Category Archives: Emerging Neighborhoods

Radar Blip: Simpson Park Triangle Activity

This isolated corner of Brickell is tucked behind Simpson Park, hemmed in by the metro rail line to the east and the I-95 to the west, and is accessible by three roads.

I first noticed it in 2006 when several buildings started to go vertical. Prior to 2006, the area was completely off the development radar.  I called it Simpson Park Triangle, for lack of a better name. It’s emergence was one of the boom’s most interesting but little known surprises—representing the most far reaching example of Brickell westward infill to date. Continue reading

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Pestana Opening First US Hotel in South Beach

Portugal-based Pestana Hotels and Resorts Group plans its first North American hotel in the heart of South Beach’s Art Deco District. Portugal’s largest “tourism and leisure” group and Europe’s 25th biggest hotel brand also boasts hotels in Africa and South America.

Pestana South Beach will be located at 1835 James Avenue— one block inland from from Collins Avenue (not far from the planned Lennox Hotel). The Portuguese hotelier does not seem to think its relatively off-the-beaten-track location will deter reservations.

South Beach’s interior has long remained aloof of commercialization but there seems to be a gradual paradigm shift taking form in the nook between the Convention Center and the Bass Museum of Art—where resides some of the island’s finest Spanish Revival and Art Deco architecture.

The selection of South Beach as the launchpad for Pestana’s  North American operations is yet another indication of its remarkable gravitational pull on foreign investment.

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Filed under BoB Articles, Commercial Developments, Emerging Neighborhoods, Miami Beach: South Beach

Lennox Hotel is Tearing it Up in South Beach

Renderings from Kobikarp.com

Demolition activity is commencing at the planned Lennox Hotel (Peter Miller Hotel building) right across the street from the Setai. If completed, it will add to an increasingly impressive hospitality portfolio for architect Kobi KarpContinue reading

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Filed under BoB Articles, Commercial Developments, Emerging Neighborhoods, Miami Beach: South Beach

Development Outlook: Midtown Miami & Vicinity

Image: Midtown Four and Midblock

The Foremost Symbol of Miami’s Emerging Urbanism

Midtown Miami is, in many ways, the most obvious symbol of Miami’s rapid urban transformation. It exhibits Miami’s architectural star power, represents the most ambitious push west for urbanism in the city thus far, sits on a formerly blighted and infrastructureless area of the city, and incorporates large-scale commercial and residential elements. For all intensive purposes, it is a city-within-a-city.

Image: The shops at Midtown Miami’s northwest side

The Skeptics Viewpoint

Yet, despite this, there are those that recall the past failure of the much hyped Omni Mall when considering Midtown’s prospects for success. However natural this historic allusion may seem, the Omni, which never had the residential component Midtown has, is currently owned by a New York-based firm with billion dollar plans that span 10-15 years. Suffice to say times have changed. Then there are those that claim the project is too vast and will never be fully completed. This is to suppose that after all that has taken place, the remaining land and phases are going to be disregarded. This is hogwash, as I see it.

Image: West entrance into the Shops at Midtown Miami

What Prospects Does Midtown Miami Present for Uptown’s Future?

Sunset Place in South Miami is a good starting point for considering how a large-scale destination-retail facility can affect its periphery. Before I continue, I am in no way claiming that Sunset Place is a model for Midtown to emulate, rather I am using it as an example of the effects of a large-scale destination-retail facility on its periphery. Acting as an anchor luring thousands of visitors to the heart of South Miami, Sunset Place’s southern flank along Sunset Drive has become a hub of economic activity. There are restaurants, taverns, wine bars, lounges, stores, and cafes along Sunset Drive across the facility. Each of them is a testament to Sunset Place’s catalytic effects.

Image: Sunset Place in South Miami

Is Midtown Miami’s Peripheral Effect to Be Any Different?

