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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

PLUS URBIA DESIGN'S WYNWOOD WORK -- THE REAL DEAL

REZONING OF 205 ACRES IN WYNWOOD GETS FIRST OK

By Francisco Alvarado



A plan that proponents claim will make it easier for property owners and developers to build mixed-use, residential projects in Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood while preserving its eclectic character cleared its first hurdle.

At its regular meeting last night, the city of Miami Planning, Zoning and Appeals Board unanimously approved a slate of changes to zoning and land use designations that would eliminate most industrial uses and allow denser residential developments on roughly 205 acres in Wynwood. The recommendations still need to be finalized by the city commission.

Currently, property owners and developers are required to file individual applications to change industrial designations for Wynwood parcels. About 104 acres would go from industrial to general commercial use, while the remaining acreage (which is already zoned commercial) will be permitted more intense residential uses.

The board also recommended approving Wynwood as the city’s first Neighborhood Revitalization District, which will encourage builders to create wider sidewalks, pedestrian walkways within large projects, provide financial incentives to developers who preserve warehouses, and make it easier to construct affordable housing.

Joseph Furst, Wynwood director for Goldman Properties, one of the largest landowners in the neighborhood, hailed the plan as a solution to the piecemeal rezoning requests that have taken place in the last two years.

“This is the most exciting thing to happen to the neighborhood that all of us poured our hearts into,” Furst said. “We have created incredible momentum. Now it’s time to create a place we can call home.”

Jonathon Yormak, a principal with Madison Avenue-based real estate investment firm East End Capital, told board members the zoning changes would allow his company to quickly move forward with two development sites he and his partners have planned in Wynwood. East End, along with Yellow Side Ventures, owns seven acres in the neighborhood and already broke ground on a 23,500-square-foot retail and restaurant project located on Northwest 23rd Street, just west of North Miami Avenue. East End and Yellow Side paid $5.3 million for the site last year.

“We believe Wynwood is destined to be a place where millennials will relocate and where knowledge based users want to be,” Yormak said. “We want to build affordable housing, but the existing zoning doesn’t allow you to do that.”

For the past 18 months, property owners and other neighborhood stakeholders provided input to members of the Wynwood Business Improvement, its consulting firm PlusUrbia, and the city’s planning and zoning staff on how to create the Neighborhood Revitalization District, said Steven Wernick, a Miami-based land use lawyer at Akerman LLP who assisted in the plan’s development.
During the development of the plan, they evaluated neighborhoods around the country and Canada that transformed from industrial uses to commercial and residential uses such as Williamsburg, Brooklyn, the Pearl District in Portland, and Yaletown in Vancouver, Wernick said.

“The goal is to allow for mixed use developments that will really help bring Wynwood to the next level,” he said. ‘These changes will allow for multifamily uses, offices, and a host of other commercial uses that will turn the neighborhood into a place you can live, work and play in.”
At the same time, Wynwood would retain its edgy aesthetic by giving developers incentives to preserve the existing inventory of properties. “It still encourages the arts and hosting events, keeping with Wynwood’s character,” he said. “This has been a model initiative in that the development community, the people in the neighborhood and city have come together to collaborate and compromise.”
- See more at: http://therealdeal.com/miami/blog/2015/06/18/rezoning-of-205-acres-in-wynwood-gets-first-ok/#sthash.ooEDw1rl.dpuf

 

A plan that proponents claim will make it easier for property owners and developers to build mixed-use, residential projects in Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood while preserving its eclectic character cleared its first hurdle.
At its regular meeting last night, the city of Miami Planning, Zoning and Appeals Board unanimously approved a slate of changes to zoning and land use designations that would eliminate most industrial uses and allow denser residential developments on roughly 205 acres in Wynwood. The recommendations still need to be finalized by the city commission.
Currently, property owners and developers are required to file individual applications to change industrial designations for Wynwood parcels. About 104 acres would go from industrial to general commercial use, while the remaining acreage (which is already zoned commercial) will be permitted more intense residential uses.
The board also recommended approving Wynwood as the city’s first Neighborhood Revitalization District, which will encourage builders to create wider sidewalks, pedestrian walkways within large projects, provide financial incentives to developers who preserve warehouses, and make it easier to construct affordable housing.
- See more at: http://therealdeal.com/miami/blog/2015/06/18/rezoning-of-205-acres-in-wynwood-gets-first-ok/#sthash.ooEDw1rl.dpuf

