Hundreds of affordable apartments are coming to Allapattah, all designed for elderly tenants.
Allapattah Ventures LLC is proposing a 13-story structure at 1396 NW 36th St. to be called Mosaico, home to about 267 dwelling units, mostly in small floor plans.
At a special meeting, the city’s Urban Development Review Board unanimously voted for a resolution recommending approval of the project, with a long list of conditions.
There was some concern about the massing or scale of the project, which is reflected in the nearly 10 conditions spelled out by the board’s resolution.
The L-shaped residential structure would rise 124 feet, 8 inches, and hug a five-story parking garage with spaces for up to 172 vehicles.
A presentation of floor plans and renderings shown to the board identify the developer as Integra/EHDOC (Elderly Housing Development Operations Corp.).
The project is designed by the C.C. Hodgson Architectural Group of Fort Lauderdale.
Attorney Melissa Tapanes Llahues represents the developer and applicant. She promised the development will beautify the neighborhood and encourage the revitalization and redevelopment of the area. (FIRM NOTE: Associate Maritza Haro Salgado participated in this matter)
The project would cover these addresses: 1396 NW 36th St., 1392 NW 36th St., 1385 NW 35th St., 1373 NW 35th St., 1362 NW 36th St., and 1370 NW 36th St.
The main site is at the southeast corner of the intersection of Northwest 36th Street and Northwest 14th Avenue, north of Northwest 35th Street. It’s about three blocks south of I-195, and a couple of blocks from the Allapattah Metrorail Station.
The close proximity to the rail station allows the developer-applicant to request reductions in required parking.
A letter of intent shows requests for:
— A warrant permitting a maximum height of 125 feet and 13 stories.
— A waiver to permit an additional 15% reduction in required parking.
Documents show 428 spaces required without affordable benefits.
To support the request for a waiver for an additional 15% reduction on required off-street parking, the developer notes the project will be 100% elderly affordable. As a result, the parking needs of the elderly housing are significantly less than typical multi-family developments, the application says.
Also, Miami 21 provides for additional parking reductions due to the project’s location in close proximity to public transit as a Transit Oriented Development, or TOD.
The project proposes 172 parking spaces, where only 150 would be required after utilization of the Miami 21 sections allowing as of right reductions of 35% and additional 15% reduction with a TOD.
With a requested bonus, the project would provide about 284,312 square feet of floor uses, and have open space of 5,050 square feet.
Residential units will range from studios with 448 square feet up to 460, and one-bedroom units from 556 square feet up to 743.
Of the 267 dwellings, 89 are designed to be one-bedroom units offering 556 square feet.
Amenities are identified as a library, fitness room, laundry room, and a community garden area.
In July 2018 the property was rezoned from Urban Center – Limited (T5-L) to Urban Core – Open (T6-8-0).
In connection with the rezoning, a Declaration of Restrictive Covenant was recorded in the Miami-Dade County Public Records.
Ms. Llahues wrote: “Among other things, the Covenant requires a townhouse buffer along NW 35th Street in order to buffer the residential neighborhood to the south and requires that the Property be developed with ‘Affordable Housing Development’ or an ‘Attainable Mixed-Income Housing Development,’ subject to certain conditions and expectations.
“Through this application, the Applicant seeks to develop the Property with affordable elderly housing by utilizing the Miami 21, Section 3.14, Public Benefits Program bonus FLR and additional height, as well as the reduction in parking for elderly housing permitted by Section 3.6.7.a.2 of Miami 21.”
Ms. Llahues said the applicant has secured approval of the Mosaico Tentative Plat, and is currently in the process of subdividing the property into two lots: a northern parcel, approximately 46,706 square feet (Tract A), and a southern parcel, about 6,192 square feet.
“Tract A is the subject of this application and will be developed with affordable elderly housing by utilizing the Public Benefits Program. Tract B will not utilize any Pubic Benefits Program bonuses and will be developed with the required townhouses.
“The proposed subdivision will allow the Applicant to comply with … the Covenant which requires the provision of townhouses and will serve as the necessary buffer from the abutting (single-family residential) zone,” she wrote.
Ms. Llahues mentions the City of Miami’s efforts to encourage the construction of affordable housing.
“The City of Miami has devoted significant time and effort to amend Miami 21 in order to incentivize affordable, transit oriented housing projects within the City. This application seeks to ameliorate the City’s existing affordable housing crisis by providing affordable, elderly housing within 1,104 Feet from the Allapattah Metrorail Station, half a Mile from the Allapattah Branch Library and just four (4) Miles from Miami International Airport – the County’s largest employer.”
She said the project will promote the redevelopment and revitalization of an area in the city currently characterized by older structures and non-conforming uses that are in need of general improvements.
“The Project will beautify the area and encourage the redevelopment and revitalization of the district. Additionally, the Project will enhance the quality of life in the neighborhood, while preserving the residential neighborhood south of NW 35th Street by buffering it from the commercial corridor of NW 36 Street,” Ms. Llahues wrote.
A motion was made by board member Robert Behar and seconded by Willy Bermello to recommend approval of the project to the planning director, with these conditions:
— The applicant should address the building scale.
— Address the building facing on the north, west, and east façades.
— Break up the undifferentiated façades.
— Address how the building turns the corner.
— Address how the building meets the ground.
— Enhance the pedestrian experience at all street frontages with landscaping and scale, particularly by reexamining the entry canopy or entrance location.
— Refine and unify the horizontal datum (starting point) of the building’s lower floors.
— The townhouses should be completed at the same time as the vertical development.
— The applicant should re-present the project to the review board for informative purposes only.
Written by John Charles Robbins