There are those who argue that South Miami is a more stable section of the city with an enclave of well-off single family homeowners in the surrounding the area. This same argument is predicated upon the idea that Midtown is in the inner city where stability is fleeting at best. Naturally, the “inner city” refers to the Wynwood area that only within the last few years began gaining recognition as the center of a burgeoning art scene, but remains, for the most part, largely overlooked by visitors and tourists. We’ll get further into the Wynwood aspect later in the post, but to suggest this is also to ignore the presence of two nearby exclusive bay front communities: Bay Point and Morningside. These two neighborhoods are no slouches when measuring affluence. Edgewater’s rising prominence will add luster to Midtown’s prospects as well.

Image: Restaurants, taverns, and cafes across from Sunset Place

What Makes Midtown Miami Different?

Aside from the three aforementioned neighborhoods, Midtown Miami is situated next to two highly distinctive urban nodes: the Design District and Wynwood Arts District.

Image: Underutilized properties directly across from Midtown Miami.

The DD

The Design District’s Dacra-propelled plans and resulting buzz has lured numerous high-profile international tenants into the aesthetically alluring DD. Although some would describe the Design District as movie-set-like, that is to say absent of real life, there should be no doubt as to Craig Robins’ knack for smelling out the City’s next hot spot. Positive developments and activity in the Design District are sure to have a spillover effect on Midtown Miami and vice-versa.

WAD

Then, of course, there is the Wynwood Arts District, which for years, while simply known as Wynwood, had the stigma of an unsafe inner city neighborhood. Today, the hood is at the forefront of Miami’s art scene. There is a greater concentration of art galleries in Wynwood than in Coral Gables or Miami Beach. So many, in fact, that there is a website dedicated to tracking and showcasing them. However, on the surface, Wynwood doesn’t exude this fact. Passing by the neighborhood, only a keen eye will notice the various little galleries that dot the place. But, let’s be serious, Wynwood is gritty not commercial. It’s a neighborhood that is propelled by earnest passion for art not a desire to be accepted. Wynwood represents a breaking of the mold while Midtown represents a casting of it. Given such opposing characteristics, it’ll be interesting to see how the neighborhoods interact with one another.

Image: More under utilized properties across from Midtown Miami. Notice the neatly landscaped median–attributed to Midtown

The Midtown Periphery As It Is

Currently, there isn’t much new activity attributed to Midtown Miami around its periphery. This is natural since Midtown has yet to establish itself. Midtown Miami is the product of a NY-based development firm. In looking at land acquisitions in the periphery, almost all of the parcels located north of Midtown Miami are owned by NY-based firms. There is no direct connection to Cayre-Samuel that I’ve seen. Not surprisingly, the west flank of MM–and farthest from active Edgewater–has the least activity in terms of recent acquisitions. In other words, the most recent acquisitions took place in 2004, and the majority have been held for at least 7 years or, in most cases, longer. The south and east sides of Midtown are also lax on new acquisitions. If Midtown is to trigger activity along its periphery, then many existing land owners may just be playing a waiting game until the timing is right to make a move.

Image: Cynergi, which would never have been built were it not for Midtown Miami, is a prime example of the positive effect Midtown Miami presents to the area.

Anticipating Change

In anticipating the type of commercial activity that may take place around Midtown, the Sunset Place comparison becomes useful. Currently, Midtown doesn’t really offer dining options. The Design District does a better job at filling the void, but Midtown remains depressingly behind in this respect.

It’s a simple formula: where there is big box retail and new residential towers, we can expect restaurants, lounges, wine bars, and cafes to follow suit.

Sunset Place bore witness to this and Midtown Miami shouldn’t be any different. Will this happen in a few months? Of course freaking not! It will take a couple of years gradual and often painstakingly slow progress–which I will endeavor to cover–before people realize that the area is truly phenomenal. It boggles my mind to think that people doubt the positive influence that MM and the DD will have on the Uptown area. It just seems so shortsighted to me. I have heard people say that South Beach’s heyday is over and the Urban Core has only one way to go: up. Although I disagree with the South Beach side of the assertion, I know that much of our city’s dynamic social energy and economic influence will be shifting to the Core. It’s already happening. But, I bet, as time unravels its secrets, Midtown Miami will be pivotal in instigating this paradigm shift.