A plan that proponents claim will make it easier for property owners and developers to build mixed-use, residential projects in Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood while preserving its eclectic character cleared its first hurdle.
At its regular meeting last night, the city of Miami Planning, Zoning and Appeals Board unanimously approved a slate of changes to zoning and land use designations that would eliminate most industrial uses and allow denser residential developments on roughly 205 acres in Wynwood. The recommendations still need to be finalized by the city commission.
Currently, property owners and developers are required to file individual applications to change industrial designations for Wynwood parcels. About 104 acres would go from industrial to general commercial use, while the remaining acreage (which is already zoned commercial) will be permitted more intense residential uses.
The board also recommended approving Wynwood as the city’s first Neighborhood Revitalization District, which will encourage builders to create wider sidewalks, pedestrian walkways within large projects, provide financial incentives to developers who preserve warehouses, and make it easier to construct affordable housing.
- See more at: http://therealdeal.com/miami/blog/2015/06/18/rezoning-of-205-acres-in-wynwood-gets-first-ok/#sthash.ooEDw1rl.dpuf
A plan that proponents claim will make it easier for property owners and developers to build mixed-use, residential projects in Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood while preserving its eclectic character cleared its first hurdle.
At its regular meeting last night, the city of Miami Planning, Zoning and Appeals Board unanimously approved a slate of changes to zoning and land use designations that would eliminate most industrial uses and allow denser residential developments on roughly 205 acres in Wynwood. The recommendations still need to be finalized by the city commission.
Currently, property owners and developers are required to file individual applications to change industrial designations for Wynwood parcels. About 104 acres would go from industrial to general commercial use, while the remaining acreage (which is already zoned commercial) will be permitted more intense residential uses.
The board also recommended approving Wynwood as the city’s first Neighborhood Revitalization District, which will encourage builders to create wider sidewalks, pedestrian walkways within large projects, provide financial incentives to developers who preserve warehouses, and make it easier to construct affordable housing.
- See more at: http://therealdeal.com/miami/blog/2015/06/18/rezoning-of-205-acres-in-wynwood-gets-first-ok/#sthash.ooEDw1rl.dpuf

Monday, July 27, 2015

GLOBE STREET INTERVIEWS WYNWOOD PLANNING CHAIR/SAAVY INVESTOR DAVID POLINSKY ABOUT PLUS URBIA DESIGN'S INNOVATIVE WYNWOOD NRD

 What NRD Means for Wynwood Retail



MIAMI—As Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood continues to progress as a center for art, entrepreneurship and creativity—the City of Miami Commission has voted to approve the Wynwood Neighborhood Revitalization District (NRD) Plan. The next step towards implementation of the Wynwood NRD Plan will be a second reading vote by the Miami Commission in September.

GlobeSt.com caught up with David Polinsky, a Wynwood Business Improvement District (BID) board member and planning committee chair, to talk about how the plan will impact retail, parking and more in part two of this exclusive interview. You can still read part one: Why Wynwood Will Boom Even Louder.

GlobeSt.com: Will the NRD plan affect retail development? How?

Polinsky: The new regulations promote the use of ground floors for commercial retail activities. The plan also allows for manufacturing-enabled retailers throughout the district similar to existing mainstays like Panther Coffee and Zak the Baker.

Authentic, independent retailers do very well in Wynwood and fit in with the neighborhood’s innovative and creative vibe. The Wynwood NRD Plan will ensure that those characteristics are preserved, while also bringing in new residents that will add a built-in customer base for existing and new retail establishments.

GlobeSt.com: How will the plan address parking in the area?

Polinsky: The NRD plan encourages a centralized parking system that consolidates parking and fosters pedestrian activity. The plan allows residential developers to provide one parking space for units of less than 650 square feet, which is a lower parking requirement than for larger units. Parking will have to be available either on-site or at off-site parking structures within 1,000 feet of a proposed development’s location.

GlobeSt.com: Explain how the NRD Plan will bring additional funds for improvements to Wynwood.

