Raanan Katz plans 1,050-unit project at Miami Sears, amid surge of Live Local Act proposals 

Complex would consists of three eight-story buildings

RK Centers Plans Live Local Act Project on Miami Sears Site

A photo illustration of RK Center founder Raanan Katz along with a rendering of the planned eight-story complex at 3655 Southwest 22nd Street (Getty, RK Center, Behar Font & Partners)

RK Centers plans a 1,050-unit Live Local Act complex on the site of a Sears in Miami, amid an outpouring of project proposals under the state’s affordable housing legislation. 

The firm, founded and led by Miami Heat minority owner Raanan Katz, wants to build three eight-story buildings with 995 apartments and 55 rental townhouses on an 8.1-acre site at 3655 Southwest 22nd Street, according to RK’s application filed to the city this month. The site is in the Coral Gate neighborhood. 

The project would include 420 apartments at affordable rents pursuant to Live Local Act requirements. Also, the development would include 44,000 square feet of office and retail space, as well as a pair of garages with a total of 1,924 spots, the application shows. 

RK would redevelop South Florida’s last Sears outpost. Sears, once one of the biggest department stores in the U.S., filed for Chapter 11 reorganization in 2018 and emerged from bankruptcy in 2022. By now, it has roughly a dozen outposts nationwide.  

The Miami Urban Development Review Committee greenlit the project on Thursday. 

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RK, with offices in Sunny Isles Beach and Needham, Massachusetts, primarily invests, develops and manages retail properties, according to its website. Its portfolio spans over 10 million square feet across Florida, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island. 

In December, RK dropped $38 million for the 1600 Commons shopping center at 1550 North Federal Highway in Fort Lauderdale. As part of a 2022 retail shopping spree, RK paid $38 million for the Aldi-anchored plaza at 10790 Biscayne Boulevard and 1290 Northeast 108th Street near North Miami, as well as $14 million for the Publix-anchored plaza at 1400-1484 East Hallandale Beach Boulevard in Hallandale Beach. 

The Live Local Act, a state law approved last year and tweaked this year, incentivizes developers to include affordable and workforce units in their projects by allowing them wiggle room on municipal zoning codes and development restrictions. To qualify, developers have to designate 40 percent of their units for at least 30 years for households earning no more than 120 percent of the area median income. 

The legislation has unleashed a salvo of applications for large projects. In traditionally low-rise and mid-rise Wynwood in Miami, developers propose five separate projects ranging in height from 18 to 48 stories. In Kendall, Masoud and Stephanie Shojaee’s Shoma Group proposes a 31-story, 404-unit Live Local Act tower at 9525 North Kendall Drive in unincorporated Miami-Dade County.

The biggest Live Local Act project proposed so far in Miami-Dade is developer Pablo Castro’s plan for a 3,233-unit complex with six towers, ranging in height from 26 to 37 stories, in West Little River. The development, called Holland Park, would be at 8400 Northwest 25th Avenue in an unincorporated area of the county.   

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