The proposed Miami locations of SushiSamba and Duck & Waffle may have hit a snag with City of Miami planners.
According to the Real Deal, the Miami Planning Department's chief of urban designs, David Snow, cited inconsistencies in plans for the restaurant site during the past Miami River Commission meeting. Snow said he was "prepared to halt construction" of the four-story complex located at 20 SW North River Dr. The Melo Group is the developer of the property, located adjacent to its Flagler on the River. The 32-story, 250-apartment residential complex features a pool deck and social room, with rentals ranging from $1,500 to $2,400 a month.
At the July 2016 Miami River Commission meeting, Brett Bibeau, managing director of the Miami River Commission, stated that at a recent site visit, the proposed Riverwalk had been narrowed due to a late change in the site's elevations. The approved plans included a 14-foot public Riverwalk. The new width is 12 feet, which is inconsistent with Miami 21 Section 3.11, Appendix B, and the City Charter.
The Real Deal quoted commission chairman Horacio Stewart Aguirre as saying to Melo architect and Itec Design president Arturo Griego: “If we took a vote today, you would not walk out happy.”
Carlos Melo, principal of the Melo Group, issued the following statement to New Times:
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“Our team is diligently working with the Miami River Commission to bring the best possible project to the neighborhood. The development’s second phase is now underway and will be delivered in 2017 upon completion of tenant improvements. Melo Group is a long-time investor in the Miami River District and we look forward to further activating the area with our newest project.”
When completed, this will be the third SushiSamba in Miami-Dade and the first Duck & Waffle outside of London. The flagship, located on the 40th floor of a central London office building, is a modern gastropub and lounge open 24 hours a day. No word on whether the Miami Duck & Waffle will also be eternally open.
Although the project is clearly named “Sushi Samba/Duck and Waffle House” on Miami River Commission documents, Samba Brands Management, parent company of both restaurants, declined to comment, with a representative saying "they have not yet officially announced the location."