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Front Page » Top Stories » City Garage Getting 47story Crown

City Garage Getting 47story Crown

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Written by on May 9, 2013

By Meisha Perrin
Forty-seven stories of residences, offices and amenities totaling 415,000 square feet will rise atop a Miami Parking Authority seven-story downtown garage between 56 and 70 SW First St. — while the garage itself will also be upgraded.

Last week the authority approved a proposal from Downtown 56 LLC to redevelop the garage, which the board agreed in April needed renovation.

Now, the company is set to restore the garage to adhere to Florida’s 2010 building code and to make it more aesthetically pleasing, said authority CEO Art Noriega, in addition to building a 54-story, $73 million tower.

Structurally, he said, the garage is in good shape. The problem is code and aesthetics.

According to the approved proposal, the garage upgrade, exterior refurbishment and modernization is to add 170 parking spots as well as a residential tower atop the garage with about 440 units, 12,000 square feet of rooftop restaurant and event space, 2,500 square feet of ground floor retail and 4,000 square feet of new office space for the authority.

The development would envelop adjacent properties at 46 and 34 SW First St., both of which are currently controlled by the developer, J.C. Mendez.

Garage upgrades, according to the proposal, would run the developer about $2.5 million. Adding the office space and extra amenities will cost another $1.5 million, and the garage expansion is to cost another $3.5 million.

That expansion, however, would help generate an added $200,000 annual revenue for the authority, as the authority will own and operate all additional parking and the garage itself.

The residential units, the proposal said, are to generate $11 million a year from rent for the developer.

"We are hoping that this building will provide economic impact not only for the Miami Parking Authority," said Ben Lopez, of Ben Lopez & Associates, which designed the architectural plans, "but also for downtown."

As proposed, the ground floor will have higher ceilings and will accommodate the retail space and an entrance lobby. The second floor will contain the office space, and the third to seventh floors will make up the lateral parking expansion of the garage.

The eighth and ninth floors will have amenities and floors 10 through 51 will have nine residential units per floor.

At the tower’s peak the developers plan to create a restaurant opportunity along with open-air seating and outdoor lounge areas.

Throughout construction of the tower, Mr. Noriega said, the garage will still function.

"Here you have an asset that is privately owned and an asset that is publicly owned," said authority board member Marlon Hill, "coming together to benefit the entire community."

Now that the project has been approved by the board, Mr. Noriega is to meet with Downtown 56, the Ben Lopez firm and RH Engineering Group to discuss the project’s timeline as well as the retail component and the mechanical and structural repairs that will take place to the garage.

Mr. Noriega told the authority’s board that he sees this as his legacy structure and a good project for the authority.To read the entire issue of Miami Today online, subscribe to e-MIAMI TODAY, an exact digital replica of the printed edition.

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