Polinsky: The plan calls for the formation of the Wynwood Public Benefit Trust Fund (WPBTF), which will ensure that additional money collected from new developments in Wynwood is used for improvements within the neighborhood. Money collected from bonus height and increased lot coverage will go towards area improvements including public spaces, parks, and civic spaces.



http://www.globest.com/news/12_1160/miami/development/What-NRD-Means-for-Wynwood-Retail-360127-1.html

Sunday, July 26, 2015

GLOBE STREET EMBRACES WYNWOOD NRD PLAN BY PLUS URBIA DESIGN

Why Wynwood Will Boom Even Louder

 

MIAMI—Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood is booming—and it’s about to boom a little louder. The City of Miami Planning, Zoning and Advisory Board has approved the Wynwood Neighborhood Revitalizaton District (NRD).

The NRD plan sets forth new zoning regulations for Wynwood to protect its artsy vibe while pushing more funding for neighborhood improvements. GlobeSt.com caught up with David Polinsky, a Wynwood Business Improvement District (BID) board member and planning committee chair, to find out what this really means for Wynwood in this exclusive interview.

GlobeSt.com: What is the NRD Plan and what does it seek to achieve?

Polinsky: The Wynwood NRD Plan sets forth new zoning guidelines for Wynwood that will encourage new, mixed-use residential and office developments, create dedicated funding for neighborhood improvements, promote pedestrian-focused activated streets and preserve the area’s unique artistic and industrial character. The goal is to ensure Wynwood’s continued evolution as a center for creativity that attracts visitors, innovators, and residents.

GlobeSt.com: Will the NRD Plan allow for more residential development in the district? How?

Polinsky: The goal of the residential component of the plan is to encourage more diverse residential options in Wynwood by allowing increased density from 36 and 65 to 150 dwelling units per acre including smaller, more affordable units under 650 square feet. The zoning that exists today leads to the development of larger, more expensive units because the currently allowed density is so low. The new regulations will enable people who already work and enjoy the neighborhood to also live here.

GlobeSt.com: How will the plan guarantee that Wynwood's unique, artistic vibe won't be lost in the midst of new development?

Polinsky: The Wynwood NRD Plan has several measures that will ensure that the neighborhood’s unique artistic and industrial characteristics are preserved.  The plan will require art or glass treatments on the ground floor of new developments.

It will also allow for Transfer of Development Rights, which will encourage the preservation of one-story, legacy structures that have become a part of the fabric of Wynwood. Finally, the NRD plan includes the creation of the Wynwood Design Review Committee to review the design of proposed neighborhood developments and promote the continued evolution of arts-driven architectural designs.

http://www.globest.com/news/12_1160/miami/development/Why-Wynwood-Will-Boom-Even-Louder-360101-1.html

Saturday, July 25, 2015

HIGHWAY OCHO NO MORE -- PLUS URBIA DESIGN'S TAMED SW 8TH STREET ENCHANTS SOUTH FLORIDA BUSINESS JOURNAL

Highway or walkway? State considers options for Miami’s Calle Ocho

The fate of Miami’s famed Calle Ocho is in the hands of state transportation officials who will decide whether the street should be a more efficient highway or become more pedestrian friendly.

The Florida Department of Transportation conducted a planning study for Southwest 8th Street and Southwest 7th Street from Brickell Avenue to Southwest 27th Street. The area extends from Miami’s Brickell financial district, across the clogged Interstate 95 entries, into historic Little Havana. The state is about to begin a project development and environmental (PD&E) phase that could lead to major changes on Calle Ocho.

The street is also home to the Calle Ocho parade and music festival every March.

Currently, both streets feature three one-way lanes. Southwest 8th Street (Calle Ocho) heads east and Southwest 7th Street goes west. Local architecture firm Plus Urbia developed a preliminary plan to make the street more welcoming to pedestrians, bicyclists and public transit while slowing car traffic down.



Juan Mullerat, founder of PlusUrbia and a resident in the area, said Calle Ocho is more like a highway than a main street. He’s heard from many businesses there that want more options for pedestrians.

“I have two daughters and I push a stroller down that street,” Mullerat said. “When cars are driving by at 50 miles per hour it make it less enjoyable. With a one-way traffic pattern, the cars feel they can go faster. Two-way streets are always better for commercial streets.”

