The area of Little Havana that runs along the Miami River is one step closer to receiving a substantial makeover as city officials unanimously approved a $1 billion mixed-use project last week. The development agreement includes the rezoning of a 10-acre site where New York-based Chetrit Group and local developer Ari Pearl are planning the project. In order to obtain approval from the Miami City Commission, the developers promised to invest $14 million into an affordable workforce housing fund, according to a recent article from The Real Deal. $7 million was also committed for public infrastructure surrounding the site, including the renovation of nearby Jose Marti Park, with designs by Raymond Jungles.
“This project is of city-wide importance,” said Melissa Tapanes Llahues, the lawyer for the developers. “It makes the vision of an Interconnected city a reality.”
The multi-use development will include four towers, a hotel, restaurants, shops, and a public river walk with boat slips. Construction will be carried out in five phases, with the first tower, housing 200 hotel rooms and 328 condos, scheduled for completion by the end of 2018. In total, the complex will add 1,678 residential units, 330 hotel rooms, 266,000 square feet of retail and office space, and more than 2,000 spaces. Kobi Karp is the architect for the project, with contributions from the Miami River Commission. The river walk, which will be lined with restaurants and shops, will be accessible to Brickell and East Little-Havana residents. A public gathering place at an I-95 underpass is also planned.
“This is a very exciting project in a blighted area that could use some enthusiasm,” stated Horacio Stuart Aguirre, Miami River Commission Chairman. City Commissioner Frank Carrollo, whose district includes the site, added, “This is a beautiful project. I am glad to say I met with the developer and his team to address some issues.”