Map: Midtown Miami proper is outlined in Blue. Its vicinity in yellow. The WAD is colored in red, Edgewater in green, and the edge of the Media and Entertainment District in blue. The Design District lies directly across the I-395 to the north and Bay Point to the north east.

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Filed under BoB Articles, Commercial Developments, Emerging Neighborhoods, Uptown: Edgewater, Uptown: Media & Entertainment (PAC) District, Uptown: Midtown Miami, Uptown: Wynwood Arts District

Signs of Urban Life: Retail Oulook (Uptown’s Pros – M&E)

Image 1: An under utilized retail structure with blue awnings on NE 24th street and Biscayne Boulevard is shown in the foreground with new developments surrounding it.

Continued from Signs of Urban Life: Development Outlook (Uptown’s Woes)

Uptown is the largest of the three primary urban core segments (CBD and Brickell Village being the other two). It contains four unique sub-segments:

  1. Media and Entertainment District
  2. Edgewater
  3. Wynwood Arts District
  4. Midtown Miami & vicinity

Map: Uptown and its four subsegments are shown above. The Media and Entertainment District is shown in blue, the Midtown Miami vicinity is shown in yellow, Edgewater in green, and Wynwood in red.

The Media and Entertainment District

This post will concentrate on the first of these subsegments. The Media and Entertainment District, known to some as the Omni District, which surrounds the Carnival Center for the Performing Arts, is located just north of the I-395 and Parkwest. Along with the PAC, the Miami Herald and Omni buildings are located within the M&E. The M&E’s character is very much non-existent. Surrounding the PAC is a considerable amount of vacant land and derelict buildings. However, there are several interesting patterns that may indicate the retailization of the area.

Image 2: View of the Carnival Center for the Performing Arts from Biscayne Boulevard

The M&E’s Layout

Looking at the map of Uptown, you’ll notice that the M&E, as defined by the DDA, juts to the north along Biscayne Boulevard. This extension is where Cite, City 24, Uptown Lofts, and Biscayne Plaza are located. These developments are vital because as mixed use projects they contribute retail space at the street level. Cite and Biscayne Plaza are good examples of how the filled retail space will enhance lifestyle options and pedestrian activity along Biscayne Boulevard.

There are still many underutilized structures that contribute nothing to the fold. Many of them are For Sale. In fact, Uptown has a greater concentration of derelict structures for sale than the CBD and Brickell Village to the south. There are implications that follow suit:

  • The area remains undeveloped
  • Many announced projects have either been scrapped or stalled
  • In terms of acquisitions, the area is conducive to extensive redevelopment

Image 3: The same structure with the blue awnings from image 1 is shown here from street level. The right side is facing south toward City 24 and the M&E and the left side is facing north away from the M&E. While the streetscape is under construction in preparation for new ground level retail on the south side, the north side remains under utilized.

In these ground level retail spaces, we’re witnessing a wide variety of businesses spring up: wellness facilities, restaurants and cafes, banks, all sorts of stores. Aside from residential units being occupied, the advent of these new businesses to the area is the most important aspect of creating a truly urban environment.

Image 4: Banner ads for restaurant in Biscayne Plaza

Ground Level Retail

Currently, only Cite and Biscayne Plaza have fostered this kind of street level retail activity. Uptown Lofts and City 24 will add more ground level retail to the M&E. Staples, interestingly enough, is constructing a store in the heart of the M&E and it’s not attached to any existing or planned project. This is indicative of a pattern that may continue along Biscayne Boulevard as under-utilized buildings get replaced with retail. Biscayne Boulevard serves as an ideal artery to spread this kind of activity along Uptown.

