Neighborhood protests stalling some west Brickell projects
By Marilyn Bowden
A major retail center and several residential projects are under way in West Brickell, but future development in the area is up in the air due to protests from neighborhood associations.
Mary Brickell Village, Constructa's $70 million, 5.2-acre mixed-use center on South Miami Avenue between Southwest Ninth and 10th streets, broke ground this month.
The project, which is to contain 192,000 square feet of retail and residential space, has a number of commercial tenants on board for its 2003 opening, including P.F. Chang's China Bistro, The Oceanaire Seafood Room, The Redstone American Grill and Starbucks, according to Senior Vice President George Giebel.
He said Constructa is targeting small specialty stores carrying furniture, home and garden accessories, books and clothing for the two-level retail portion of the project. Original plans for Mary Brickell Village called for a residential component, Mr. Giebel said, but its configuration is still in the planning stages.
In addition, a 30,000-square-foot Publix is planned for an outparcel on the south side of the property.
The 27,000-square-foot Publix at Brickell Village, 134 SW 13th St., which opened in 1996, is said by retail specialists to be among the grocery chain's busiest per square foot in size. And a Publix at Miami River, a 27,000-square-foot store proposed for Southwest Third Avenue between Sixth and Seventh streets, awaits city permits.
A block from Mary Brickell Village, workmen are putting finishing touches on Summit Brickell, said Greg Smith, property manager for Charlotte-based Summit. BAP Development, a subsidiary of the architectural firm Bermello Ajamil, is a local partner in the project.
He said the 405-unit luxury rental building, on South Miami Avenue between 10th and 11th streets, will be accepting its first tenants in mid-June. Ground-floor retail, according to Mr. Smith, includes a dry cleaner, hair salon, copy shop and two restaurants.
Also under way from the BAP-Summit partnership is the first phase of Summit Brickell View, a 323-unit rental property at 1200 Coral Way.
"We finished pouring the foundation at the beginning of April," Mr. Smith said, "and since then we have been going vertical. The project is moving rapidly and on schedule for a spring 2004 completion."
Other high-rise projects planned or proposed for West Brickell are on hold due to public concern about overdevelopment.
Residents in adjacent neighborhoods, led by the South Miami Avenue Homeowners Association and Miami Roads Neighborhood Civic Association, want to limit the height of construction to minimize traffic, parking and environmental impacts.
Specifically, the protesters back a comprehensive development and architectural plan recently completed by HOK Planning Group for Brickell Village. The City of Miami hired HOK to come up with a plan for the district, which runs west of Brickell Avenue to I-95 and from the southern bank of the Miami River to SW 15th Road, after it was rezoned last year to allow mixed-use projects.
HOK's recommendations are that projects west of the Brickell corridor be mixed-use developments of medium height.
Due to neighbors' concerns, the city commission deferred permitting for 30 days for Coral Station, a mixed-use project planned for several years by Taylor Land & Development and BVT Development to the east of Publix at Brickell Village.
Principal Harvey Taylor said plans for the 3-acre site, now used for overflow parking for Publix, call for a 38-story residential tower housing 204 condo units and 186 hotel rooms, an 18-story 201,400-square-foot office building, and 54,333 square feet of retail, including a restaurant.
Among other projects that would be affected by adoption of the guidelines are Brickell Station, a 718-unit residential project at 1101 SW First Ave.; Beacon Village, a 37-story, 251-unit rental project at 30 SE Eighth St.; Park Place at Brickell, a 770-unit apartment complex on South Miami Avenue at 14th Street, and a proposed 400,000- to 600,000-square-foot mixed-use Flatiron Building at the juncture of South Miami and Southeast First avenues.