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Possibly 42 & 22 story towers for Miami

Guest donaltopablo

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Guest donaltopablo

Good news for Miami, although in a way I guess you could say a little piece of history is going with it.

Former TV cop station to yield 42-story tower on river

Paola Iuspa-Abbott

On "Miami Vice," it was an Art Deco-style police station.

Now, the eroding building on the Miami River is under contract.

The rundown site of a former ship manufacturing plant at the corner of Southwest Seventh Street and Second Avenue is on its way to becoming a residential and office condominium project.

The proposed complex would consist of a 42-story residential tower with 424 condo units, a 22-story office condo tower, some retail on the ground floor, a waterfront restaurant and a plaza for public access to a 20-foot-wide walkway along the river.

Marjorie and William Brickell, descendents of city founders William and Mary Brickell, have owned the parcel since 1992. The almost two-acre property is at 615 S.W. Second Ave., on the south bank of the river.

Miami developer J. Kevin Reilly and Boston-based EA Fish Associates teamed up to buy the site that was the former home to the Miami Shipbuilding Corp. The ship manufacturer put up the one-story, Art Moderne building in 1940, after winning a contract to build ships designed to rescue downed pilots during World War II, Miami's Historic and Environmental Preservation Board records show.

The developer is in the process of applying to the city of Miami for a major use special permit. Closing the land deal is subject to obtaining the city's plan approval.

"We are working closely with the city to accommodate issues important to them," Reilly said. "We refined this down to make it an attractive project."

Architect Bernardo Fort-Brescia of Miami-based Arquitectonica designed both towers.

The group expects to start construction in August. Financing for the estimated

$150 million development, with the land cost included, still has to be secured, he said.

The partners are proposing to save the Art Moderne details decorating the building's entrance, now buried behind the containing walls of the recently rebuilt Second Avenue Bridge.

The large relief panel above the entrance shows a man holding a ship aloft while kneeling in water and surrounded by a ship's helm, propeller and gear, the preservation board said.

While the developer will demolish the building, the partners agreed to save as much as they can from the panel, move and replicate the entrance at the corner of Second Avenue and Seventh Street, said Sarah Eaton, the city's preservation officer. She said the 63-year-old building does not have any historic designation.

The property has deteriorated, just like other structures along the river that no longer serve the marine industry.

"We are cleaning up a site that needs attention," said Steve Gelb, the Miami partner of EA Fish Associates, experienced in urban infill development.

This project won't be the only high-rise towering over the low-rise commercial buildings on the river.

Miami developer Lissette Calderon this year got city approval to build the 36-story Neo Vertika in a parcel abutting Reilly's. Her proposed 443-unit project at 690 S.W. First Ave. would be completed at the end of 2006. Condo units would sell from $150,000 to $500,000.

Reilly's project, still to be named, seems to be gaining community support.

The Miami River Commission, a state-created agency in charge of overseeing the livelihood of the river and scrutinizing developments along its shores, reviewed the plans.

The project was compatible with his group's vision for the redevelopment of the lower river, said Brett Bibeau, the agency's managing director. The commission wants to see mixed-use projects in the portion of the river west of Interstate 95 to Biscayne Bay.

Fran Bohnsack, a river commission member and executive director of the Miami River Marine Group, suggested the developer build a historical marker on the riverwalk. It would note that WWII PT boats were built at the site. The developer agreed with the concept, according to commission minutes.

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Damn it!!! Can't you guys bring 1-2 such projects in DT Raleigh :lol: Seriously, Miami seems to have a tremendous momentum and I am sure we all know what the future holds for that metro area. Mixed-use, walkability and density are among the many great things that city planners and developers are willing to bring to Miami. Two thumbs up!!!

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