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South Miami officials object to mixed-use project at Metrorail station

South Miami officials are against a proposal to build a mixed-use office and retail complex at a nearby Metrorail station, The Real Deal reports.

On July 12, the city commissioners passed a resolution objecting to the project the developers have named as SoMi Station, as it is currently designed, citing the developer’s desire to reduce required parking and a lack of affordable housing.

The Treo Group has entered into an agreement with Miami-Dade County to build a transit-oriented development consisting of roughly 200,000 sq. ft. of office, 23,000 sq. ft. of retail and 99 apartments for University of Miami students.

For final approval, Treo must present its project to the county’s Rapid Transit Development Impact Committee, which will review it against development standards adopted by South Miami in 2002. The city gets to appoint two voting members to the executive committee.

During the meeting, several South Miami residents also voiced opposition to the development proposal. “This is a giveaway of our public land to enrich a group of developers,” said Antoinette Fisher. “There will be no public benefit whatsoever.”

South Miami city manager Steven Alexander told commissioners the project deviates from several development standards adopted by the city, including a ground-floor story height of 22 ft. where only a 14-foot maximum is allowed, an overall building height of eight stories where only five stories is allowed and a parking reduction of 34 percent where the cap is 25 percent.

However, the city is willing to drop its objections if Treo agrees to designate 25 of the apartments for non-student, workforce housing to accommodate residents with incomes ranging from 60 percent to 140 percent of the area median income, as well as improvements to Southwest 70th Street and Southwest 59th Place to handle the increase in vehicular, bicycle and pedestrian traffic and improve the aesthetics of the right-of-way.

SoMi Station was designed by Perkins+Will.

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