Billionaire Teaming Up With Sidewalk Labs On Miami Development
Billionaire developer Moishe Mana, through his company Mana Common, has engaged Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs to plan sustainable infrastructure for a swath of property he owns in Miami’s trendy Wynwood neighborhood. Sidewalk Labs, dubbed an urban innovation company, will design energy, waste and parking systems across 24 acres.
It is one of the first projects for Sidewalk Labs as it launches an advisory service in Miami, Las Vegas, Portland and San Francisco, according to an announcement. Alphabet is the parent company of Sidewalk Labs, Google and other tech ventures.
In Wynwood, the consultants will use a platform called Delve that incorporates generative design and artificial intelligence to explore possibilities for real estate parcels. It integrates financials, energy models and site constraints.
Mana built a fortune with a New York moving company, then became a real estate juggernaut in New York's Meatpacking District, housing Milk Studios, an art and fashion hub. In Miami, he has spent hundreds of millions of dollars buying large assemblages in both Wynwood and downtown Miami with the intention to build “community ecosystems” on them.
Mana has been criticized for announcing big plans but taking a long time to start construction, but he has said it is important to assemble a critical mass of land and plan thoughtfully to pull off his vision successfully. In January, Mana announced a partnership with tech accelerator Plug and Play Tech Center to support startups downtown and in February he broke ground on a 13-story Nikola Tesla Innovation Hub there.
Mana launched and is CEO of Mana Common, a platform for neighborhood revitalization that builds on live-work-play models and incorporates culture, commerce, technology, property, agriculture and social impact. The name Mana Common is meant to evoke shared humanity — common ground, common decency and common knowledge.
Mana hired Zyscovich Architects to master plan his acreage in Wynwood, which stretches from Northwest Second Avenue to I-95 between Northwest 22nd and Northwest 24th streets, into a proposed development called Mana Wynwood, which Mana envisions as a global trade, arts and entertainment hub. According to a statement, it was approved in 2016 and has 9.6M SF of entitlements. The campus already includes a convention center and a cabaret-themed nightclub.
Sidewalk Labs has been engaged to identify sustainable sources of power and thermal energy, centralized solid waste removal solutions, digital parking tools and multimodal mobility, with a goal of improving access and reducing traffic impacts.
“Sidewalk Labs understands the challenges we’re facing in Miami, and its participation in the planning process will help us build a framework to support businesses of the future, while creating jobs and entrepreneurial spaces in the city,” Mana said in a statement. "By working with Sidewalk Labs, we’re confident that we can increase sustainability, innovation, and equity in Miami, and make it a better place for the businesses and people who live in our communities.”
“We’re excited to be doing this work in Miami to demonstrate that development can improve quality of life for residents and businesses while also significantly reducing carbon emissions and improving resilience,” Sidewalk Labs Head of Sidewalk Urban Development Alison Novak said in a statement. “Mana Wynwood is an incredible opportunity to achieve results for Miami at real scale, and we are proud to be working with Mana Common to execute this vision.”