Coral Gables garage development battle continues
The competition to redevelop two garages owned by the City of Coral Gables is very much alive, city sources said this week.
Though an evaluation committee voted for a proposal by The Allen Morris Company and The Related Group on Dec. 6, “The city commission reserves the right to negotiate with the evaluation committee’s second choice, or with anyone,” said Javier Betancourt, city economic development director. The commission can also decide not to endorse any proposer, or to shelve the project altogether, he added.
The next step is for city staff to draw up a recommendation for the city’s manager’s review. The matter will then go to the commission.
The committee evaluated two proposals. TC Gables, an affiliate of Terranova Corp., which submitted the other proposal, is still very much in the game, said Josh Gelfman, Terranova director of development.
For years, the city has sought proposals to replace two antiquated city parking structures (Municipal Garage 1 at 245 Andalusia Ave. and Municipal Garage 4 at 345 Andalusia Ave.) with more appropriate buildings.
TC Gables’ proposal, Shops and Residences at Miracle Mile, treats both garages as a unified site that incorporates 220 Miracle Mile, which Terranova controls together an affiliate of Morgan Stanley Real Estate Investing.
“We are proposing three new buildings that will add to the vitality of the heart of Coral Gables,” the proposal submitted last summer said. “On the ground floor of the garages and the lower two floors of the new Miracle Tower, we propose to include new retail space with 20-foot floor heights to help attract new retailers and restaurants to the area. We are proposing multi-family rental residences because rental apartments tend to be more intensively utilized than condominiums in South Florida and will further contribute to the vibrancy of the businesses in the surrounding area.
“It is our belief that the public environment is enhanced by bringing more life to the intersection of Ponce and Miracle Mile. The new residents and the activity they bring to the street will greatly enhance the quality of life for the city and its residents.”
Designed in a Mediterranean style, Garage 1 as proposed would be 102 feet tall, with about 17,000 square feet ground-floor retail and eight levels of parking comprising 500 public parking spaces, 343 spaces for residential users at Miracle Tower, and 67 for other users. “The roof of the garage is proposed to contain amenities for the adjacent building connected by an elevated passageway,” the proposal said.
“The garage is proposed to contain multiple connection points to the new building, allowing visitors to the area to pass directly from the garage to Miracle Mile or Andalusia, and utilize a paseo that will provide uninterrupted passage between Andalusia and Miracle Mile.”
The new 184-foot residential tower, within the footprint of the Miracle Building at 220 Miracle Mile, is proposed to contain slightly more than 220,000 square feet of floor area, including two levels of retail at the base and 14 stories of residential space with 187 units.
Garage 4 is proposed to be redeveloped as the base for a new 148-unit residential building, which would be a sister building to Miracle Tower. The 174-foot, 16-story building is proposed to include 33,700 square feet of retail and a 923-space garage with 500 public parking spaces, 264 spaces for building residents, and 136 for retail users.
“As a property owner and member of the business community in Coral Gables and Miracle Mile for more than a dozen years, Terranova cares greatly about the direction of the area and is committed to helping create a downtown that is a vibrant and appealing destination for residents, businesses and visitors,” Mr. Gelfman said this week. “We are confident that, in collaboration with the city staff and elected leaders, we can develop the very best project to enrich the City Beautiful for the City of Coral Gables and its stakeholders.”