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Allapattah’s ‘Authentic Bario’ Feel Makes Way For Increased Development

When she came from Boston in the late 90s to study at the University of Miami, Mileyka Burgos-Flores quickly got homesick. She missed the food and flavor of her Dominican family and she was desperate for a Dominican hair salon. The cafeteria workers she’d befriended at school had the answer: we’ll take you to el barrio, they told her.

That’s how Burgos-Flores, executive director of the Allapattah Collaborative, got to know the neighborhood built up by Black Miamians and immigrants from the Caribbean and Central America. She soon picked up on Allapattah’s distinctive features. The breezy porches where neighbors actually talked to each other across the fence. The cosmopolitan bodegas and the street vendors residents knew by name. And of course, local watering holes like Club Típico Domínicano, the 1980s restaurant that shimmies into a nightclub with live music on the weekends.

“It’s a very warm and welcoming neighborhood,” said Burgos-Flores, whose work entails preserving the neighborhood and helping its small businesses thrive. “People don’t just go into local businesses to get their hair done, or to eat or to do their taxes. They go to hang out; they know each other and they keep an eye out for each other.”

That kind of pride among local residents is what drew art collector Mera Rubell to the area in 2019. Along with her husband Don and son Jason, the family converted a warehouse complex that previously housed a wholesaler of rice, beans and other food items into the Rubell Museum, previously located in Wynwood. The site sits cradled by the metroline and railroad tracks.

“This was a new frontier,” Rubell said. “Our dream was to create a kind of concentrated destination for culture. What’s nice is we’re not displacing anybody. These were old buildings that can no longer accommodate the heavy warehouse use it needs.”

The museum is just one of a collection of art spaces in the area, which runs from State Road 112 south to the Miami River and west from Interstate 95 to Northwest 27th Avenue. Jorge Pérez’s El Espacio 23 has also called industrial Allapattah home for the last two years. The newest addition to the art scene, Superblue, across the street from the Rubell, turned a warehouse into an immersive art space in May. The private museums are neighbors with a massive wholesale grocer; across the street, an open-air fruit market sells tropical fruit juices, coconut water and varieties of mangoes and bananas that swing from an awning.

Other recent additions have drawn people to the neighborhood through their bellies. Even on a weekday at lunch it can be hard to snag a parking spot at Hometown Barbecue, a New York transplant whose Brooklyn location is considered one of the country’s best barbecue spots.

It’s all quickly snowballing to turn Allapattah into Miami’s newest “it” spot. Burgos-Flores’ friends in the neighborhood share sightings of limousines ferrying partygoers to underground nightlife in the area. The charm that caught her eye two decades ago is still present; Allapattah remains a place where the word “authentic” still rings true. But there’s no denying things are changing.

New rentals are popping up and just as quickly evaporating due to demand from those who want to be close to the Miami Health District.

The latest is 14-story No. 17 Residences, on Northwest 17th Avenue. Renters — primarily medical and graduate students and health district employees quickly snapped up apartments, according to Lisette Calderon, CEO of developer Neology Life Development Group. Apartments start at $1,300 per month for a one-bedroom, one-bathroom layout.

“What I see that is exciting is the neighborhood being reimagined,” Calderon said.

Housing-wise, four other projects are in the pipeline.

The highest profile project on the books is a collection of eight buildings — many rising on stilts — designed by Danish star architect Bjarke Ingles for developer Robert Wennett. The project, at Northwest 12th Avenue, called Miami Produce Centerwill include residential units, hotel, office, retail space and a trade school on nine acres formerly home to a produce market. Permits have not yet been drawn, and the timetable is not yet set, said Javier Aviñó, Wennett’s representative for the project and Bilzin Sumberg partner.

Already underway is a senior affordable housing community at 1396 NW 36th St. The 13-story Mosaico should open by January 2022, said Jake Morrow, a principal at developer Interurban.

Along with No. 17 Residences, Neology is planning another 14-story rental nearby at 1625 NW 20th St., dubbed Allapattah 16.

Also in permitting is a third 14-story rental building, Allapattah 14, at 1470 NW 36th St.

For Burgos-Flores, whose work entails helping local mom and pops thrive, taking the foot off the accelerator just a bit seems wise.

“We love all this development that could potentially happen in the area, but we want it to be inclusive and equitable,” she said.

