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Panel: Reduced Parking Ratios Part Of Miami's Future


Parking won't be driving Florida development in the future. That's the assessment of two of Miami's biggest developers.

Swire Properties president Stephen Owens told the audience at Bisnow's Miami 2017 Outlook & Forecast Forum that his firm's Brickell City Centre project uses shared parking among the various uses — from retail to office and hotel — for a total of 400 parking spaces.

“And it works fine,” Owens said. Despite experts telling Swire that it would need anywhere from two and a half parking spaces per 1k SF of office up to four spaces per 1k SF of retail, the developer stuck to its guns with the shared parking format. Now, Owens said, the project is more than 80% leased in both office and retail.

“We're really not designed for the Miami of 2015," Owens said. "We're designed for the Miami of 2025."

Brickell City Centre is in the foreground of the dense Brickell skyline.

Florida East Coast Industries' Francois Illas agreed. He said developers need to educate both local governments and tenants on how reducing parking ratios won't affect customer visits, especially with mobile services like Uber.

“You're building for the Miami 10, 15, 20 years from now,” he said.


The clerk of courts for Miami-Dade County, Harvey Ruvin, and Borges + Associates Architects' Reinaldo Borges were on tap to push for a sense of urgency on infrastructure improvements in Miami and coastal Florida to combat sea level rise as a result of climate change, which Ruvin said could increase as much as three feet in the future.

For his part, Ruvin is fronting a plan that would create a federal superfund that cobbles together local, state and federal money to pay for rural and urban infrastructure projects — some of which would address and mitigate sea level rise.

He would need to convince the Trump administration, which has taken several steps, including blocking grant spending by the Environmental Protection Agency, to undo the previous administration's climate policies.

“Clearly, it's something that … dovetails with one of the promises that our current president made,” which is to fund infrastructure improvements, he said. “This issue is so huge and so undeniable, that we're going to see some response.”