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August 27, 2015 / Johanna Bassols / 0 Comments / Architecture & Design

Big Changes Ahead for Community of Coral Gables

The community of Coral Gables is gearing up for big changes as developers look to create a more pedestrian-friendly area that boasts public art and a booming commercial sector. Last week, local industry leaders met at a CREW-Miami luncheon to discuss the upcoming projects. The group is a local chapter of the national CREW Network, which focuses on the advancement of men and women in commercial real estate. According to the panel, and a recent article from The Real Deal, the future of Coral Gables is bright, with several mixed-use developments in the works.

Developer Brent Reynolds, president and managing partner of NP International spoke at the event about the the planned Paseo de la Riviera, which will replace an existing Holiday Inn. The hotel and residential tower will feature an open-air “paseo” or walkway, that will span 352 feet in length and 72 feet in width. In addition to the half-acre greenspace, the project will include a 10-story, 252-key hotel and an eight-story, 224-unit residential building with 838 parking spaces. Located at 1350 South Dixie Highway, the 2.66-acre development will be across the street from the planned Underline linear park, which runs underneath the Metrorail. Construction for Jorge L. Hernandez designed project is slated to begin next year.

Also planned for the area is the 6.7-acre mixed-use complex Mediterranean Village at Ponce Circle. Developed by Agave Ponce, the project will include a five-star, 184-key hotel, a 300,000-square-foot Class A office building, 300,000 square feet of retail, two condo towers, 15 townhomes, a rooftop restaurant, and more green spaces. According to panelist Eddie Avila, president of Key Realty Advisors Development, the $500 million development will span three full blocks while keeping all streets open. Street parking will not be an issue as an underground loading zone is part of the plan. The Village will maintain the integrity of the pedestrian-friendly design by moving the hotel entrance to inside the complex. $7.8 million will be invested in public spaces, bringing art and parks to the project.

Marina Foglia, executive director of the Coral Gables Business Improvement District, spoke at the luncheon about the $20 million Miracle Mile and Giralda Avenue streetscape project, which was approved back in August 2014. The plans, which were designed by Cooper, Robertson & Partners, call for more green spaces and improved pedestrian areas. Outdoor dining areas and mid-block parks and plazas will help secure these goals, along with a change to parallel parking and curbless streets for better walkability. The project is set to break ground in January.

Other projects for Coral Gables were also named, including the Aloft Hotel at 2524 LeJeune Road, a residential project, 2020 Salzedo, and the University of Miami Health Center. And even more have been approved, according to Jane Tompkins, development services director for the city of Coral Gables. “We have a lot going on,” Tompkins stated. “We have several projects under way.” The transformation of Coral Gables promises to be an exciting addition to the already bustling and ever-growing Miami real estate market.

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