The Miami River may rank as the latest waterfront hotspot in South Florida.
Developers have a dozen projects in various stages, from proposals to nearly completed construction, that would add 10,500 condo and apartment units along the Miami River, according to The Real Deal’s review of records. This could be an undercount, as TRD’s analysis focused on applications and construction loan filings only over the past year. More projects could be in the works and some long-stalled ones could be in for revival.
The Miami River runs 5.5 miles from a canal near Miami International Airport to Biscayne Bay. It is among the first, if not the first, inhabited areas in Miami, with archeologists discovering artifacts, as well as animal and human remains, some dating back 7,000 years.
The promise of a building boom on the Miami River shows the city is perhaps coming full circle. After developers homed in on neighborhoods elsewhere, they are now coming back to build along Southeast Florida’s oldest natural landmark.
Here are the projects on tap by the Miami River.
Longtime South Florida developer Harvey Hernandez is making a triple bet on the Miami River.
Newgard Development Group, led by Hernandez, plans the three-tower One Brickell Riverfront complex on the 1.6-acre L-shaped lot at 99 Southwest Seventh Street.
The firm already is developing a 44-story Lofty Brickell condo tower and a 43-story residential tower. The buildings, which share a podium, will have a total of 700 residential units. Lofty Brickell is 92 percent pre-sold.
Newgard didn’t return inquiries on the exact unit count of the first two towers, and if the 43-story building would be condos or apartments.
In September, Newgard filed the application for the third tower, a 59-story condo with 169 units. The Miami Urban Development Review Committee will vote on the project at a yet-unscheduled meeting.
Miami-based Newgard paid $50.5 million for the development site in 2021. The property is near Brickell City Centre’s mixed-use complex.
River Landing add-on
Three years after opening River Landing Shops & Residences, developer Urban-X Group wants to add a 28-story apartment building across the street.
Led by Andrew Hellinger and Coralee Penabad, Urban-X proposes a 475-unit building at 1411 Northwest North River Drive. The project, christened MidRiverVu, would be across the street from the finished riverfront River Landing mixed-use project and about 500 feet north of the river.
The 2.2 million-square-foot River Landing at 1500 Northwest North River Drive is among the pioneer projects that jump-started the Miami River development wave of recent years. River Landing consists of 528 apartments, retail, restaurants and offices.
MidRiverVu would be part of the River Landing Special Area Plan, or a city zoning designation for projects spanning over 9 acres that gives developers wiggle room in exchange for public benefits. Urban-X developed a boardwalk along the north riverbank as part of River Landing.
So long, James L. Knight Center
The James L. Knight Center and adjoining Hyatt will give way to a three-building development.
Gencom and Hyatt plan a pair of 61-story towers with 682 apartments, a 615-key Hyatt Regency and 264 service branded apartments at 400 Southeast Second Avenue. The third tower will be a supertall, rising 1,049 feet, or the maximum allowed in Miami, with 860 apartments. Called Miami Riverbridge, the planned project will include more than 100,000 square feet of event space.
Designed by Arquitectonica, the 3.3 million-square-foot project marks a new chapter for 4 acres of city-owned property. For more than four decades, the James L. Knight Center has hosted conventions, graduations and sports events. The center and existing 615-key Hyatt were completed in 1982.
In July, Miami-based Gencom and Chicago-based Hyatt scored city commission approval to extend a site ground lease from 45 years to 99 years. The vote marked the last major hurdle after Miamians approved the development with 64 percent of the vote last year.
Hyatt, led by Mark Hoplamazian, and Gencom, led by Karim Alibhai, expect to start construction in 2026. Completion of the first tower is expected in 2030.
The Pérez family’s Related Group is stepping up the branded-condo game on the Miami River.
Coconut Grove-based Related is developing a 75-story, 355-unit Baccarat-branded condo at 99 Southeast Fifth Street. It’s part of a multi-tower project that includes the adjacent 44-story, 506-unit One Brickell apartment tower at 77 Southeast Fifth Street, which is under construction.
Related also plans a third tower next door at 444 Brickell Avenue. The timeline of that project is unclear due to the discovery of artifacts, as well as human and animal remains, some of which date back 7,000 years. On Tuesday, the Miami Historic and Environmental Preservation Board voted in favor of an archeological designation for the site, though that doesn’t stop Related from building on it. The development firm has to come back to the board with an action plan and notify the board of significant archeological findings.
On Point on the River
Developer Shahab Karmely’s plan for a pair of 60-story connecting condo towers was first revealed nearly a decade ago.
Late last year, the project picked up speed when Karmely’s KAR Properties and Edgardo Defortuna’s Fortune International Group, together through their ORP Partners joint venture, paid $59 million for the 1.8-acre property at 24 Southwest Fourth Street. A Karmely-led entity sold the site.
In January, ORP scored a $38 million line of credit for marketing, sales and the development of the 386-condo waterfront project, called One River Point. At the time, Defortuna told TRD that the developers plan to keep the original Rafael Viñoly design, make some tweaks and launch sales this year. A spokesperson declined to provide an update, including on the sales launch date.
Chetrit’s River District
Another long-stalled project was resuscitated late last year.
