AIMCO, the real estate investment trust that owns the Flamingo Point multi-family community in Miami Beach, wants to build a new 300-foot luxury tower on a narrow piece of land on the north side of the property. The current height limit there is 140 feet. To build the 24-story tower, AIMCO is seeking an amendment to the City’s Land Development Regulations (LDRs). Flamingo Point is located between 14th and 16th Streets along Bay Road in the West Avenue Neighborhood fronting Biscayne Bay.
In a letter to Miami Beach Planning Director Tom Mooney, attorney Michael Larkin of Bercow Radell Fernandez Larkin & Tapanes said the proposal aligns with the City’s efforts to encourage resilient development and improve stormwater management.
“In line with these objectives, the City has creatively increased green spaces throughout the City in order to increase permeability and reduce stress on the City’s stormwater infrastructure. This focus on increasing permeable open space translates to development and urban planning in the form of taller and sleeker buildings with smaller footprints. These taller more streamlined buildings generate less stormwater runoff, which reduces flood risk and improves water quality in Biscayne Bay,” Larkin wrote.
Larkin noted Flamingo Point “is currently entitled to an approximately additional 100,000 square feet of floor area… which under current regulations can only be distributed horizontally throughout the long and narrow lot.”
“The long and wide footprints of such buildings eliminate permeable area, which works against the City’s efforts to increase green space and permeability, while also obstructing views,” Larkin wrote.
“In conjunction with the Code amendment, the owners propose an elegantly-designed 300-foot slim tower with approximately 33 to 37 luxury residential units that distributes the floor area vertically on the northern edge of the Flamingo Point property,” according to Larkin’s letter.
An accompanying economic analysis of the proposed new building notes the North Tower at Flamingo Point which is undergoing a complete renovation will go from 614 to 366 units.
Larkin wrote the new 24-story tower would be in context with its surroundings noting the height of nearby buildings including Flamingo Point’s Center Tower (32 stories) and the Waverly at 1330 West Avenue (36 stories). Also included, the Grand Venetian (26 stories) and Nine Island Condominium (26 stories) on Belle Isle to the immediate west.
“A streamlined new tower with a smaller footprint provides ample opportunity to increase the permeable areas” on the northern portion of the property, Larkin said. “Notably, the existing pervious areas account for only 49%, however, the introduction of the new tower increases this amount to 69%... through green space, bioswales and permeable pavement.”
According to the economic analysis prepared by Miami Economic Associates, Inc (MEAI), AIMCO is the sole owner of the Central and North Towers at Flamingo Point. The Central building contains 513 units with a mix of studios and one, two, and three-bedroom rental apartments. Units in the Central building “average approximately 1,240 square feet and rent for an average of $2.56 per square foot per month.”
When completed in January 2022, the North Tower will no longer contain studios and its mix will expand from one and two-bedroom units to include three-bedroom apartments and lofts and five-bedroom lofts as well. MEAI reported, “The 366 units are expected to rent for an average $3.45 per square foot per month.”
According to the analysis, the new tower will include luxury apartments and duplex units ranging from one to four bedrooms. Calling them “amply-sized” with "exceptional views," MEAI said, “[T]hey are expected to rent at premium rates” estimated at approximately $4.50 per square foot.
AIMCO also owns 221 units in the South Tower which consists of 561 condominium units.
In his letter to the Planning Director, Larkin noted two public benefits being proffered by the owner in exchange for the LDR amendment including a 20-foot wide easement for an underground pipe “to divert stormwater from the Flamingo Park neighborhood to the Bay” and funds toward enhancing a proposed City pocket park at the Lincoln Road street-end by “providing much needed screening for the [proposed] pump station and its infrastructure.”
The City Commission referred the proposed amendment to the Commission’s Land Use and Sustainability Committee. The Planning Staff analysis of the proposal is not yet complete but will be available prior to the Committee meeting when the item is scheduled. There will be opportunity for public comment at the Committee meeting as well as at two readings before the City Commission if it is recommended out of Committee.
Renderings: Stantec Architecture
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