Development in Wynwood continues to rage on. Wynwood Block, which takes up a whole city block on NW Second Avenue between 26th and 27th streets, has officially announced its presence.
When the development's banners went up along the border of the property last week, fear of a mini mall in Miami's arts haven had the members of the community buzzing. Rumors of Starbucks have been tossed around as well.
But from the renderings New Times attained from Brightways Properties, and those posted up around the perimeter of the building, the prospective shops look more like independent brands instead of national chains.
Curious to know which direction this property will be taking, we met with Gaston Miculitzki, who brokered the deal for Brightways Properties and will be curating the incoming occupants.
"The new owners would just like to be known as Wynwood Management", Miculitzki says. "They will be partnering up with Miami-based firm Arquitectonica to create a fresh destination location in Wynwood."
After plunking down a cool $6.3 million to acquire the property, Wynwood Management plans on investing over $1 million in building renovations, Miculitzki says. The exterior will have a raw concrete look, but the interior will have bright and colorful accents. A central corridor will lead people from the main strip to the back where tables and chairs will be set up. Patrons will be able to shop, eat and walk around at their leisure.
The building will be sub-divided into 28 units that can be built-to-suit during the pre-construction phase. Spaces range in price from $35-$40 sq ft and units start at 350 sq ft and up. Jewelry and clothing companies, café-style restaurants, furniture and coffee shops have already shown interest in the space, Miculitzki says, noting that the new owners are not opposed to national brands, but they are adamant about continuing the "Wynwood aesthetic." Essentially, he explains, they're analyzing all potential tenants but prefer focusing on supporting strong, local, established businesses.
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Cesar Morales, owner of Wood Tavern, is in talks with Wynwood Block's owners about opening a food and beverage operation in the new space. "There is still a need for more food options in the area and I would like to offer something that would cater to breakfast crowds as well as lunch and dinner. These guys have the right idea." Morales states.
Set to launch in January 2014, Wynwood Block is planning on pulling a temporary permit for Art Basel. The building will be open as a showroom and pop-up shop of sorts. Right now, they have signed leases with three tenants since the signage went up, and are considering an additional 30 letters of interest. Tenants must agree to a five-year lease; the Wynwood Block crew want to make sure the businesses are focused on longevity and not just short-term goals of occupying the space.
--Kerry McLaney, founder of Wynwood-based 305 Creative Group (@305creative)