Miami-Dade County

Will this downtown be the new Dadeland? Some residents say they hope not.

Plans for an eight-story residential building in downtown Palmetto Bay were significantly downsized, just in time for a vote on Monday, June 19.
Plans for an eight-story residential building in downtown Palmetto Bay were significantly downsized, just in time for a vote on Monday, June 19. 9701 Indigo LLC

Plans for an eight-story residential building in downtown Palmetto Bay have been significantly downsized, just in time for a vote on Monday.

After facing major opposition from Palmetto Bay residents in April, council members asked the development company — 9701 Indigo LLC — to scale down its eight-story mixed-use project, which ultimately was deferred and will be up for a final vote Monday at 6 p.m.

The new application proposes a five-story apartment building with 82 units instead of the original 141. The new plans also call for 10,000 square feet of retail space on the ground level, a pool, gym and a three-story parking garage. A community center included in the original plans has since been scratched.

The project, dubbed Sandpiper, will be located at Franjo Road and Wayne Avenue near Palmetto Bay Village Hall. It will have a mix of one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments, which will range from 735 to 1,210 square feet.

The move to reduce Sandpiper’s density could set the tone for development of what Palmetto Bay council members hope will be a new downtown. Some residents say that with the approval of smaller developments, a Dadeland-like downtown looks less likely.

In 2015, Palmetto Bay amended its zoning code in hopes of encouraging investment in the distressed commercial corridor along Franjo Road and U.S. 1 — an area commonly referred to as the Franjo Triangle or the U.S. 1 Commercial Island.

The area houses 1960s-era warehouses, vacant land and auto dealerships. Council members want to transform that into a livable, walkable downtown with a mix of green space, homes and businesses.

“We want a village, not a Dadeland. That’s the overall consensus,” said Gary Pastorella, chairman of Concerned Citizens of Old Cutler, a community organization. “It looks like this is as good as it’s going to get.”

Across the street from Sandpiper will sit Atlantico, another five-story apartment complex on Franjo Road.

Also up for a vote on Monday is Park View, another multi-family development in the downtown area that the council deferred in April.

The Park View project originally outlined a six-story building with 300 one- and two-bedroom apartments that would be developed by Anthony Pugliese III. The project would feature a swimming pool, fitness center and clubhouse and would sit next to single-family homes, adjacent to Palmetto Bay Park on Southwest 174th Street.

Opponents of the development argued that it would increase traffic on streets that are already congested during rush hour. City planners are expecting that a proposal for a scaled-down version of the project will be submitted before Monday’s meeting.

“Let’s see if the public opposition to these huge buildings, various workshops with the developers and heavy public participation will finally result in what we want — less dense projects,” Pastorella said.

The Palmetto Bay Zoning Hearing will be held Monday at 6 p.m. at Village Hall, 9705 E Hibiscus St.

Monique O. Madan: 305-376-2108, @MoniqueOMadan

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