PlusUrbia, the same firm that designed the rezoning changes in Wynwood, has a plan for one direction each of two-way traffic on both Southwest 7th and 8th Streets with an added bus lane and bike lane. The sidewalks would be widened to nine feet and the street-side parking would remain.
The design by PlusUrbia apply to the intersection with Southwest 17th Avenue and the adjoining blocks. The question is how traffic would be impacted further east, where there’s a daily crunch of cars moving between Interstate 95 and Brickell.

“This dense urban corridor has seen significant growth in the last decade with high-density high-rise developments and its operation is expected to be impacted with increased traffic volumes by several new major development projects currently proposed within the Brickell area,” FDOT spokeswoman Ivette Ruiz-Paz said.




The study's goals include improving access to Brickell and the highway interchange, making the street more pedestrian friendly, and promoting multi-modal transportation, she added. The PD&E study will begin in winter 2016 and should last two or three years.

However, Ruiz-Paz said FDOT has short-term pedestrian improvements to Calle Ocho that are coming within the next few years, including traffic control and pedestrian crossing signals.

Mullerat, who is on the steering committee for the FDOT study, said the state is focusing too much on traffic and not on the experience for the people and businesses who live there. Having a flashing light at a pedestrian crosswalk doesn’t help much when cars are driving by so fast, he said.

“The solution we are seeing are car oriented and we shouldn’t be in the business of moving cars. We should be in the business of moving people,” Mullerat said. “The solution I feel FDOT is moving toward is more cars, a better way of moving cars down the street and that is not what we are looking for. That is using Calle Ocho as a transit corridor at the expense of people living there. We are getting choked by traffic.”

Mullerat wants to hold a public forum of local stakeholders, so FDOT can hear what residents and businesses think.

“We need to get presentations from people who know what they are talking about,” Mullerat said. “If DOT decides to only put palm trees and benches, that is not what merchants want.”

http://www.bizjournals.com/southflorida/news/2015/07/24/highway-or-walkway-state-considers-options-for.html 


Friday, July 24, 2015

CURBED LOVES PLUS URBIA DESIGN'S WYNWOOD NRD

These are the Rules of the Big New Wynwood Zoning Code

 

by Sean McCaughan 

 

The Big Wynwood Rezoning has happened, leading to a more dynamic, pedestrian-friendly, mixed-use, and admittedly developer-friendly Wynwood (the old code was quite hostile to anybody trying to build condos), spearheaded by the Wynwood BID and designed by PlusUrbia. It was approved yesterday by a vote of 3-0 by the Miami City Commission. The Wynwood Neighborhood Revitalization District-1, the City of Miami's first NRD, is now officially a real thing. A little perplexed about what this means for Wynwood, Miami's art center? Well, here goes:

1) Almost all of Wynwood is converted from 'Light Industrial' and 'Industrial' to 'General Commercial' with a lining of 'Light Industrial' in the blocks along I-95 and a chunk of 'Medium Density Residential' in the SW corner where Mana Wynwood is located.

2) Financial incentives, including Transfer of Development Rights, are in place to preserve warehouses and incentivize development.

3) Zoning along North Miami Avenue and 29th Street will allow development up to eight stories as-of-right, with an additional four stories in exchange for public benefits. The majority of the rest of the area allows building heights up to five stories with an additional three in exchange for public benefits.

4) The new zoning does allow for development of new one-story buildings.

5) The Wynwood Development Review Board gives local control to approve all large projects.

6) The new zoning promotes affordable small studio apartments (less than 650 square feet) instead of large live-work spaces, with option to pay for a release from parking requirements at $12,000 a pop. This money would then go into the Wynwood Public Benefit Trust Fund and be used to pay for centralized parking.

7) Requires ten foot minimum width sidewalks.

8) Requires pedestrian paseos (cross-block walkways) for larger projects.

9) Woonerfs!

10) Solid, roll-up doors are banned.

11) Centralized parking facilities, paid for by developers looking for reductions in parking requirements, will encourage pedestrian walkability.

12) Increased housing density from 36 and 65 to a uniform 150 dwelling units per acre.

13) Allows both pure residential or live/work uses, while today only live/work is allowed as-of-right.

