Two new mixed-use Miami skyscrapers win approval from city review board
- Miami's downtown district could see two new mixed-use towers following the approval on Oct. 6 by the Miami Urban Design Review Board, according to The Next Miami.
- Developed by Turkey-based Okan Group, The Sterling will feature more than 360 condominiums and 300 hotel rooms within its 73 stories, along with more than 55,000 square feet of office space, 3,000 feet of retail space and a restaurant on its 68th floor, according to Curbed Miami. The building's design is inspired by the tulip, the national flower of Turkey.
- The second 43-story project was proposed by local developer Mandala Holdings and will include a 270-room hotel as its primary component, with almost 15,000 square feet of office space and just over 700 square feet of retail space.
Mixed-use concepts have grown in popularity as those developments typically benefit both their developers and their occupants. Such projects allow developers, who are often also investors, to hedge their bets as far as which uses will pay off.
Mary-Claire Burick, president of Arlington,VA–based Rosslyn Business Improvement District (BID) told Construction Dive last year that a range of commercial, hotel and residential uses, for example, poses fewer investor risks than a development completely devoted to commercial space. If the commercial market experiences a downturn, the hotel and residential components can help keep the development afloat until the commercial sector begins to recover.
Depending on which the project's scope, such developments could mean the chance to experience some variation of the live-work-play lifestyle. A walkable, urban environment is appealing to millennials and baby boomers alike, providing amenities in close proximity to residential sections of the development.
Transit-oriented developments (TOD's), too, are playing an increasingly popular role in mixed-use developments by adding easy accessibility to mass transportation. Those developments, however, have drawn criticism from those who say the high-density residential aspect necessary to support a bus or train stop is a stressor on limited infrastructure, leads to more pollution and contributes to traffic jams.
In Los Angeles, activists have taken aim at the city's zoning laws that made high-density projects possible. The group last year managed to gain enough support to get the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative, which would have put a moratorium on the necessary re-zoning, on the March 2017 ballot. The measure, however, failed with the support of less than one-third of the vote. The Los Angeles City Council, though, enacted provisions of the Measure S initiative, which will see the council update its community plan every six years, and mandate that developers use a city-approved vendor to help them write up project environmental reviews.
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