Miami Oks Project After Revision In Plans
By Eric Kalis
A South Florida developer who wants to build a high-end mixed-use complex in Miami cleared final permitting hurdles at last week’s City Commission meeting after revising original plans to appease neighbors.
The commission voted unanimously to let Dotta Developers Group proceed with plans for Loftika, a mixed-use project to be built on several parcels at Northwest Seventh Street and Northwest 32nd Avenue. The complex, designed by Miami architect Borges and Associates, will have 183 one-to-two bedroom loft residences, 14,875 square feet of office space and 11,306 square feet of retail space. Prices for the residences begin in the mid-$200,000s, according to the project’s Web site.
To accommodate the different uses of the complex, commissioners approved a land use change for the project’s parcels from duplex residential to restricted commercial and a zoning change from two-family residential to restricted commercial. A third measure granted the developers a major use special permit, marking the final phase of city permitting.
Ben Fernandez, attorney for the developers, said he met with representatives of nearby residents twice last week before the commission meeting, resulting in slight modifications to the project’s plans. After hearing the neighbors’ grievances, the developers decided to reduce the complex from 13 to 12 stories and will remove four townhouses from the top floor, Mr. Fernandez said. Eliminating the four townhouses will cost the developers about $1.2 million, he said.
The developers will also add a 42-foot planter, masonry wall and several shade trees next to the residences to obstruct views of nearby homes, Mr. Fernandez said.
"The neighbors were concerned because they did not want anyone in the top level townhouses to be able to look into their abutting properties," Mr. Fernandez said. "I think we made reasonable changes."
The complex will have 473 parking spaces for tenants, providing about 27 more spaces than the minimum required by the city, he said.
Angel Gonzalez, commissioner for district one, in which Loftika will be located, said the project seemed to have the unanimous support of city department heads. Since the fundamental differences with the neighbors were resolved before the meeting, the developers can move forward with a project that should boost the value of the surrounding neighborhood, Mr. Gonzalez said.
"I think the project will be beautiful and enhance a neighborhood that was once in decay for decades," he said. "I hope this begins to improve the neighborhood’s overall appearance."
The complex is expected to be finished in 2008.