Related Group gets a Paraiso OK
Written by John Charles Robbins on July 23, 2014
The Related Group is busy transforming a barren area of Edgewater from a few small houses and vacant lots into a vibrant community with avant-garde residential towers, rooftop swimming pools and a parking garage designed as a work of art.
Construction is expected to get serious soon at the large site of Paraiso Bay, generally the lots on either side of Northeast 31st Street, between Northeast 30th Terrace and 32nd Street.
The area is just south of the Julia Tuttle Causeway, and about a block east of Biscayne Boulevard.
The Related Group is basically building a new neighborhood in an area that offers quick access to the Design District, the Wynwood Arts District, Midtown and beyond.
Its proximity to all that’s new and grabbing attention is a main selling point in the developer’s promotional materials, saying that Paraiso Bay is “an exquisite residential private community” that is “just minutes from the heart of Miami’s vibrant arts, entertainment, and Design districts and famed Miami Beach.”
Paraiso Bay intends to offer high-end living in a gated community with an exclusive beach club, restaurant and marina on Biscayne Bay.
The Related Group last week gained conditional approval of the fourth and final residential tower for the site, Paraiso Bayviews.
“It’s becoming a community,” said architect Bernardo Fort-Brescia of Arquitectónica.
The city’s Urban Development Review Board approved the project with three conditions: work with planning staff to redesign the drop-off area in the front of the building by elevating it to the lobby’s level, and include a visual buffer to screen vehicles; work with staff to design a required crosswalk and handicapped access; find a permanent solution to wrapping the garage in artwork.
It’s not known how the developer will meet that third condition, but there was talk of a covenant with the condo association requiring regular maintenance of the artwork.
The Related Group brought in Cancun-born artist Omar Barquet, currently of Mexico City, to create a mural on the exterior of a five-story garage. Mr. Barquet planned to use stucco and paint on the screen wrapping the garage.
Board members said they were pleased to see efforts to incorporate art but nearly all questioned the proposed materials.
“A mural is a nice thing to have but I question paint on stucco… how would it be maintained,” said board member Fidel Perez.
Mr. Barquet said there are ways to layer the paint, to prolong the life of the art, and there are types of paint designed to fight off the elements over time.
Board member Willy Bermello also questioned the use of paint on stucco, saying no paint yet made can withstand the Florida sun.
“It can’t be paint and stucco – it’s got to be something else,” Mr. Bermello said.
He also questioned how to avoid a change if the majority of the condo owners don’t like the finished product from Mr. Barquet.
“How do you avoid the condo association deciding to paint it pink?” Mr. Bermello said.
Iris Escarra, an attorney representing the developer, suggested weaving those conditions into the condominium documents: making the mural untouchable for 40 years, except for regular maintenance to ensure it continues to look good.
The fourth tower is to be 43 stories with 398 residential units. The garage is designed for 640 parking spaces, and will have ground floor retail.
In May, the review board approved the third tower, to be called One Paraiso. The 53-story tower will be the closest to the water and calls for 276 residential units.
Designed by Arquitectónica, the four residential towers are accented by large spheres or half-circles.
In all, the four towers would be home to more than 1,300 residential units.