Small businesses she helps in the neighborhood are frequently priced out by rising rents, she said. The average resident is unlikely to be able to afford the luxury units coming up in the area. The median household income in the 33127 zip code is $34,510, according to the county demographic data from this year. Around 31% of the residents live below the poverty line. Displacing a community of people – many of whom first arrived via displacement after refugee crises in their home countries – would shred the neighborhood’s identity, Burgos-Flores said.

“People who live here want to stay,” she said. “And if they go, they want to go because they want to, not because they’re pushed out. They want to have the opportunity to stay and the opportunity to own here.”

 

Source:  Miami Herald

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Lissette Calderon Delivers First Multifamily Project In Allapattah

Developer Lissette Calderon has completed the first of her three apartment projects in Miami’s Allapattah neighborhood.

Nearly two and a half years after buying the land, Calderon’s Neology Life Development Group received a temporary certificate of occupancy for the 192-unit No. 17 Residences, a 13-story building at 1569 Northwest 17th Avenue.

Calderon said it’s “the perfect time” to build in Allapattah, which she said is Miami’s “last authentic urban core neighborhood.” The area has attracted major real estate players, including the Related Group’s Jorge Pérez and 1111 Lincoln Road developer Robert Wennett.

Pre-leasing, including virtual tours, launched earlier this year. Calderon said monthly rents start at about $1,200 for a studio apartment. The building offers “attainable luxury” that was lacking in Allapattah, she added. Studios start at 740 square feet, and one-bedroom apartments start at 600 square feet. Units go up to 1,125 square feet for a three-bedroom, according to the development’s website.

The building is west of the Miami Health District and northeast of her Pier 19 Residences & Marina apartment building on the Miami River. It’s south of the Rubell Museum and the popular Hometown Barbecue restaurant.

Amenities include an 8,000-square-foot park for residents, which was added during the pandemic due to increased demand for outdoor space, a pool deck with cabanas, rooftop garden, fitness center, co-working spaces, and package rooms.

Calderon said she plans to break ground on her next two projects, 16 Allapattah and 14 Allapattah, this summer, and deliver those buildings about 16 months from groundbreaking. 16 Allapattah is planned as a 323-unit rental building with 9,000 square feet of office space and ground-floor retail, and 14 Allapattah, a two-tower project on an Opportunity Zone site, is expected to have 237 apartments and ground-floor retail.

Wennett, who tapped Bjarke Ingels to design his major mixed-use development nearby, secured approval from the Miami City Commission about two years ago for his Miami Produce Center special area plan. The planned 1.4 million-square-foot development could have as many as 2,400 co-living units and 637 traditional residential units, nearly 231,000 square feet of office space, 129,000 square feet of retail space, about 22,000 square feet for “educational uses,” as well as more than 1,000 parking spaces.

Calderon said she has been welcomed by the community in Allapattah, and that she is not displacing residents.

“I go into neighborhoods where I’m wanted,” she said, noting that her firm purchased existing warehouses and shuttered buildings.

 

 

Source:  The Real Deal

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The Big-Money Development Push Is On In Wynwood, Allapattah

Related Group recently completed two projects in Wynwood and has more in the works, Vice President Jon Paul Perez told Bisnow this week. In Allapattah, it recently opened a gallery and is on the lookout for other opportunities.

“It’s gotten to that point where the buying and trading of land without developing … that ship has sailed,” Perez said. “If you’re buying land there now, you’re assuming you’re going to have to develop.”

Sterling Bay Director of Leasing Michael Lirtzman had a similar assessment. The Chicago development giant closed on a site for $18.9M in December 2018, at 545 Northwest 26th St., where it is building a 10-story, 300K SF office building called 525wyn.

“We got in at a pretty good number,” Lirtzman said. “The pricing was a little more restrained. Now it’s starting to push.”

Sophisticated national developers have “brought some discipline to the pricing,” he said, but he predicted values would stay high as the neighborhood hits maturity.

“Wynwood is in the mode of building now,” said Avison Young principal John Crotty, with the days of flipping mostly gone and big residential developers going vertical.

Allapattah, however, still has pockets of opportunity, he said. “Other than by the [Miami] River and by [Jackson Memorial] Hospital, there’s not much development.”