Image 5: People mover elevated transit line with the Marriott and Radisson in the background

Connectivity

Importantly, although most of Uptown remains disconnected from the public transit rail system, the M&E is not. There are two stations servicing the M&E (Omni and School Board stations). This allows for connectivity with the other two Core segments to the south.

Hotel Hub

The Media and Entertainment District also boasts the only major hotel chains (Doubletree, Marriot, Hilton [formerly Radisson]) in all of Uptown making the neighborhood tourist friendly. The nearest hotels are in the Financial District to the south. Here again, this is good news for retailers. Although there isn’t much reason for hotel occupants to walk the streets of the M&E just yet, the presence of these hotels adds more value to the neighborhood.

Citi Square

There is more to the M&E, however, than meets the eye. Sure, the Carnival Center for the Performing Arts is hard to ignore, but it’s what you don’t see that’s most telling. Pedro Martin’s Terra Group has plans for the land surrounding the Herald. The plans required the rezoning of the parcels to accommodate Mr. Martin’s vision of two 64 story towers and a major destination-retail component called Citi Square (641,104 sq. ft. of retail space). Since the original buzz generated by the announcement of the potential land acquisition and vision for land-use, there hasn’t been much said about the project, but the deal between the McClatchy Company and Citi SquareGroup LLC. (Pedro Martin) appears to be a work in progress.

Image 6: View of the Omni from across the PAC

The Omni Center

The Omni is another critical longterm component. New York-based Argent Ventures’ $1 billion plans for the 1 million sq. ft. property span up to 15 years in four phases and include 6 large scale towers as well as 350,200 sq. ft. of retail space. A plan that spans 10-15 years is not at the mercy of existing market conditions but is susceptible to the uncertainty of time. Thoroughfares will be incorporated into the mega-project making it a city-within-city of sorts. Marc Sarnoff considers it a second Midtown. Argent recently closed on a $200+ million dollar loan to begin work on its plans.

Image 7: Filling Station lofts under construction

The M&E’s West Side Residential

The side of the M&E west of NE 2nd Avenue is rather desolate, but there are two residential developments that provide a glimpse of how the M&E’s interior may unravel: Filling Station Lofts and Parc Lofts. The latter is completed and the former is under contruction. Both are well designed mid-rise loft developments that stretch the notion of urban pioneering to the limit. Surrounding the two projects are plans for the Bayview Market, a destination retail facility, and MAX Tower, an innovative mixed use project designed to lure media and art-oriented tenants. Neither of the two have disturbed the ground yet, but add potential to the area.

Wrapping it Up

The presence of the Carnival Center for the Performing Arts, incoming street level retail, incoming occupants, presence of major hotels, large-scale long-term plans for Citi Square and the Omni, connectivity to the People Mover transit system, and its designation as a Media and Entertainment District make this urban neighborhood a very interesting prospect for retailers.

To be continued with installments dedicated to Edgewater, Midtown, and Wynwood…

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Filed under Biz Buzz, BoB Articles, Commercial Developments, Emerging Neighborhoods, The Big Picture, Uptown: Edgewater, Uptown: Media & Entertainment (PAC) District, Uptown: Midtown Miami, Uptown: Wynwood Arts District

Biz Buzz: New to N.E. 2nd Avenue (Uptown)

Map of the area: N.E. 2nd Avenue is shown in green and Midtown Miami in blue

Economic Artery in the Making?

N.E. 2nd Avenue, which runs parallel to Biscayne Boulevard and the FEC Corridor in Uptown, has remained largely untouched by new development. This north-south thoroughfare is important because it links to the Performing Arts Center, Midtown Miami, the Design District, and is next to Edgewater and the Wynwood Arts District. Currently, the Avenue is mostly dotted with vacant lots and decrepit buildings for sale, which indicates a ripeness for transformation, but change, although small, is already turning N.E. 2nd Ave into something of an economic artery. Let’s take a quick gander:

Fantini Mosaico, founded in 1900 in Milan, Italy, is opening up shop on 2144 N.E. 2nd Avenue. The location is directly west of Paramount Bay and Biscayne Boulevard.

