When the late developer Tony Goldman first set his sights on Wynwood, he imagined turning the sleepy industrial district into an arts-friendly neighborhood. Existing low-rise warehouses would be converted into everything from restaurants and art galleries to office space with colorful street art on their exteriors. Take a look around, and you'll see that vision has been realized.
However, developer Moishe Mana has even more ambitious plans for the second stage of Wynwood's gentrification. As previously reported, he wants to obtain an exception to zoning codes to build towers as tall as 24 stories and envisions a massive, 9-million-square-foot development that will cater to tech companies, international trade, and, of course, a bit of the arts.
The New York-based Mana owns the largest contiguous plot of land in the neighborhood. His 30-acre site sits at NW 23rd Street and stretches from Wynwood's main drag of NW Second Avenue to I-95. It's home to a convention center and studio, but Mana has high hopes for the area. Recently, the City of Miami changed zoning codes in Wynwood to allow the construction of towers up to 12 stories tall in certain areas of the neighborhood, but Mana now wants those restrictions doubled.
The Next Miami got ahold of plans for one of the first new buildings Mana hopes to build in the neighborhood. The building is dubbed a "beauty center" meant to cater to Miami's beauty and fashion industries, but it would also include an 84-room hotel, retail shops, restaurants, bars, and an auditorium. The 244,000-square-foot building would rise nine stories.
The Urban Development Review Board will peruse the plans later this month, and if all goes well, construction will begin by January.
But the beauty center is just a small part of Mana's larger plans. Check out the renderings for his ultimate vision:
Mana has hired Zyscovich Architects to create a master plan for the 30-acre site, and the results are certainly eye-popping.
As previously noted, the project would be one of escalating height. Buildings as tall as eight stories would sit along the main drag of Wynwood, with buildings' heights rising the farther they stand from from NW Second Ave. The towers near I-95 would reach 24 stories.
“The intent and goal of the plan is to develop a unique area on the southern end of Wynwood with cultural infrastructure with an area of trade on the western edge, to facilitate increase trade between South America and Asia,” architect Bernard Zyscovich told the South Florida Business Journal. “The eastern edges would fulfill the Moishe Mana vision of the cultural component into the Wynwood area in the form of art and culture mixed with significant job creation, trade, and other flexible uses.”
Projects would include the following, according to SFBJ:
- An Asian-Latin American trade center to connect businesses from Latin America with businesses from Asia.
- An art center/museum where artists could have studio space and sell their works.
- A three-acre public park.
- Event space for gatherings tied to Art Walk and Art Basel.
- A possible art school.
- 2,500 residential units (many of them possibly affordable "micro-apartments").
- Up to 600 hotel rooms.
Outside of Mana-owned operations, no perspective tenants have been identified.
Of course, Mana would need major approval from the city before moving forward with such an ambitious plan. His company has submitted an application to the city for a “special area plan” to build such tall towers and increase the development density allowable. Mana is also asking the city to designate the area as "flexible zoning" to allow everything from retail and residential units to offices to be built.
Parking garages and underground parking would be constructed, according to SFBJ, and the development would reconnect some streets on the grid that are currently cut off from one another. Mana also hopes the city will increase public transportation options in the neighborhood.
All in all, it's an ambitious plan that comes just months after the city already reset the zoning of Wynwood to allow some midsize buildings.
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.