Luxury apartments could rise near Shoppes at Merrick Park

The first phase of what will be dual mixed-use residential towers in Miami’s southwest area has been presented to the city’s Urban Development Review Board. The project, Merrick Parc, was recommended for approval by the board, with conditions.

Developer Merrick Parc LLC presented Phase I, a 20-story building with 247 residential units, related amenities, 9,485 square feet of commercial and office space, at 3191 SW 39th Ave.

Merrick Parc is planned as a multi-million-dollar multifamily development near The Shops at Merrick Park in Coral Gables. It’s to be built in Miami near an area that borders Coral Gables.

When completed the dual towers are to include 450-luxury rental apartments including studios, one- and two-bedroom units, with parking, and retail space for shops and dining.

The project is being designed by architectural firm Behar Font & Partners.

Review board member Robert Behar recused himself from hearing the presentation and stepped away from the dais.

Mario Garcia-Serra, an attorney representing the developer, said the site is about 1.1 acres and has frontages on Southwest 39th Avenue, Southwest 38th Court and Orange Street.

In a letter to the city Mr. Garcia-Serra said the project will utilize the Transfer of Development Density program established in the city’s zoning code, Miami 21.

This is permitted through the Historic Preservation Transfer of Development Density Program for up to a 50% increase above allowable density in a T6 transect zone for properties within three-quarters of a mile of a transit station.

In addition, he said the project will utilize the city’s Public Benefit Program to increase its height to 20 stories and the floor area (FLR) by 30%. As required by the code, the developer will provide a contribution to the Miami 21 Public Benefit Trust Fund to qualify for the benefit.

Mr. Garcia-Serra wrote, “The proposed increase in density, height and FLR will allow the project to be consistent with the commercial and residential uses in the surrounding area, including the new multifamily residential towers presently under construction at the nearby Douglas Road Metrorail Station as well as create a much-needed mix use project consistent with similar development in the City and Coral Gables just to the west of the property.”

The developer is requesting several waivers allowing for:
  • A reduction in side setback above the 8th floor.

  • Up to a 30% reduction in parking for properties within the half-mile radius of a Transit Oriented Development area, which would result in 272 parking spaces instead of 389 spaces.

  • An increase in building floor plate length above 8th story by 10%.

  • A reduction in parking aisle width, from 23 feet to 22 feet.

  • An increase of required maximum residential floor plate above the 8th story.

  • Extended parking into the second layer.

  • A vehicular entrance separation of less than 60 feet.
Mr. Garcia-Serra wrote, “This area of the City, abutting Coral Gables, and geographically separate from the rest of the City of Miami by US 1 and Bird Road has been in a state of transition for some time. It is no longer a forgotten industrial area of the City.

“At present, the prevailing trend of new mixed-use developments with significant residential components holds great promise for the renewal of this area.

“The construction of a new mixed-use building in this neighborhood will be a great addition that will create a smooth and logical transition between the City and neighboring Coral Gables and make this area of the City a great place to live, work, and play,” he wrote.

A representative of the developer told the board this is the first phase of the project and they intend to come back in about six weeks with Phase II.

Board Chairman Ignacio Permuy said it is a beautiful project.

Board member Anthony Tzamtzis agreed, saying it’s a very nice-looking building.

New board member Agustin Barrera said with a building of this size “you’ve done a good job breaking up the volume and mass.” He added, “Phase I stands on its own.”

Board member Gia Zapattini said it will be a great building for that property, but she said the main entrance was hard to find.

The motion to recommend approval was 5-0 and included a condition that the developer reconsider the design of the corners of the building and make the location of a main entrance more prominent.

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