The Chetrit Group plans a $1 billion megaproject expected to include 1,600 residential units, 30,000 square feet of retail, offices and a marina on 6.2 acres south of the river, between I-95 and Southwest Second Avenue. In December, hospitality mogul David Grutman announced that his Groot Hospitality will operate the food and beverage aspects of the project.
The Chetrit family’s New York-based firm first scored approval for the 4 million-square-foot River District project in 2015.
Phase 1 will consist of a 54-story rental tower with two retail buildings. The second phase will consist of a 52-story, 378-unit luxury condo tower that’s expected to be completed in 2026.
Douglas Elliman is leading condo sales.
1250 Northwest 22nd Avenue
The Polish American Club of Miami wants to get in on real estate development
The club wants to build an eight-story mixed-use project with 102 apartments, 40,000 square feet of offices, roughly 6,000 square feet of ground-floor retail, and a new 20,000-square-foot banquet hall at 1250 Northwest 22nd Avenue, according to an application filed late last year. Roughly 20 percent of the rentals would be affordable housing.
While the Polish American Club scored approval from the Miami River Commission last year and from the city’s planning and zoning board in March, the project stalled in front of the city commission.
In July, commissioners deferred voting on the project indefinitely, city records show. Miami planning administrators have recommended the commission deny the zoning changes needed for the project.
An attorney for the club declined to provide an update on plans.
In 2018, the club demolished its one-story banquet hall on the site, which had been built in 1941.
Most developers that pursue projects on the Miami River focus on the east portion of the river, close to the booming Brickell and Health District neighborhoods.
But Oscar Rodriguez and Ricardo Vadia, through their ROVR Development, plan a nearly 1,600-unit multifamily project on 10 acres west of Northwest 27th Avenue, between the river to the north and Delaware Parkway to the south.
Called River Rapids, the project will be built in five phases. Construction is expected to start in the next three months on the 300-unit Tides building and then the 293-unit Moorings building, according to a ROVR spokesperson. Tides and Moorings will range in height from eight to 12 stories.
In the next two months ROVR will submit a site plan application for the following three, yet-unnamed phases, the spokesperson said. They will consist of a 340-unit building, a 330-unit building and a 330-unit building. The buildings will range from 12 to 15 stories.
Coral Gables-based ROVR completed the development site assemblage in June with the $23.5 million purchase of the 6-acre property planned for the last three phases. The site, now a self-storage facility, is at 1701 and 1851 Delaware Parkway. ROVR and its partner, the Leviant family of New York, bought the 4-acre site for Tides and Moorings for $15 million in 2020.
In another sign that development is creeping west along the river, Coastline-Nakash Equity Capital Group proposes an 822-unit apartment complex near Miami International Airport.
The firm, led by Yaniv Nakash and Eyal Mehaber, wants to build four buildings, which would be limited to roughly eight stories (because the site is in a flight path), with 60,000 square feet of retail and a movie theater in each building, Nakash told TRD in September, after filing the project application. The 7-acre site is at 3550 Northwest South River Drive.
Development along the west riverbank would spell a new chapter for the largely industrial area. The Coastline-Nakash site now is a junk car lot.
Records show the project is still under review by Miami-Dade County administrators.
Miami River Queen is Back
Developer Lissette Calderon was a pioneer during the first wave of riverfront development in the early 2000s, earning her the moniker “Queen of the Miami River.”
Now, after focusing on projects elsewhere, such as Miami’s Allapattah, she is going back to her roots on the Miami River.
Neology Life Development Group, led by Calderon, wants to build a 1,360-unit apartment complex with three 14-story buildings at 2301 Northwest 33rd Avenue. The project would include 48,300 square feet of commercial space. Construction is expected to start late next year.
While Calderon completed her first Miami River projects on the east riverbank, her new proposal is for the west riverbank.
The site is in the Palmer Lake neighborhood of unincorporated Miami-Dade and near the planned Major League Soccer stadium backed by David Beckham. A partnership among the retired soccer star, Ares Management, MasTec billionaire Jorge Mas and his brother Jose Mas wants to build Miami Freedom Park with a 25,000-seat stadium and a mixed-use complex on Melreese Country Club at 1400 Northwest 37th Avenue.
River Short-Term Rentals
A 16-story condo project will allow owners to rent out their units through platforms such as Airbnb and VRBO.
Alta Development, founded and led by Henry Pino, plans the 283-condo building with studios, one- and two-bedroom units, at 1451 Northwest 14th Street, less than half a mile north from the river. The project, called River District 14, will include two indoor pickleball courts, Pino told The Real Deal.
Unit prices range from $475,000 to $840,000, with roughly 35 percent of the condos pre-sold, Pino said.
After scoring final project approval in April from a city board, Kendall-based Alta is awaiting Miami administration’s sign off on a construction permit, according to Pino. Completion is expected in the summer of 2025.
Remi Part Two
Mast Capital is wrapping up construction of a second Remi on the River apartment building.
The Coconut Grove-based firm, led by Camilo Miguel Jr., is developing the eight-story, 342-unit project at 999 Northwest Seventh Street in Miami, according to a Mast spokesperson. Completion is expected in January.
The adjacent, first Remi on the River building, which is finished and fully leased, also is eight stories and has 346 units.
Katherine Kallergis contributed to this report.