The Out of the Blue Cafe (2426 N.E. 2nd Avenue) opened its doors in February of this year. Already, the quaint restaurant has a dedicated following and has added to a growing buzz on N.E. 2nd Avenue.


Stoai Outdoor Concept Furniture opened its doors in March. It offers antique, outdoor, and patio furniture as well as different types of flooring.

the 18th Street Cafe (210 N.E. 18th Street) opened its doors a little over a month ago. According to the Daily Candy, this space was once a garage and is now a NY-style cafe.

Sidenote: the neighboring M Power Project Gym opened its doors a little over a year ago and is starting to see a pick in its membership according to the owner.

Pending Matters

There are numerous projects proposed in the area that have yet to see any activity, but greatly improve the area’s standing.

The most noteworthy commerce-oriented proposals are:

  • Bayview Market – large-scale destination retail complex (rumored to be luring Lowes and Wal Mart)
  • MAX tower: A mixed use media and art exchange concept that will incorporate Class A office space
  • 2222 Biscayne – Another Class A office building

If these are completed, then it will further cement the role of N.E. 2nd Avenue as a main economic artery for the entire area in the future, but as of right now, none have any on-site activity.

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Filed under Biz Buzz, BoB Articles, Commercial Developments, Emerging Neighborhoods, Uptown: Edgewater, Uptown: Media & Entertainment (PAC) District, Uptown: Midtown Miami, Uptown: Wynwood Arts District

Identifying Signs of Urban Life: Retail Activity (Parkwest’s Woes)

Image: The Marquis (left) and ten Museum Park (right)

This installment was supposed to be about Brickell Village, but I shuffled the order a bit and decided to start my retail potential focus at the center of the Core.

Parkwest has many problems. Let’s address them in no particular order:

Image: Greyhound Station with the Marquis tower looming in the background

Woe 1: The Greyhound Station

This is a repository for low income travelers from all over the country. Many of the homeless roaming the streets are from elsewhere. Greyhound is their common source of entry. The bus station is not compatible with the densification pattern of the Core. It occupies too much space and is an entry point for often unstable elements. As it is, there are no imminent plans to relocate the station.

Woe 2: Camillus House

Being Downtown’s homeless shelter, Camillus House is a natural center of gravity for homelessness. This means that the closer you are to it, the likelier you are to run into panhandling and vagrancy. There are, however, plans to relocate Camillus House west to the Civic Center area. This would reduce the high concentration of displaced persons on the streets. It’s not clear when that move will take place.

Woe 3: The I-395

Having a loud elevated highway run across the flank of your neighborhood is not good. Other than the ceaseless swoosh sound of the speeding traffic, the overpasses can serve to conceal drug deals and illicit activity, promulgate vagrancy, and hamper aesthetic appeal. Fortunately, the FDOT has plans to repositioning it north, ditch it, replace the existing overpass space with park land, and provide level bridge crossings to the newly visible (because the street level view north is currently blocked) M&E District. The timetable for the work has not been set. It should be remembered that the Opus tower was denied by the commission in order to preserve the FDOT’s plans. As encouraging as the plans are, don’t expect the work to start anytime soon.

Image: 1st Avenue View of East Overtown from Parkwest

Woe 4: Overtown

Overtown for years was taboo for people in the suburbs. It was the place you didn’t drive through. Sad, considering the neighborhood was, at one point, a thriving cultural hub for Miami’s Black community. The construction of the I-95 and displacement of about half of Overtown’s residents put an immediate end to that. Today, most of Overtown lies beyond the I-95. The smaller remnant to the east of I-95 meets Parkwest at N.W. 1st Avenue. As one would expect from a ravaged community, Overtown is unstable. Economically, it is in a state of decay. It’s low income and historically plagued with a high crime rate.

