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Melo Group Breaking Ground On 57-Story Downtown Miami Tower

One of Miami's busiest developers, Melo Group, has launched construction of Downtown 1st, a transit-oriented development at 22 SW 1st St. in downtown Miami’s central business district.

The development comes as Miami's once-dead downtown is going through a boom. A Brookings report from last year found that Miami's downtown population decreased 6.2% from 1980 to 2000, then grew 202.5% between 2000 and 2018.

Martin Melo and Carlos Melo, co-principals of Miami's Melo Group

The multibillion-dollar Miami Worldcenter mixed-use project is being built by the Miami Heat's downtown stadium, and a new train station for the Brightline private train is within blocks. The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday reported that SoftBank and Microsoft are looking to lease office space in Miami, joining firms like Blackstone Group, Starwood Capital Group and Goldman Sachs.

The Melos' 57-story tower will include 560 market-rate apartments, 10K SF of office space and 3K SF of ground-floor retail. The one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments will have glass balconies and full-size washers and dryers. Building amenities include two pools, a gym and business center, and a multilevel parking garage with valet service.

The Melo Group is a multigenerational family-owned firm that operated in Argentina since 1948 and has built about 6,000 condo and apartment units since 2001, when Dr. Jose Luis Ferreira de Melo arrived in Miami. He now serves as President while his sons Martin Melo and Carlos Melo serve as co-principals. Other family members also help run the business.

"We’re bullish on Downtown Miami’s central business district. Our firm’s guiding principle has always been to build for what the market demands. And now more than ever, we’re seeing people in need of good quality, attainably priced housing in convenient, walkable, urban locations close to their jobs and free public transit,” Carlos Melo said in a statement.

Melo Group broke ground on Downtown 1st in Miami.

“Although there are plenty of new residential towers on the rise across Miami, there are actually very few moderately priced options,” Martin Melo said. “Our buildings in the central business district will help fill that void.”

Melo Group has long emphasized high-density buildings, efficiency and walkability. The firm has built nearly a dozen residential towers in Miami's Edgewater neighborhood and six multifamily towers in the arts and entertainment district, transforming both.

In addition to Downtown 1st, Melo Group now has two other Downtown Miami projects in development: Downtown 5th will consist of two 52-story towers with 1,042 units. It is the largest multifamily project to be built in Miami's CBD and expected to be completed this summer. Another multifamily development, Downtown 6th, is in the planning stages and slated to include up to 800 rental units.