Related Group and partner East End Capital completed Wynwood 25 in July. Its 289 apartments are now 85% leased at $3.10 per SF, Perez said, and its 35K SF of retail is 45% leased. Another project, the Bradley, which Related developed as apartments, was instead leased entirely to Domio to be operated as short-term rentals.

Perez said that Related benefited by being the first mover, willing to take a risk.

“The bet that we were making was that people wanted to live in Wynwood, right?” he said. “I could never have told you, ‘Hey, I’m going to sign a lease for all the apartments to one operator,’ because I think at that time these types of companies did not exist.”

When Domio came around, “we were the only option for someone that wanted one of those companies to be able to be in the neighborhood,” he added. Domio reportedly fought off competition from rival short-term rental operators to sign the building.

The largest development deal in the area last year was a 1.6-acre site at the corner of Northwest 25th Street and Second Avenue, which buyer Property Markets Group and Greybrook Realty Partners paid $46M to acquire and redevelop from its existing use as a gallery into a six-story resident complex with 222 units, Crotty said.

Crotty said PMG spun out the bottom-floor retail to Tricera Capital, which should be able to garner rents around $80 per SF.

“That’s Main and Main,” said Crotty, a former NBA player who also serves as the Miami Heat’s TV analyst. “That’s top-of-the-market pricing.”

Blocks off the main drag, Wynwood rents are about $50 per SF, he said.

Office leasing at the Wynwood Annex has gone a little slowly, Perez said, but Live Nation leased a floor and he said he is in talks with potential tenants that are similar in size and credit to the events company.

“So definitely by the end of 2022, our buildings should be close, if not 100% occupied,” Perez said. 

Lirtzman compared Wynwood to the Fulton Market area of Chicago, which was “where young people went to hang out. There was no office, but a vibrancy in the neighborhood.”

Sterling Bay decided to build office projects there with large floor plates and top-line amenities geared for creative tenants. It is now building its seventh Fulton Market building in a six- or seven-block radius.

Sterling Bay’s Wynwood project, which recently topped off, will include a fitness center, an indoor/outdoor bar and 440 parking spaces. Its first tenant is architecture giant Gensler, and Lirtzman said a letter of intent has been signed for a consulting firm to take 8K SF.

Goldman Properties opened the 30K SF Wynwood Garage in 2018, and a boutique office building, the eight-story, 86K SF Cube Wynwd, opened last year. Another big project, The Gateway at Wynwood, a 460K SF Class-A office building, broke ground last week.

The same forces that shaped Wynwood have affected the working-class neighborhood of Allapattah, just to the west. Whereas Wynwood had largely been made up of industrial warehouses, Allapattah now buzzes with working-class businesses. But real estate pros have been hyping it as the next hot neighborhood.

Developer Robert Wennett has proposed a mixed-use development by Danish “starchitect” Bjarke Ingels. Neology Life Development Group head Lissette Calderon in October broke ground on No. 17 Residences Allapattah, a 14-story, 192-unit apartment at 1569 Northwest 17th Ave.

“If you go have lunch on a Wednesday, it’s cops, it’s firemen, there’s people that are working nurses, doctors,” Perez said. “Allapattah probably started selling at $20 a foot, and now you have property trading at 130 bucks a foot.

“We’re not in that game of finding land and hoping for the value to rise and then flipping. So we say, ‘OK, at this price, does it make sense where I could build apartments, office, whatever it may be, at this land basis?'” he continued. “We’re looking for sites that are large enough that we can do substantial projects — 300 or so apartments there — and we haven’t found one yet that we are moving forward on.”

Calderon said in an email that construction on No. 17 Residences Allapattah has reached the fifth floor and is expected to be completed in spring 2021. She highlighted its amenities, including smart technology for package receiving, a digital concierge, a gym with virtual fitness and a “bark park” where dogs can play.

She said Neology Life is planning to break ground on another mixed-use project near No. 17, with 323 units, ground-floor retail and office space. It would begin construction after No. 17 opens in late spring 2021.

Crotty said that besides the aforementioned projects, plus a few others in the pipeline — the 555 River House proposed by Avra Jain and a yet-to-be-developed parcel he sold to billionaire developer Moishe Mana for $8.5M — Allapattah “has yet to fill in and grow,” he said.

Florida’s Department of Transportation is exploring the possibility of building a new highway exit off Interstate 95 at Northwest 29th Street.

“That would be a game changer,” Crotty said.

 

Source:  Bisnow

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