The first phase of dual mixed-use residential towers in the southwest area of Miami has been submitted to the city’s Urban Development Review Board.
The project, Merrick Pars, was recommended for approval by the board with conditions.
Developer Merrick Parc LLC presented Phase I at 3191 SW 39th Ave, a 20-story building with 247 residential units, associated amenities, 9,485 square feet of commercial and office space.
Merrick Park is planned as a multimillion-dollar multifamily development near The Shops at Merrick Park in Coral Gables. It is to be built in Miami near an area that borders Coral Gables.
Upon completion the dual towers will include 450-luxury rental apartments including studios, one and two bedroom units, along with parking, and retail space for shops and dining.
The project is being designed by architectural firm Behar Font & Partners.
Robert Behr, a member of the Board of Review, excused himself from hearing the presentation and walked away from the stage.
Mario Garcia-Serra, an attorney representing the developer, said the site is approximately 1.1 acres and fronts on Southwest 39th Avenue, Southwest 38th Court and Orange Street.
In a letter to the city, Mr. Garcia-Serra said the project would use a development density transfer program established in the city’s zoning code, Miami 21.
This is permitted through the Historic Preservation Transfer of Development Density Program for an increase of up to 50% above the allowable density in the T6 transect zone for properties within three-quarters of a mile of a transit station.
In addition, he said the project would utilize the city’s public benefit program to build 20 floors and increase the floor area (FLR) by 30%. As required by the Code, the developer shall provide contributions to the Miami 21 Public Benefit Trust Fund in order to qualify for benefits.
Mr. Garcia-Serra wrote, “The proposed increase in density, height and FLR will allow the project to be commensurate with commercial and residential uses in the surrounding area, including new multifamily residential towers currently under construction at the nearby Douglas Road Metrorail Are. Create a much needed mix use project along the station as well as in line with similar developments in City and Coral Gables to the west of the property.
The developer is requesting a number of exemptions allowing for:
■ Reduction in side setback above 8th floor.
■ Up to 30% reduction in parking for properties within a half-mile radius of a transit-oriented development area, resulting in 272 parking spaces instead of 389.
■ 10% increase in the length of the building floor plate above the eighth floor.
■ Width of parking corridor reduced from 23 feet to 22 feet.
■Increase in maximum residential floor plate required above 8th floor.
■Extended parking in second layer.
■ Vehicle entry distance of less than 60 feet.
Mr. Garcia-Serra wrote, “This area of downtown, which is adjacent to Coral Gables, and geographically separated from the rest of downtown Miami by US 1 and Byrd Road, has been in a state of transition for some time . It is no longer the forgotten industrial area of the city.
“Currently, the prevailing trend of new mixed-use developments with significant residential components holds great promise for the renewal of this area.
“The construction of a new mixed-use building in this neighborhood would be a great addition that would create a seamless and logical transition between downtown and neighboring Coral Gables and make this area of downtown a great place to live, work and play .,” he wrote.
A representative of the developer told the board that this is the first phase of the project and they intend to come back with Phase II in about six weeks.
Board President Ignacio Paramuy said it is a beautiful project.
Board member Anthony Zamatzis agreed, saying it’s a great looking building.
New board member Agustín Barrera said that with a building of this size “you’ve done a good job of dividing volume and mass.” “Phase I stands on its own,” he said.
Board member Gia Zapattini said it would be a great building for that property, but added that the main entrance was difficult to find.
The motion to recommend approval was 5-0 and included a condition that the developer reconsider the design of the building’s corners and make the location of the main entrance more prominent.