit count could change, but that the project will be a high-end boutique development. 

“We expect to see buyers downsizing from Gables Estates, Journey’s End, and [migrating] from Miami Beach,” he said. Referring to Apple’s office lease at the Plaza, de la Vega said Ponce Park Residences “could be a great option for many of those executives.” The tech giant is taking 42,000 square feet of space at Agave Holdings’ development. 

Ron Shuffield, president and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices EWM Realty, was among those urging the commission to vote for the Ponce Park project at last week’s commission meeting. 

A handful of neighbors who previously opposed Allen Morris’ plans spoke out in support of the latest version. Residents were previously concerned with the size and density of the project, the lack of green space, the effect on traffic and approving such a large project following approval and development of the Plaza, which is not an Allen Morris development. 

Allen Morris assembled the Ponce Park Residences site between 2011 and 2018, said Javier Fernandez, the developer’s attorney. It also includes the properties at 216 and 224 Catalonia Avenue, 203 University Drive and 225 Malaga Avenue.