$15 billion of housing planned in Miami
By Yeleny Suarez
With an unprecedented 209 mixed-use developments to house 58,317 residential units planned in Miami at a projected construction cost of more than $15 billion, city officials say the urban building boom shows no sign of slowing.
Of the projects, 32 have been finished at a cost of $1.9 billion, and 31, for $3.6 billion, are rising now, officials say.
Another 59 projects at costs of $7.3 billion have been approved; 21, for $1.9 billion, are in the application phase; and 66, at $376 million, are in preliminary phases.
"Because Miami is an international market, it is very difficult to forecast when and how the market will slow down," said Luciana Lamardo-Gonzalez, city special projects coordinator. "Other municipalities like Chicago have already started to see a slowdown. However, at this time, Miami has shown no signs" of one.
Veteran real estate consultant Michael Cannon of Integra Realty said he is unsure of Miami's future market demand. "There is so much money fueling the market, I can't predict where it's going," he said. "It's going to be interesting to see what is going to happen this year."
The 209 developments do not include tens of thousands of housing units rising or planned elsewhere in mushrooming Miami-Dade County.
Only five mixed-use residential projects in the city have been cancelled.
"Projects can be cancelled for any multitude of reasons, and if so, it is done by the applicant, not the city," said Kevin Walford of the city's planning department. "Projects that come for preliminary review once or twice and are never heard of again can be considered cancelled."
Downtown's future looks promising, with 72 projects totaling 32,732 units at an estimated construction cost of $10 billion. The next-largest clusters are in Wynwood and Edgewater, with 7,240 units in 40 projects at $1.8 billion, and Coral Way, with 23 projects totaling 2,999 units at a projected cost of $277 million.
Seventeen projects are planned for Little Havana, with 2,596 units ($199 million); 12 for Allapattah with 3,238 units ($529 million); 11 each for northeast Miami and the upper east side, 3,053 units ($840 million); eight for West Little Havana, 2,078 units ($247 million); six for Flagami, 3,258 units ($249 million); five for Overtown, 765 units ($66 million); two for Little Haiti, 182 units ($20 million); and one for southwest Coconut Grove and Model City, 176 units ($47 million).
Ms. Lamardo-Gonzˇlez said the city can't control when projects are built.
"The majority of the projects approved or seeking approval should be built within the next six years because approvals for projects last two years" and extensions expire at six years, she said.
The city commission must approve permits for projects of 200 or more units. The projects are reviewed for such things as design, historic preservation and urban development, zoning and planning before commissioners vote.
"The true test will come when the current projects that are currently under construction come into the market," Ms. Lamardo-Gonzˇlez said. "Then we will have a better idea of how deep the market has been tapped."