Vast Allapattah multi-use project set for final vote
A developer’s plan to transform part of Allapattah’s industrial district into a cutting-edge mixed-use project bringing apartments, offices, urban farming, a school and more is set for final consideration today (4/25) by Miami city commissioners.
Miami Produce Center LLC is proposing the ambitious development on more than 8 acres, bounded by Northwest 22nd Street to the north, Northwest 12th Avenue to the east, Northwest 21st Street to the south and Northwest 13th Avenue on the west.
The project’s working name is Miami Produce Special Area Plan, which references the developer’s request to have the project designated as a Special Area Plan or SAP under the city’s zoning code, Miami 21.
Miami 21 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 project address is 2140 NW 12th Ave. The 8.25 acres is just shy of the required 9 for an SAP, and the developer has filed a waiver asking to allow the SAP rules to apply.
Final approval of SAPs rests with the city commission.
The commission has before it three proposed ordinances up for a final vote:
■Changing the future land use designation from “Industrial” to “General Commercial” of the 8.25 acres.
■Rezoning the 8.25 acres (359,661 square feet) for the “Miami Produce Special Area Plan,” allowing the site to be master planned to allow a greater integration of public improvements and infrastructure. This will be accomplished through a rezoning from D2 Industrial District Transect Zone to T6-12-O Urban Core – Open Transect Zone, and the adoption of new regulations.
■Approving a development agreement between Miami Produce Center LLC and the City of Miami to govern the development of the Miami Produce Special Area Plan.
The items were approved at a first reading by the commission March 28 on a 4-0 vote, with Joe Carollo absent.
Documents filed with the city detail that uses proposed include about 1,200 residential units; 227 hotel rooms; 230,886 square feet of offices; 96,976 square feet of commercial use; 54,171 square feet of educational uses; and 1,078 parking spaces.
The SAP ordinance notes: “The square footages above are approximate and may increase or decrease at time of building permit but shall not exceed 1,237 residential dwelling units, shall not exceed 2,877,288 square feet of total development floor lot ratio, shall contain a minimum of 35,966 square feet of open space, and shall contain a minimum of 17,983 square feet of civic space.”
Javier F. Aviñó, attorney for the developer, wrote in an application for the project: “The Applicant is proposing a mixed-use Special Area Plan to include retail, residential, lodging, co-working offices, restaurants, urban farming, and educational components. Designed by award-winning architects Bjarke Ingels Group, the project will create a new pedestrian-oriented destination while retaining the neighborhood’s industrial character.”
Renderings show a complex of eight interconnecting structures.
The Bjarke Ingels Group is the firm responsible for the design of the Grove at Grand Bay – two twisty towers near the waterfront in Coconut Grove.
The SAP includes plans to preserve and repurpose three large existing warehouses.
In a letter to the city about the project, Mr. Aviñó said this pedestrian-oriented project will incorporate an innovative mix of uses not previously offered in this area of Miami, including educational components such as college courses or training in highly specialized fields.
“Inspired by the reimagined and repurposed Miami Produce Center warehouses, the Project will also integrate the industrial character of the neighborhood through the inclusion of manufacturing-enabled retail or similar light industrial uses.
“Miami Produce will provide a truly unique urban experience oriented to the engagement of pedestrians and use of transit. The Project will connect directly to the adjacent Santa Clara Metrorail station. Clear directional signage and thoughtful design elements will encourage the use of public transit by residents and visitors.
“Ground level retail, dining, and other amenities will be designed around a prominent pedestrian and vehicle promenade. Aligned with NW 21st Terrace, the promenade will provide thru-site connectivity between NW 13th Avenue and NW 12th Avenue,” Mr. Aviñó wrote.
He said the architecture represents a three-dimensional urban framework, designed with large industrial-sized floor plates to provide maximum programmatic flexibility.
“At the ground floor, a series of existing produce warehouses will be restored and reprogrammed to create a vibrant public realm while preserving the industrial spirit of the neighborhood.
Between the warehouses, three large pedestrian corridors will exhibit a variety of lush landscaping and plentiful open space, resulting in diverse microclimates that allow the buildings’ programming to extend outdoors,” he wrote.
Miami Produce, he said, will also provide an important opportunity to many of Miami’s artisans, brewers, light manufacturers, and other producers.
The city’s Urban Development Review Board in October 2018 recommended approval of the project.