Woe 5: Infrastructure

Parkwest lacks cross walks and pedestrian lights. Its sidewalks are in a state of disrepair. With the exception of vacant lots, there are no places to park. The streets are uneven, dirty, and riddled with potholes. There is nothing in the way of landscaping and little in the way of greenery.

Woe 6: Security
The combination of having a high concentration of low income housing units and a homeless shelter creates a security problem. Drug distribution and use is more common. At night, there is little sense of security unless you are near a club and in a group.

Image: Parkwest; empty streets and neglected buildings

Woe 7: Stagnant Retail sector

Parkwest lacks shops of any kind. In so far as retail activity is concerned, it is a void. This means that incoming residents don’t have many services or goods to procure in their immediate surroundings. That’s a fancy way of saying nothing to eat or buy here. Pretty much, there is no retail foundation. Things would have to start from scratch.

Like Woe

There are some serious progress impediments in Parkwest. Through a retailer standpoint, Parkwest is not desirable at this point. However, retailers also have to think about long term potential. By virtue of setting up shop, a retailer becomes vested in the community. Understanding what track the community is heading in, whether positive or negative, is vital in influencing retail activity. On the surface, Parkwest’s retail potential is questionable, but what happens when one digs deeper? What’s happening under the surface? Does the news get better or is urban vitality going to have to wait? This will be considered as we go from Parkwest’s woes to its pros.

(To be Continued…)

Parkwest Map

Related Links:

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Filed under BoB Articles, CBD: Parkwest, Emerging Neighborhoods, Gentrification, Homelessness

Where Overtown Meets Parkwest

Image: A scenic N.W. 1st Avenue with the Miami Arena to the right

Visionary Mode

It never fails. Every time I am in the vicinity of N.W. 1st Avenue and the old Miami Arena, visionary mode kicks in. Visionary mode, by the way, is when an area’s potential is blindingly bright, despite its existing blighted state. This little section of the CBD is located, more or less, where Overtown meets Parkwest.

Here are 10 11 reasons why I like it:

  1. The metro rail runs through it and there is a station servicing the area
  2. The FEC corridor, which is a likely future public transit route runs through the heart of the neighborhood to further supplement the hood’s transit potential
  3. N.W. 1st Avenue, which runs through the center of the neighborhood, is palm tree lined, and has a spacious median, making the Avenue pedestrian, auto, and eye friendly.
  4. Glenn Straub owns the Miami Arena and the site represents a potential development catalyst for the area, depending on what the Wellington-based millionaire finally does with the property. At first he considered re-utilizing it, then selling it, now razing it to the ground in place of a new development. He didn’t spend 28 some odd million dollars for nothing. Look to see some action soon.
  5. Logik, a proposed office development, is planned for the neighborhood
  6. Miami-Dade Transit recently relocated its offices to a new state-of-the-art building in the neighborhood
  7. It’s a short walk away from the heart of the CBD, Biscayne Bay, and burgeoning Media and Entertainment District
  8. Parkwest flanks the east side of the neighborhoods with hundreds of millions worth in new development
  9. Miami 21 zones it T6, which means it will be ripe and ready for further densification
  10. The area is heavily under utilized, under valued, and filled with vacant land (this means it’s a blank canvas for new development).
  11. The FDOT’s future plans to reposition the I-395 would add park space to the northern boundary of the area

Activity

There are currently two large scale residential developments: the Madison and Park Place. The former being a condo and the latter being an apartment complex. The periphery of the area is riddled with low income housing. The average Joe probably wouldn’t feel comfortable riding a bike or walking through this neighborhood due to the presence of vagrants and murky elements. Still, the area, despite its lackluster on-the-surface appearance has much going for it and will likely see a transformation within the next couple of years. Sorry gentrification activists.