14) Incentivizes activated rooftop green spaces, and ground floors

15) Developers can pay into the Wynwood Public Benefit Trust Fund, which pays for open space, for an additional 3 to 4 stories of height or increased lot coverage from 80% to 90%. The trust fund will be used only in Wynwood, for open spaces, public parks, civic spaces, and woonerfs.

16) Facades on new developments will be required to either be wall art or glass.

17) Wynwood-only use categories like art galleries and manufacturing-enabled retail will preserve the character of Wynwood.

http://miami.curbed.com/archives/2015/07/24/wynwood-neighborhood-revitalization-district-approved.php

 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

MIAMI HERALD DEDICATES HUGE FRONT PAGE STORY TO PLUS URBIA DESIGN

With new plan, stakeholders lay out vision for ‘Wynwood 2.0’ 

 


Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/article28342504.html#storylink=cpy

 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

MIAMI NEW TIMES HAS PLUS URBIA DESIGN'S WOONERF FEVER

Dutch-Style, Pedestrian-Friendly "Woonerf" Streets Could Come To Wynwood

PHOTO BY  Joel VanderWeele

Wynwood might just get Miami's first woonerf. No, it's not the latest craft coffee or designer furniture craze — it's a Dutch term for a kind of pedestrian-friendly, low-speed street that can be walled off from cars on weekends.

And woonerfs are part of a larger proposal headed to the city commission tomorrow. Commissioners will consider the first comprehensive plan on how to change the neighborhood as it evolves from an industrial garment district into an arts-heavy, bars-and-restaurant-packed cultural district.

“Wynwood can evolve into what it wants to become: an arts and cultural district but with residential units and offices. All while still retaining the culture and character that it has today,” Juan Mullerat, the director of PlusUrbia, a Coconut Grove firm hired to create the plan, tells New Times.

Despite all the changes in recent years, Wynwood is still governed like the industrial district it was back when garment factories occupied its warehouses. Local business owners argue that the neighborhood could be more liveable and walkable, but the city's outdated, industrial zoning has kept their hands tied.

Enter PlusUrbia, which the Wynwood Business Improvement District (BID) hired to translate their ideas into a plan that commissioners could one day approve.
That day is finally here. Their works have been wound together in a proposal called the Wynwood Neighborhood Revitalization District (NRD) Plan. On June 17, the plan passed unanimously in the Planning, Zoning and Approval Board. On Thursday, the NRD Plan will be brought to commissioners for the first time. If approved, the plan will usher in a new phase for Wynwood.

Wynwood will be the first “NRD” in the city. PlusUrbia and the Wynwood BID crafted this new term because Miami has never had a neighborhood quite like Wynwood before. Their focus in on retaining the art and culture, a much harder concept to define.

The last thing Mullerat, his team, and the business owners want to do is destroy Wynwood's character. They want the iconic murals to stay on the walls, and they want artists to continue painting them. “That's why it's so difficult. We don't want to get rid of what we have today but still evolve with local businesses. It's not a simple rezoning,” he explains.

Their plan calls for a “diversification of uses,” which broadens what types of structures can operate in the neighborhood. The plan calls for more residential, small-dwelling units in order to keep costs low and affordable for the people who work and frequent Wynwood. “In turn, it maintains an option for artist and millennials to remain in the district,” Mullerat points out.

The urban planners tussled with the lack of green and open space in Wynwood. Wynwood Walls, where locals and tourists can walk around and look at the art, is the area's only real public space—even if it's technically operated on a private property. The plan calls for a fund to be created that would offer incentives to developers if they contribute to creating new green and open spaces.

That's where the woonerfs come in. The plan suggests creating the Dutch-style streets on First Avenue, Third Avenue, and First Place. According to Mullerat, woonerfs are typically curbless streets paved in a way that slows down traffic and opens the road to pedestrians and cyclists. They can even be shut down on the weekends to hold local events, like farmers markets.

“It's designed so that the cars go slower, the sidewalks are wide, and there's shade. It's not an open space but it provides some relief,” Mullerat explains.

http://www.miaminewtimes.com/news/dutch-style-pedestrian-friendly-woonerf-streets-could-come-to-wynwood-7767722