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3,233-Unit Project With 6 Towers Marks Miami’s Largest Live Local Proposal To Date

A developer is looking to leverage the Live Local Act to win administrative approval for a six-tower project spanning nearly 12 acres in Miami’s West Little River. 

The Arquitectonica-designed project would have towers ranging from 26 to 37 stories.

The plan to build 3,233 residences on a site at 8400 NW 25th Ave. is the largest development proposed in Miami under the state’s recently created affordable housing law. The towers would reach up to 37 stories by leveraging Live Local’s provisions, dwarfing anything in the neighborhood of largely single-family homes. 

“The proposed development in West Little River is a textbook example of how the Live Local Act addresses the housing affordability crunch caused by the shortage of workforce housing in Florida,” Bilzin Sumberg attorney Anthony De Yurre, who is representing the developer in the application, said in a statement.  

An entity called 27th Ave Hollandpark Ecoresidences LLC paid $29.3M for the parcel in October, property records show. That entity is registered to Pablo Castro, a developer based in North Miami whose broker, RCN Realty’s Ricardo Cruz, told The Real Deal he “prefers to stay anonymous.” 

De Yurre filed the pre-application Monday, requesting an informal meeting with city officials to review the plans. Site plans submitted to the county show six towers, designed by Arquitectonica, ranging from 26 stories to 37 stories with more than 57K SF of retail spread across their ground floors. 

The project, referred to as Holland Park in the application and The HueHub in the site plan, would have two nine-level parking garages with 4,249 parking spaces and a freestanding single-story amenities building.  

Renderings show slate-colored buildings with white rounded rectangles spanning multiple floors providing a strong vertical design element. 

Renderings show the buildings would surround a central plaza with two pools and tennis courts.

The buildings would surround a central plaza with an open park, tennis courts and two pools.The retail storefronts would surround the street-facing exterior of the project, which spans four city blocks. 

The development would replace 140 single-story residences, a church, a maintenance shop and a one-story office building, according to a letter of intent submitted by De Yurre.  

The developer is asking for administrative approval under the Live Local Act, a law that first went into effect last July and is meant to spur the development of workforce and affordable housing. Amendments to the law that were largely favorable to developers were signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis last month.

"2024 enhancements to the Live Local Act clarified key provisions of the legislation, and understanding those changes made this project possible,” De Yurre said. 

The law can be applied to residential projects where the developer sets aside at least 40% of units for workforce housing. Rents for those units are capped at 120% of area median income, which would allow a studio apartment to be rented for $2,385 per month.

The developer is also leveraging Live Local to propose a building taller than the site's zoning allows. The law ties the maximum height to the tallest allowed height within a mile radius, and the letter of intent says the development’s height limit is drawn from the 37-story maximum allowed height at 7900 NW 27th Ave., about a half-mile away. That property today is the site of a low-rise strip mall.

Pre-application filings don’t indicate whether the development would be strictly apartments or would include condos — an allowance that was codified in the recently signed amendments. But at least 1,293 of the development’s units would have to be under some form of rent control for 30 years to qualify under the law. 

The development would have to have at least 1,293 workforce housing units to qualify under the Live Local Act.

Developers have been leveraging the law to propose projects that maximize a site’s utilization, but local municipalities have balked at requirements to administratively approve projects with little say over modifications. 

Last month, Miami-based Bazbaz Development used the law to propose a 48-story tower in Wynwood, where few buildings exceed 12 stories. The owner of the Bal Harbour Shops has been fighting with its namesake village over a proposal to add 600 residences and a 70-room hotel to the mall.

Miami Beach and Canadian developer Jesta Group are at odds over its plan to replace the Clevelander South Beach hotel and bar with condos and apartments. 

There have been some victories, including Cymbal DLT Cos. decision to pivot its recently delivered Laguna Gardens to fit within the law to take advantage of tax breaks. 

Resia also won approval for a 948-unit apartment project in Medley from Miami-Dade County in December, making it the first project to be approved in the county under Live Local.