Edgewater pioneer Melo Group has already built four condo projects in the neighborhood. Its fourth — a pair of towers that will be the neighborhood’s highest — will come with a community park and a 480-foot Baywalk along Biscayne Bay stretching from the Rickenbacker Causeway to just beyond the Julia Tuttle Causeway, ending at E. Albert Pallot Park.
The Melo Group filed for approval to build the 60-story residential towers, called Island Bay, in late July. The high rises, at 700 NE 24th Street, will sit on one of the neighborhood’s last remaining waterfront parcels. At 648 feet, they will be the neighborhood’s tallest. The project, designed by Arquitectonica, includes 783 units.
The story was first reported by Next Miami.
The public walkway now exists behind most bayside Brickell buildings, along both sides of the Miami River and north of the river along downtown. But it is being completed piecemeal, as new developments go up. Developers are required to create a 50-foot setback from the water, half of which must be a lit brick path for pedestrians with landscaping and a raised seawall cap. The other 25-foot space may be used as a buffer with landscaping separating the pedestrian walkway from the property.
The Melo Group’s design goes beyond the requirements, adding small docks with steps dipping into the water for easy access for kayaks and paddle boards. The developers are also adding a pocket park.
“Island Bay will significantly enhance the lifestyle appeal and pedestrian experience in the neighborhood,” said Carlos Melo and Martin Melo in a statement.
Miami Commissioner Ken Russell applauded their effort. “As far as private development and completing their responsibility, it is exactly what we want to see. It is very strategically placed on the Baywalk because about halfway between the next piece to the north and the next piece to the south, it’s just another large piece of the puzzle that we can look forward to.”
The addition to the Baywalk also strengthens the city’s efforts against sea-level rise, said Russell. “As we are seeing threats from sea level rise and storm surge, we are realizing that the Baywalk and the sea wall itself is our front line in the war against sea level rise and storm surge.”
The heightened seawall also lowers insurance rates for buildings within the neighborhood, despite the change being enacted within one property, said Russell. In addition, the city is installing one-way valves that will facilitate drainage.
The developer has filed for approval from Miami-Dade’s Shoreline Review Committee. It must go to various city and county committees thereafter. The permitting process for Island Bay is expected to last two to three years.
A previous version of this story misstated Melo’s projects in Edgewater. Island Bay will be the company’s fourth condo.