Neighborhood Map

Image: Map of the area. The blue line represents the existing Metrorail line, the red line represents the FEC rail line (probable future public transit line), The red plot is the site for the proposed Logik, the green plot represents the new site for Miami-Dade transit, and the Orange represents the Miami Arena.

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Filed under BoB Articles, CBD: Overtown, CBD: Parkwest, Emerging Neighborhoods, Gentrification

Tracking Emerging Neighborhoods: S.W. 3rd Avenue Corridor

Map: The S.W. 3rd Avenue Corridor is shown in dark blue. The Roads is shown in red surrounding the Corridor, Brickell Village is shown in light blue, and the Simpson Park Triangle in green.

Orientation
The S.W. 3rd Avenue Corridor is south west of Brickell Village and surrounded by the residential neighborhood known commonly as “The Roads”. The tree-lined Corridor begins at the junction where Coral Way turns from S.W. 22nd street into S.W. 3rd Avenue and ends at the I-95 overpass. Low density residential surrounds the Corridor on all sides. The area, although narrow and not very long, has some interesting newly built and planned mid-rise developments. Set amid a diverse mix of palatable international restaurants, the S.W. 3rd Avenue Corridor is an exciting prospect.

Image: The Roads at 21

Development Activity
The Corridor really is a smattering of new mid-rise developments, international restaurants, Class B offices, two religious complexes and mostly medium density residential. The newly built and planned mid-rises represent a new urbanism the Corridor has not yet seen and a vision of its future.

The new projects:

Image: Nordica

Nordica, the most impressive of these, marks the Astor Companies (Peter and Henry Torres) most notable project. The small but growing firm is also building in the Gables/Coral Way corridor and Little Havana. Nordica has a refreshingly modern glassy design that combines curves and sharp lines. The project has high ceilings (10ft. in the tower and 12ft. at the penthouse level).

Luis Velez, of Coral Way East Development, just occupied his first Miami development, the Roads at 21. His firm is planning another mid-rise, the Roads at 18 on the Corridor. His activities make him the most influential developer on S.W. 3rd Ave. He’s a well known restaurateur in Puerto Rico and many of his units have been sold to wealthy clients from the Caribbean island.

Image: View of the tree-lined Corridor and Brickell Way site

Brickell Way, a new project planned for 27th street will add another mid-rise to the mix. It has a less modern and more traditional appearance than the Coral Way East and Astor Companies developments. The project is expected to be completed in 2008. There is no construction activity on the site. The project developer’s portfolio also includes Grove View and Grove Way.

Across the street from the Brickell Way site (north of 28th st.), on S.W. 3rd Avenue, properties 2725 and 2733 are up for sale and zoned for office use. Luis Velez’s site for the Roads at 21 sales center is also up for sale at 2885 S.W 3rd Ave.

Image: Site for The Roads at 18

Neighborhood Composition
There is plenty of shade provided by the trees lining S.W. 3rd Avenue and the sidewalks are in good shape. All in all, the Corridor is pedestrian friendly. To the Corridor’s disadvantage, public rail transit is a bit out of the way. The area maintains a low density, quiet, residential feel. The smattering of new developments is sure to slightly alter that, but the community’s location in the periphery of the urban core will keep it less dense and more quiet than nearby Brickell Village and the Simpson Park Triangle.

And lastly, the 3rd Avenue Corridor has a rich selection of quality restaurants and markets:

  • Mykonos, at the east entrance to the corridor, has been a staple of Greek dining for years in Miami.
  • Fresco California Bistro: a quaint, reasonably priced eclectic bistro with great quality dining, service, and ambiance.

Image: Fresco California Bistro

  • Tutto Pasta and Tutto Pizza: among city’s most notable Italian eateries (across from Fresco California Bistro)
  • El Senorial, a family-run Peruvian restaurant where among other things Ceviche is served fresh.



