If the pace of gentrification in Wynwood has gotten a little too speedy for you, here's some bad news: the Miami Planning, Zoning and Appeals Board recently signed off on construction of the neighborhood's most densely populated residential building to date -- and also one of its tallest.
According to the Daily Business Review, the board voted seven to one in favor of construction plans submitted by developer Wynwood 250 LLC, including buildings that would rise as high as eight stories tall and comprise as many as 80 apartment units in total.
The new buildings, set for a half-acre lot on NW 24th Street, near Panther Coffee, would loom large over the rapidly developing arts neighborhood -- literally. Though many new businesses have set up shop in Wynwood in recent years, most are still located in one-story repurposed warehouse spaces. Taller buildings, like the four-story Wynwood Lofts, are rare.
But taller and tighter seems to be the trend for the (former?) warehouse district. Wynwood Central, a planned 69-unit building, will go up right across the street from the Wynwood 250 site. Another new development going up at NW Second Ave. and 27th Street, on a lot that currently serves as a parking space during Wynwood's busy Second Saturdays, will match the Wynwood 250 building in terms of size, DBR notes.
"The market in Wynwood wants a smaller-sized apartment. We're sort of the guinea pigs to figure it all out," David Polinsky, Wynwood 250 developer, told the paper. He also promised to make the building architecturally "interesting," referring to the artsy vibe of the neighborhood.
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But not everyone is thrilled with the change. City planner Harold Ruck objected to the zoning variance for Wynwood 250, noting that "The use, as far as density is concerned, doesn't fit the rest of the neighborhood."
That might not be true for long. Though a city plan to allow buildings as tall as 10 stories was rescinded in November, several new projects are hot on Wynwood 250's heels. Real estate investor Ira Lang has proposed a 12-story building in southeastern Wynwood, and Luciana Gonzalez, assistant director of the Planning department, said the department is talking with the Wynwood Business Improvement District (BID) about implementing zoning changes that would clear the way for bigger and denser buildings in the future.
That's good news if you want to live in Wynwood but are too broke to afford it. But it's very bad news if you miss the good ol' days, before the galleries scaled back the booze and Ducati set up shop. Nothing gold can stay, folks.