A new mixed-use commercial development is targeted for Coral Way with over 120,000 square feet of class-A offices and retail shops.
Miami City Commissioners are to hear the second reading of a resolution to rezone the corner lot on Coral Way and Southwest 31st Avenue where the Brito Miami Private School sits. If the city votes to rectify the zoning discrepancy, a proposed five-story office building will rise alongside the neighborhood’s existing commercial corridor.
The acre lot, at 3030 SW 22nd St., has a split-zoning designation of T5-O on the northern portion and T4-R on the southern half. It was previously zoned for restricted commercial, congruent with the land use map as it is today. However, areas of Coral Way were downzoned in 2009 with the official adoption of the Miami 21 zoning code, which resulted in the current inconsistency.
The property owner, Bomart Real Estate LLC, is asking to move the T5-O transect boundary to the south to allow for its project to rise.
“What we’re proposing to do is a five-story retail office building with 192 structured parking spaces and four townhomes along 22nd Terrace,” said Melissa Tapanes Llahues, the attorney representing Bomart.
Bomart is planning for ground floor retail at 25 feet high, a 30,000-square-foot floor plate and four stories of class-A offices.
Background documents show the project supporting the Coral Way Beautification Master Plan and its goals, including developing the area as an urban corridor that provides a mix of living, working, shopping and entertainment in a historic and tropical atmosphere.
Current zoning along Coral Way allows for mixed-used office, condominium and commercial buildings up to eight stories. Abutting developments include the 16-story Aston Condominium that faces the main thoroughfare and two-story townhomes on the residential frontage.
Additional anticipated benefits from the project include 2,650 square feet of improvements on Southwest 31st Avenue and 900 square feet on Southwest 22nd Terrace. Upon completion, the developers say the project will provide better access to the property, with circulation of traffic internal to the site, creating a pedestrian-friendly experience and limiting interactions with cars.
The plan also includes an increased setback of 20 feet with residential uses and an improved 25-foot radius at the intersection. The current setback is 15 feet.
Several residents who live next to the proposed development have voiced support for the project before the city commission.
“With this zoning, Bomart Real Estate can build a modest office building fronting Coral Way, internal parking, and townhomes fronting the residential neighborhood. This will match the development pattern of my building, immediately abutting on the east. I support their efforts to improve the walkability of the neighborhood, introduce more neighborhood-serving uses, and provide a zoning buffer within their property,” said neighbor Jose Blanco in a June 3 letter of support to the commission.
Commissioner Joe Carollo questioned why the Brito school was moving from the site after receiving approval just a few years prior. Ms. Tapanes explained the school was approved with a lower number of students and due to fluctuations in the economy, the proposed numbers no longer work and the owners are seeking to redevelop the property.
She further stated that the rezone is needed so there can be structured parking within the site to be shared by the townhomes, retail and office space.
While there aren’t any residential units planned for the building right now, the four proposed townhomes require seven parking spaces under the city’s zoning code. Residents have asked that the development doesn’t affect the neighborhood off Southwest 22nd Terrace, and without a shared parking structure, the street would be broken up by four driveways.
The developers say they have conducted community outreach efforts and are working with the neighbors, District Four Commissioner Manolo Reyes and the Florida Department of Transportation to ensure access is provided on Coral Way or Southwest 31st Avenue.
The resolution passed unanimously on first reading July 13. If adopted on second reading, the new zoning ordinance will become effective 10 days later.