Image: El Senorial Retaurante

  • Oriental Bakery and Grocery store where you can get fresh baked pita bread, pine nuts, Lebanese and Syrian pastries, hummus, and all sorts of other delectable Middle Eastern treats.
  • Post, a new restaurant and lounge, has added a later dose of night life to the corridor.

Located a stone’s throw away from Brickell Village and the Gables, with a combination of new developments, respectable office complexes, and an array of restaurants, the tree-lined S.W. 3rd Avenue Corridor is poised to start turning more heads than ever before, but for now, this scenic strip of Coral Way remains on the verge.

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Tracking Emerging Neighborhoods: Simpson Park Triangle

Map: Simpson Park Triangle

Orientation

There is an interesting pocket of development activity in the Brickell Village area. It is contained within S.W. 15th Road, the I-95, and S.W. 1st Avenue. East of the I-95, south of Brickell Village, and west of the Roads, the neighborhood forms a triangle slightly smaller than Brickell Key. The Metro-Rail runs adjacent to it.

Above: Crown of One Plaza West Brickell
Accessibility

The Simpson Park Triangle is isolated by the I-95 on the west, which only affords it one entrance ( S.W. 1st Avenue), and the Metrorail line to the east. There is one east entrance into the neighborhood (S.W. 15th Road). All other east entrances are blocked by the Metrorail’s ground line to/from the Brickell Station. From the north there are two entrances (S.W. 2nd and 3rd Avenues).

Image: Rendering of Habitat I and II

Activity

On S.W. 1st Avenue, between S.W. 17th Road and the I-95, the Melo Group is planning the 22 story One Plaza West Brickell development. Directly to the north of the Melo site is what seems to be a foundation ditch. The parcel is owned by PCU Investments LLC. Moving along S.W. 1st Avenue, there is a single family home and a relatively new development Brickell View Condo at the corner of S.W. 1st and 17th Road.

Image: Construction of Brickell Roads Atriums

Turning north along 17th Road there is more activity on the corner of S.W. 2nd avenue and 17th Road, in the form of Habitat. This two phase project covers the north and south sides of S.W. 2nd avenue at 17th Road. The development is green and impressively planned.

Farther along S.W. 2nd Avenue there are a couple of vacant parcels and three unique developments. One of them, Brickell Road Atriums, is under construction and features intricately furnished split level lofts with rooftop pools. The second one, 1725 S.W. 2nd Avenue, has a sleek design and was recently built and occupied. Next to the Brickell Road Atriums site, on what is now a vacant lot, stands the third unique development: Bunker Brickell; formerly Barim at Brickell, developed by the Eurosuites Group.

Bunker Brickell will feature:

  • An independent 24-hour weather monitoring system.
  • Individual air conditioning units will be encased in each condo’s walls.
  • SOS – Safety Owner Storage, which is air conditioned
  • Hurricane-resistant with hardened glass and micro-perforated steel shutters.
  • Filtered water tank containing at least 30 days’ drinking water supply.
  • An independent power generation system capable of supplying more than 30 days’ full power in the event of a local power outage.


Image: Rendering of Brickell Roads Atriums rooftop pools

Along the the east side of 17th Road between S.W. 2nd Avenue and 2nd Court, a limited liability corporation named MJF Majestic Plaza, owns the land. There is no current information about plans for the site. The two parcels occupy 48,885 square feet.

The East Side

The east side of the Triangle, between S.W. 17th Road and 15th Road, is under utilized. There isn’t much in the way of new construction, but many of the well situated lots have been recently acquired in bundles and are owned by limited liability corps. The development along the west side of the Triangle will undoubtedly spur these entities to push forward their plans.

Image: Habitat I under construction

The isolated Simpson Park Triangle neighborhood is surrounded by the Roads, the S.W. 3rd Avenue Corridor, and Brickell Village on its three sides. It is a short walk from South Miami Avenue (under going major road improvements).

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