It looks like it’s back to the drawing board for the developers of a massive nearly one million square foot mixed-use project in Wynwood, Miami.
L&L Holding Company and Carpe Real Estate Partners suffered a setback on Wednesday, when the Miami Urban Development Review Board voted 4-0 to reject its proposed design for N29, an office, retail and apartment complex.
The decision is technically advice for Miami planning director Cesar Garcia-Pons, who has the final say on the project’s design approval. However, UDRB member Dean Lewis said The real deal that council recommendations be taken very seriously by planning staff.
New York-based developers want to build N29 on a plot of land at 31-95 Northwest 29th Street, 2925 Northwest First Avenue and 40-94 Northwest 30th Street in Miami.
L&L Holding Company and Carpe Real Estate are under contract to purchase all of the properties, most of which belong to the Rubell Family Collection.
The development site also adjoins the Gateway at Wynwood project, which has an area of 220,000 square feet.
N29 is expected to total 960,870 square feet and be between eight and 12 stories high. The project is proposed to include 200,000 square feet of office space, 523 residential units, 26,372 square feet of retail, 668 parking spaces and 670 bicycle parking spaces. It will also have a 22,000 square foot main floor public square and approximately 30,000 square feet of programmable space.
David Weitz, co-founder of Carpe Real Estate Partners, said the design of N29 drew heavily on Oasis Wynwood, an office and retail project developed by Carpe at 2335 North Miami Avenue. Weitz said what makes Oasis unique is its large 30,000 square foot yard.
While N29 already received support from the Wynwood Business Improvement District design review committee in July, the review of the project at the UDRB was delayed in August after board members objected. to the proposed building cluster along 30th Street.
The architectural firm Gensler, which is designing the project, attempted to solve this problem by adding a 40-foot-wide paseo entrance on 30th Street and other artistic design elements.
But at Wednesday’s meeting, Ignacio Permuy, president of the UDRB, said the project still looks like a wall along Northwest 30th Street. “It’s a huge mass 100 feet high and 400 feet long, and it’s not broken,” Permuy said.
This is not the case along Northwest 29th Street, Permuy said. “You’ve done a tremendous job of articulating and breaking down the mass and inviting pedestrians,” he added.
Board member Robert Behar called for a vote to reject the current design.
“I can’t believe there was an attempt to do what was asked,” Behar said. “It is essential.”