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Front Page » Real Estate » Major housing development on US 1 advances

Major housing development on US 1 advances

Written by on May 19, 2020
Major housing development on US 1 advances

The vastly changed area of Bird Road and US 1 in Miami is getting another major mixed-use residential development.

Called Shoma Douglas, the multi-family rental project was reviewed May 12 during a special virtual meeting of the city’s Urban Development Review Board, with board members and city staff participating through video conferencing.

The board recommended approval with a few recommendations.

Masmar Investments LLC is the applicant and plans the large project on property at 3650 Bird Road, owned by Deel Realty Inc.

The current building on the property, originally built in 1952 and used as a car dealership, will be demolished.

The owner-developer is identified as Shoma Group.

The developer plans 327 multi-family units, plus 64 micro units, in two 18-story towers, sharing a structured garage with 536 spaces.

Shoma Douglas will also have work-live units on the ground floor, and some commercial-retail space.

The entire project will be 575,414 square feet, with office space of 4,088 square feet. The towers are designed at a height of 176 feet, 4 inches.

The city’s zoning code requires open space of 10%, which would be 10,438 square feet, and this project will provide open space of 44,492 square feet or 43% of the parcel.

The 2.3-acre property is east of Southwest 37th Avenue, south of Bird Road, and northwest of the Metrorail Douglas Road Station.

Mario Garcia-Serra, an attorney representing Masmar, told the board the project will have a “vast array of amenities” for tenants and ground floor retail.

The project is being built at a very key point in the City of Miami, and is fitting for this location, he said.

The project is designed to interact with The Underline, Miami’s planned 10-mile linear park and urban trail, said Mr. Garcia-Serra.

In a letter to the city, he detailed five waivers being requested:

■Access from primary streets. Zoning requires that parking be accessed from a secondary frontage when available. This property has three primary frontages; Bird Road, Douglas Road and the Metrorail right-of-way. The applicant is requesting a waiver to allow vehicle access from both Bird Road and Douglas Road. Since access will be provided from two frontages, traffic will be dispersed, the letter said.

■A 10% reduction in required parking.

■A 10% reduction in primary frontage second layer parking garage setback, in order to provide adequate civic space fronting the planned Underline.

■Permission to build a cross-block passage coverage, proposed from Bird Road south through the project.

■Zoning requires parking to be within the third layer, which is typically at a 25-foot distance from the base building line. The applicant seeks a 10% reduction to permit parking placement at 22 feet, 6 inches. This deviation along Bird Road and the Metrorail will have little impact on the aesthetics, and pedestrian and vehicle experience, particularly when the applicant provides the art treatment proposed, the letter said.

Mr. Garcia-Serra wrote that the applicant proposes an art treatment for the entire portion of the pedestal façade where the parking extends into the second layer. The proposed art treatment is made of a two-tone perforated metal panel with backlighting.

“The panel is three-dimensional and provides a neutral tasteful palette of gunmetal and iron ore colors, which provide contrast against the white façade of the building. The panel was inspired by intricate Middle Eastern mosaic tile patterns. Although stationary, the kaleidoscope-like geometric patterns in the panel create a vivid sense of movement, evocative of the fast-paced city,” Mr. Garcia-Serra wrote.

Beatriz Hernandez of MSA Architects told the board the project will offer private amenities, including a pool, fitness spa, dog parlor and more but also includes public amenities like a pedestrian paseo and open civic spaces.

“All sides of our site are treated as a front,” she said. The paseo is to connect to the future Underline.

Along Bird Road will be a highly amenitized space, she said, including a bike shop where tenants can work on and store their bikes.

Board member Robin Bosco asked if the bike shop is an amenity for the tenants only or an actual retail bike shop.

Ms. Hernandez said it will be an amenity for all residents of the towers.

Mr. Bosco asked if they considered a retail bike shop.

“We can consider that. It makes some sense,” she said.

Mr. Bosco said, “I’d be in favor of activating this facility for more than just the apartments (but) for the surrounding community, to make it more active.”

Board member Willy Bermello asked about the pedestrian paseo’s role in the layout.

Ms. Hernandez said the design of the paseo is led by requirements in the zoning code, and they view it as “a kind of a crosswalk to The Underline.”

“I do appreciate the civic spaces,” said board member Ignacio Permuy, but he voiced concern about the added vehicles coming and going from the project.

“When this opens up, there’s going to be a lot more traffic,” he said.

In the end, the board voted 5-0 to recommend approval with four recommendations: work with staff to provide vehicle entry along the paseo on the south; have a clearer division of the public and private spaces, identifying fencing and access points; designate parking spaces for certain uses, such as the work-live units; and consider the bike shop also have a retail component.

4 Responses to Major housing development on US 1 advances

  1. William

    May 20, 2020 at 1:16 pm

    Hope this get’s built> Activating that section of bird will be a great thing. Cross your fingers!

  2. joann e. smith

    May 20, 2020 at 3:50 pm

    Miami is way too overbuilt. Traffic congestion, too much construction pollution especially during the hot, humid summer months, our air quality is so bad. I was booked to leave for the summer because of all the air pollution and humidty during the summer but mostly the non-stop construction of what once was a paradise. I am sick of passing cement trucks, driving by construction sites and seeing nonstop construction of Collins Avenue in Sunny Isles and downtown. I’ve caught asthma during last summers record heatwave from all the construction in neighborhood. Mother nature intervened and gave me a break. I am stuck at home but marvel at the return of birds, butterflies and owls. So quiet – no damn airplanes flying overhead every five minutes in addition to daily police sirens and stinky, acidic air. Cement trucks everywhere, I couldn’t escape. Roadwork everywhere, dusty dirty trucks – especially cement trucks clogging our roadways and bridges over the bay. It’s getting ridiculous in this city. Downtown is so overbuilt and full of homeless – dirty and disgusting. Is that all we have in this city? All we hear now is we have to open the economy – of yeah, lets all go out to eat, get a manicure and a tattoo. There is nothing left to this economy but tourism It is a house of cards that will soon fall again if we don’t listen to mother nature and give this fragile ecosystem a break. If we don’t listen and give all this non-stop construction and expansion a breather, soon we will be spitting out cement junks from the next hurricane if we get out alive from under all this construction. It will be like 9/11 all over again. Why cant emergency management be on record for approving this runaway construction?

  3. Balazs Vandor

    May 24, 2020 at 6:08 pm

    I am glad to see development of this area with high rises. South Florida keeps growing, and it is better to build up then more urban sprawl into the Everglades! Additional traffic is a huge issue, US1 is already a disaster. Hopefully by then the county will have streamlined the public transportation. The suggestion of a retail bike shop is strange – shouldn’t that be determined by how many bike shops serve the area? There is one just West and two just East on Bird Rd. I agree that would be nice to have some retail space, but why determine what kind of business should be there?

  4. Dawson Allen

    July 9, 2020 at 10:45 pm

    More people living on the Underline is crucial for it to get enough pedestrian and bike traffic to feel safe. You don’t want to feel lonely on a dark corridor at night. In the deindustrialized and deindustrializing US, heavy construction is one of the only blue-collar industries where capital wants to invest, and I would rather have capital embodying itself where it can be taxed than floating around in the financial casinos and offshore pools, especially since local governments have tighter constraints on their fiscal capacities than money-printing 1st world federal governments.