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On Eve Of NBA Finals, Miami Heat Player Scores Development Win

This week, Miami Heat forward Udonis Haslem will be trying to rack up victories against the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals. Last week, he scored a different sort of win: His company is moving forward with a $36M housing development.

Haslem Housing Venture LLC, along with development partner Magellan Housing LLC, secured approval to build a $35.9M, 12-story, 104-unit workforce housing project in Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood.

Miami Heat forward Udonis Haslem

Magellan had put in a bid last year with the Omni Community Redevelopment Agency, one of three CRAs in the city of Miami, to develop a site at 2035 North Miami Ave. The proposal listed partners Haslem Housing Ventures and Panama City-based property manager Royal American Cos. as "subconsultants." 

Magellan proposed a mixed-use, mixed-income affordable housing project that would help residents along a range of affordability — from some transitioning out of homelessness to others earning up to 140% of the area’s median income. Their proposal was ranked first of three bids received and the Miami City Commission, which doubles as the CRA board, sealed the approval Thursday.

The project, called Wynwood Works, will receive land worth $6.5M from the city, plus a $9M grant from the CRA for construction, The Real Deal reports. In addition to mixed-income apartments, the project will have 6,711 SF of retail. The partners are slated to share 45% of the retail rental income with the city.

In 2019, Haslem and Magellan won approval to build another mixed-use project on a city-owned brownfield site in North Miami. There, at 13780 NE Fifth Ave., the partners intend to build 134 apartments and a 10K SF commercial building. The partnership agreed to pay $1.5M for the land and $1.75M for environmental remediation.

Magellan Housing is run by principals Nikun and Amay Inamdar and specializes in public-private partnership workforce housing projects in Florida and Texas.

Haslem is a hometown hero in Miami. He was born and raised in Liberty City and attended Miami Senior High School. He headed to Gainesville to attend the University of Florida but wasn't picked during the 2002 draft, so played in France. He then signed with the Heat in 2003 and has won three NBA championships with the team.

Last summer, he re-signed to play with the Heat for a 17th straight season, making him the longest-tenured player in franchise history and the active NBA leader for the longest career with one team. The 40-year-old is heralded for his leadership far more than his ability these days. He hasn't played a single minute in the NBA Playoffs to this point.

The affordable housing projects are not Haslem's first ventures in commercial real estate. He told The Undefeated in 2017 that he had become a majority owner in five Subway franchises and two Auntie Anne’s Pretzels franchises in South Florida, as well as a partner in JFC Miami Management Holdings, operating an Einstein Bros. Bagels and a 24-hour Starbucks at Miami’s Jackson Memorial Hospital.

Since then, Haslem and former teammate Dwyane Wade joined forces in a venture called Forty-Three, a brand that ties together their respective jersey numbers. The company has invested in 800 Degrees Woodfired Kitchen, a pizza venture that has 14 locations around the world.

In a March essay for The Players Tribune, Haslem wrote about his personal commitment to bringing up other families in Miami. As the coronavirus pandemic was beginning to cause lockdowns, Haslem urged people to stay home so the virus would pass and businesses could reopen. 

The Heat play the Lakers, led by former Heat star LeBron James, in Game 1 of the NBA Finals Wednesday night.