A lot on Normandy Isle in Miami Beach could be developed into workforce housing with micro units.
The city’s Design Review Board on Sept. 6 will consider plans for the 25,771-square-foot site at 1960 Normandy Drive. Previously utilized by Atlantic Broadband, the site currently has a 4,377-square-foot industrial building that was constructed in 1971.
Jakeal LLC, owned by Alan Waserstein of Miami Lakes-based LeaseFlorida, purchased the property for $2.2 million in 2019.
Totaling 32,213 square feet in four stories, the project would have 60 workforce housing units of 400 square feet each, plus 2,000 square feet of retail. The 36 parking spaces would be underneath the building, as the lowest floor of residential would be 26 feet off the ground. Waserstein said the high elevation will comply with city codes to deal with flooding and sea level rise.
Waserstein said he got the idea for the project from a hotel he purchased on Collins Avenue about a year ago. He converted those 66 hotel rooms into apartments ranging from 250 to 350 square feet, and rented them out on a monthly basis for around $1,500. He was surprised by how quickly he secured tenants.
“We had the longest waiting list of people looking for living space, people who worked at the hospital, the restaurants and the hotels,” he said.
Building workforce housing on the Normandy Isle site makes sense because it has reduced parking requirements, Waserstein added. All of the units would be limited to people earning up to 140% of area median income. He said that should equate to rent of about $2,200 for Miami Beach.
The median household income in Miami Beach is $57,211. The city has many hospitality workers who struggle to afford housing there.
The retail space would also have micro units, with 12 spaces of 160 square feet each for small tenants.
Berenblum Busch Architects in Miami designed the project.