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NR Investments Files Proposal To Build Mixed-Use Complex In Allapattah

NR Investments wants to develop a massive mixed-use complex on Miami’s General Services Administration site in Allapattah.

Ron Gottesmann and Nir Shoshani’s development company filed a proposal for a 99-year lease and redevelopment of the city-owned 18-acre property at 1970 Northwest 13th Avenue and 1950 Northwest 12th Avenue, according to the application. The property is just south of the Santa Clara Metrorail station.

NR Investments wants to build 2,500 apartments; 300 hotel keys; 200,000 square feet of office space; and 100,000 square feet of retail, the plans show. As part of the multifamily portion, 500 units will be workforce housing for households earning from 100 percent to 140 percent of the area median income. The proposal calls for roughly 5 acres of open public greenspace.

The application does not specify the heights of the buildings, but does say the project won’t require changes to the site’s existing zoning. Currently, towers of up to 30 stories, or buildings with eight stories for podiums and 22 stories for the main portion of the towers, are allowed.

NR Investments’ submitted the application in late May as an unsolicited proposal for the public property, meaning the city has to allow other developers the opportunity to file redevelopment plans.

On Thursday, Miami commissioners unanimously voted to accept NR’s application, a symbolic decision showing they are not rejecting it, and agreed to issue formal requests for proposals. The official RFP will be issued in 45 days and allow another 45 days for applications submittals.

NR’s project envisions various public spaces, such as a “study house” for after-school, continuing education and job-training programs, as well as a community market with a stage for public events, and a promenade with food and retail stands, the application shows. The redevelopment also would breathe life into the Santa Clara station, which NR said has the lowest ridership out of all Metrorail stops.

The 5 acres of public parks will include a dog park, community gardens and possibly an urban farm.

DPZ CoDesign is the project’s architect.

NR proposes rental payments to the city that would add up to $1.5 billion for the land lease over the 99 years, the filed materials show.

The Miami GSA site currently is used for city services such as printing, and for the storage of trucks. It also has a fire rescue station on the northeast corner of the site. Under NR’s plan, the station would be moved elsewhere along Northwest 20th Street.

Among the issues commissioners discussed is that the GSA site is one of several locations designated for the creation of public park space to make up for the greenspace that will be lost by the development of Miami Freedom Park soccer stadium. Under city rules, a developer that builds over park space has to recreate it elsewhere.

NR’s proposal calls for slightly less than the 6.8-acre greenspace that must be recreated on the site to make up for what is lost from the Miami Freedom Park project.

Overall, this is something that can be fixed as the redevelopment plans move forward, some of the commissioners said.

“I don’t think that at this moment we need to determine down to the inch,” said commission chair Christine King.

Miami-based NR is among the firms that redeveloped the city’s Arts & Entertainment District. Its projects there include the 38-story Canvas condominium at 1630 Northeast First Avenue, and Filling Station Lofts, an 81-unit rental building at 1657 North Miami Avenue.

This year, NR started building the 29-story Uni Tower with 252 workforce and affordable rental units at 1642 Northeast First Avenue.


Source:  The Real Deal

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Bakehouse Art Complex In Wynwood Gets City Grant For Building Upgrade

Miami city commissioners have chosen to give a sizable federal grant to help fund an organization that supports city artists.

At their latest meeting, commissioners allocated $2 million to the Bakehouse Art Complex Inc., a Florida not for profit corporation, to help pay for major improvements to its historic building at 561 NW 32nd St. in the Wynwood Arts District.

The complex is in an old Art Deco bakery and houses local contemporary artists, with studios and galleries open to the public.
The resolution was sponsored by Commission Chair Christine King.

The money is from American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021 Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds.

The city received American Rescue Plan Act funding to address Covid-19 and its impact on public health as well as address economic harms to households, small businesses, nonprofits, impacted industries, and the public sector.

The grant will help Bakehouse “undertake repairs and renovations to the structure and envelope” of its building, the resolution says.

A unanimous resolution had the commission “approving and confirming the city manager’s finding and recommendation that competitive negotiation methods and procedures are not practicable or advantageous to the city … (in this instance, and) waiving the requirements for said procedures.”

Bakehouse submitted a funding request to the city for ARPA funds in order to begin its repairs and renovations.

A city staff background memo on the fund request reads in part: “Bakehouse Art Complex is the only artist-purposed, non-profit-owned site of its kind and size in Miami’s urban core. It plays a major role in addressing a significant gap in the city’s cultural ecosystem, affordable spaces where artists can create, live, and engage with each other and with the greater community.”

“As real estate prices continue to rise, and with it the need for affordable work and living spaces for artists, it has the potential to leverage its land holdings in a way that can significantly increase the organization’s impact,” the memo reads.

Staff says redevelopment of Bakehouse ensures artists and art making will have permanence in the city, where real estate costs make this increasingly challenging.

The memo continues: “Due to the unique aspects of the Bakehouse addressing the need of the art community by providing a space where artists can create, it would be advantageous for the city to expedite the allocation and waive procurement requirements at this time.

“The Bakehouse Art Complex will undertake repairs and renovations to the structure and envelope of the organization’s existing building including addressing and upgrading electrical infrastructure, structural repair and remediation, life-safety issues, making necessary repairs needed for the 40-year recertification process, roof replacement, installing hurricane-impact window upgrades, updating building technology, and ensuring compliance with current building codes,” it reads.

In a letter to the city, Cathy Leff, director of Bakehouse Art Complex, wrote: “We believe with $2 [million], we can address, from now and over the next 24 months, immediate needed structural work and roof repairs. The remaining funds needed to cover other identified work will come from philanthropic donations and revenue derived when we finalize our partnership agreement to redevelop the 1.55 acres of our underutilized 2.3-acre campus.

“On that site, we hope to add critically needed affordable and workforce housing for artists and community members and rebuild some of our public community amenity and educational spaces,” she wrote.

Ms. Leff said about 70% of Bakehouse artists make less than $40,000 yearly.

“Several have lost their jobs and homes during the past two years as a result of the covid pandemic and are struggling to make ends meet. Three of our artists just this week lost their housing due to the doubling of their rent.

“We all know that the influx of new money, new residents, and new businesses to Miami during covid have impacted the cost of real estate, which has had a significant and detrimental impact on the communities we serve.

“If we wish to retain creative talent in Miami, all of which aligns with the City’s technology agenda, Bakehouse can be a model for and part of the solution for addressing affordability in both work and living environments and continue to provide workspace security and affordability to artists,” Ms. Leff wrote.

Bakehouse opened in 1985 to provide a permanent and affordable working home to artists of merit with financial need.

Community Development Block Grant funds from the city and Miami-Dade County were awarded then to help retrofit the abandoned bakery and convert it to a center of cultural production.

“The organization was intended to and has helped provide stability to a declining neighborhood as well as serve the community through free access and educational and cultural programming,” said Ms. Leff.


Source:  Miami Today


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