Brickell City Centre set for OK for two more towers
Written by John Charles Robbins on December 11, 2018
The continuing evolution of Brickell City Centre is set to be considered this week by Miami city commissioners.
On the commission’s agenda today (12/13) is a third amendment to a Special Area Plan (SAP) for Brickell City Centre and a second development agreement for the large mixed-use project that has already taken over several city blocks just south of the Miami River.
These latest proposals request permission to redevelop two adjacent sites: the former Associated Photo site at 19 SW Sixth St. and 650 S Miami Ave., site of the former Tobacco Road.
Approvals would clear the way for an additional 972 residential units in two new towers, and much more.
The expansion plans have already captured supportive votes from Miami’s Downtown Development Authority, the Planning, Zoning and Appeals Board and the Urban Development Review Board.
Besides two more residential towers, the proposal would bring nearly 90,000 square feet of added commercial space, a ground-level plaza, more parking, and enhancements around and under the South Miami Avenue Bridge.
On today’s afternoon agenda, commissioners are to consider the first reading and vote on two ordinances:
■The third amendment to the previously approved Brickell City Centre Special Area Plan to add 2.39 acres for a total development area of 13.96 acres. The additional properties are generally at 500, 602, 614, 622, 626, 630 and 640 S Miami Ave., 11, 21, 31, 37, 45, and 55 SW Seventh St., and 19 and 42 SW Sixth St.
■A second development agreement between Tobacco Road Property Holdings LLC, BCC Road Improvement LLC and 2 Indian Creek Holdings LLC and the City of Miami to govern the third amendment to the previously approved SAP, by expanding the boundaries to encompass two additional building sites identified as the BCC 650 SMA and BCC AP blocks.
On June 25, main developer Swire Properties formally applied for the third amendment, incorporating the two added city blocks, which are northwest of the existing Brickell City Centre, which began vertical construction in 2013.
Brickell City Centre’s two condominium towers, two Class-A office buildings, and its EAST, Miami Hotel, hug a more than 500,000-square-foot shopping center that opened in November 2016.
Miami 21, the city’s zoning code, says the purpose of a Special Area Plan is to allow 9 abutting acres or more to be master planned to allow greater integration of public improvements and infrastructure, and “greater flexibility so as to result in higher or specialized quality building and Streetscape design.”
The new plan calls for two residential towers, one at each site.
The first tower, to rise at 650 S Miami Ave., would have 54 stories containing 588 residences; the second tower would rise to 62 stories and have 384 residences.
This proposed two-block expansion includes 87,284 square feet of commercial space (retail/entertainment), 1,231 above-ground parking spaces, and significant other improvements.
The towers will connect by pedestrian bridges to the existing Brickell City Centre, and Swire plans an extended paseo, or walkway, along South Miami Avenue from Southeast Fifth through Seventh streets.
The riverfront will also be revitalized as part of the pedestrian trail, with the purchase of remnant land that the Florida Department of Transportation was using for storage, according to a Swire representative.
The project will add landscaping, lighting, and benches under the elevated roadway to create a new public open space replacing fenced-off surface parking for bridge maintenance workers.
Although not technically part of the Miami River Greenway, these improvements south of Fifth Street will coordinate directly with the growing Greenway-Riverwalk, and open up pedestrian connections to the Miami River from the Brickell City Centre project and South Miami Avenue that don’t now exist.
If approved, this phase could break ground in 2020 and would require three years to complete, according to Swire.
The second and final vote on the new proposals for Brickell City Centre may be set for late January before the city commission.