Miami Oks Residential Project Along River Despite Objections
Written by Deserae del Campo on February 2, 2006
By Deserae del Campo
Residential development along the Miami River gained force last week when Miami commissioners granted a major use special permit for Coastal On The River, two buildings about 12 stories tall with a total of 633 residential units.
Coastal’s estimated construction cost is $162 million, according to city records. Sale prices of the units start at $170,000.
Although commissioners unanimously approved the project at 2215 NW 14th St., there was some opposition.
Andrew WJ Dickman, attorney representing the Miami River Marine Group, spoke against mixed-use development along the middle section of the river. The city needs to protect the working river as an economic force, he said.
Mr. Dickman also said mixed-use and residential development along the river is inconsistent with the city’s overall comprehensive plan.
Lourdes Slazyk, assistant director of planning for the city, told commissioners that a Miami River comprehensive master plan was created in 1992 that includes elements of mixed-use development.
The assistant managing director of the Miami River Commission, Ashley Chase, told commissioners that in May 2005, the river commission was deadlocked 5-5 over whether Coastal was consistent with the Miami River Corridor Urban Infill Plan. Without a majority vote, the commission could not approve the project.
"The City of Miami and the Miami River Commissioner need to come together for a plan for the river," said Commissioner Joe Sanchez. "The Miami River plays a very important role for the economy. I truly think we can coexist with the river commission because we go back and forth with this, but at the end of the day, it only should be about the river. Marine industrial and mixed-use residential can coexist."
Developer Riverside 22 Investments LLC asked commissioners to pass two amended ordinances on the land, which would grant them the major use special permit to build Coastal.
The first ordinance passed when commissioners changed the land-use designation of Miami’s comprehensive plan from industrial to restricted commercial. The second ordinance changed the zoning classification from SD-4 waterfront industrial to C-1 restricted commercial.
"There are conditions to the request for the major use special permit," Ms. Slazyk said. "One condition includes designed retail space, and developers need to submit final landscaping plans for the project."