Board member Jennifer Barnes was concerned with traffic from the planned Biscayne Boulevard building, which now backs up several blocks north of 36th Street during the morning rush our. Kasdin told her the new plan to build taller and slimmer actually lessens density.
“So it can only get better,” he said of the traffic.
Last summer Robins announced plans to turn Miami’s Design District into a high-end retail destination with a four block pedestrian promenade anchored by department stores. Other amenities included rooftop gardens and extensive green space.
The plan for the area mainly between Northeast 38th and 42nd streets just west of Biscayne Boulevard would create a mini Lincoln Road Mall lined with luxury shops, cafes, and public space covered by shade trees. Under the Miami 21 zoning code the plan also left room for a hotel and about 100 housing units. The proposal would cover 51 properties that were owned by DACRA.
The $312 million project would encompass 540,000-square-feet of construction. City commissioners approved the initial plan with the recommendation of the PZAB.
Wednesday, Robins returned to the PZAB asking for the acceptance of 12 new parcels near N. Miami Avenue, and increasing the projects size to more than 21 acres.
Among the changes Robins received approval for included increasing commercial space by 423,000 feet to 1.37 million feet, adding 489 residential units and increasing the number of parking spaces from 1,181 to 3,752.
The same requests were placed before the board last month, but the meeting was derailed when a host of neighborhood groups showed up complaining they weren’t part of the process. The board ultimately deferred a vote, telling Robins to meet with the groups. Wednesday, Kasdin handed out packets to board members listing who his client met with over the past month, when and where the meetings took place.
“We’ve had extensive community outreach,” he said.