Contact Your City Commissioners- Support a Parking Requirement Exemption for Small Urban Buildings

Screen Shot 2014-04-29 at 10.38.42 AM


Minimum parking requirements are killing good urban development in Miami. Luckily, there has been a push to eliminate parking requirements for small urban buildings (<10,000 sq ft) in recent months.  This is a good first step in the right direction if Miami really aspires to become a walkable and less autocentric city.

Minimum parking requirements perpetuate more automobile use and it also makes housing less affordable since the cost of building and maintaining required parking is passed on to renters and buyers. A few months ago Zillow released a housing report  that cited Miami as the 2nd most expensive city for renters.  The average Miami resident spends 43.2% of their income on rent.

Combine expensive housing with lack of public transit and minimum parking requirements that only serve to perpetuate the use of the automobile; its no wonder why Miami is one of the most expensive car dominated cities in the US.

Eliminating parking requirements would do the following things:

1) Allows small developers to choose how many parking spaces are needed based on what fits and what buyers or tenants want.
2) Replaces parking with denser development that generates more property and sales tax for the county and city.
3) Allows small property owners to keep their property and develop themselves.
4) Levels the playing field for small Miami property owners.
5) Allows for the creation of more walkable and denser urban neighborhoods.

Below are the details for the reduced parking requirements that are being sought for small urban buildings.  This is currently being advocated for at the commission level, so stay tuned for the resolution.

The proposed text for T4, T5, and T6 is underlined below.  The non-underlined text already exists in Miami 21, a TOD/transit corridor parking reduction that does not apply within 500 ft of single-family/duplex areas (T3).  The proposed text does not change that, it does not apply within 500 feet of T3.  Below is a map of where the proposed text would apply: orange areas around rail stations, purple areas along transit corridors, but not yellow areas within 500 ft of T3.  

“Parking ratio may be reduced within 1/2 mile radius of TOD or within 1/4 mile radius of a Transit Corridor by thirty percent (30%) by process of Waiver, or by one hundred percent (100%) for any Structure that has a Floor Area of ten thousand (10,000) square feet or less, except when site is within 500 feet of T3.”

Let’s hope City of Miami Commissioners can come to their senses and eliminate parking requirements entirely, not just for small urban buildings.


Screen Shot 2014-04-29 at 3.46.20 PM

Architecture:  Brazilian Mountain Chalet

Check out this sweet pad that I was lucky enough to stay at for a few days with my family and friends while I was in Brazil for the World Cup. The 17,0000 sq foot home is located in Campos do Jordão, about a 3-hour drive from the bustling city of São Paulo.

The house boasts 8-suites, reclaimed wood floors and all of the wood used for the supporting beams and ceilings are resourced from a tree farm. (the Amazon was not chopped down to build this house).  Every room has a beautiful view of the surrounding mountains.

Although this is not an urbanite’s dream abode, one can certainly appreciate the architectural beauty of this mountain home. This is a true mountain getaway with hiking and biking right out the back yard.

Here’s an article about the home that appeared in a Brazilian newspaper.

Architect Laura Rocha

Photography: Beto Stedile


Downtown Hollywood Gets Artsy


The Hollywood Community Redevelopment Agency, along with community partners, are beautifying the streets of Downtown Hollywood and creating a sense of place and community through the “Downtown Hollywood Mural Project.”

Precisely a dozen streetscapes have sprung to life with bold, colorful, and mesmerizing illustrations, outdoor murals, painted by South Florida artists. The latest work was created by acclaimed graffiti artist Daniel Fila, a.k.a “Krave” and can be seen on 21st Avenue and Harrison Street. The sought-out Krave has completed dozens of commissioned murals, both near and far, in such notable places as Madison Square Garden, New York; The Adrienne Arsht Center, Miami, FL and Sandals Resort, Turks and Caicos.

He along with local artists David “Lebo” LeBatard, Jessy Nite, Luis Pinto, Michelle Weinberg, Evoca1, Ruben Ubiera, Edward Mendieta, 2alas and Tati Suarez have been commissioned to revitalize the blighted community of Downtown Hollywood.

Since the program’s inception in 2012, Downtown Hollywood is thriving with a new creative culture. Art galleries have opened, artists workspaces and studios are now readily available and non-profits dedicated to the arts have emerged. The community has embraced the mural project, and its success has received local, regional and national recognition.

To learn more about this project visit:


The Real Estate Dealio: Downtown Historic Post Office Trades for $11 Million

Developer Daniel Pena-Giraldi of Stambul Ventures purchased the 34,455 square foot historic building, located at 100 NE 1st Ave. in Downtown Miami from Old Post Office LLC, a joint venture formed by Scott Robins and Tom Morgan.  Robins’ group purchased the property about a decade ago, with plans to convert it to condos.

Pena-Giraldi plans to renovate the Old Post Office to it past grandeur.  The building traded for $11 million or $310.25 per sq ft.

The American Institute of Architects’ Miami Center for Architecture and Design occupies approximately 5,500 square feet in the building, in a deal that closed in July of 2012. AIA Miami, which uses the space for meeting space and educational programs regarding architecture and design, has similar centers in other major cities. The space also houses permanent and curated exhibits.

The building is believed to have been built around 1912. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was once touted as the most modern federal facility south of Washington, D.C.

According to a historical plaque outside the building, the weather service’s wind gauges were blown away in the great hurricane of 1926. The federal offices were later vacated and the building was for a while the home of AmeriFirst, once a leading local financial institution. A later tenant, in the 1990s, was Office Depot.

The sale also includes a 15,000 square foot vacant lot adjacent to the building.

Mika Mattingly of Sterling Equity Realty Commercial represented the Buyer in the purchase

Tony Arellano of Metro 1 Commercial represented the Seller in the sale.

The sale represents the third historic building sold in Downtown Miami this year by Mattingly, who specializes in properties within Miami’s urban core.  In January, Mattingly was instrumental in the sale of 218-222 N Miami Ave., which traded for $227 per square foot as well as the sale of 31 N Miami Ave., which sold for $163 per square foot.

In 2012, Pena-Giraldi purchased the former Miami National Bank building at 121 SE First St., an historic Beaux Arts edifice downtown, and repositioned the property as a new boutique hotel, the Langford.

Douglas Elliman acquires Majestic Properties


Douglas Elliman continues their aggressive expansion in South Florida with the acquisition of Majestic Properties.

According to the press release:

 As part of a larger Florida growth strategy aimed at attracting key industry talent, the acquisition will add a selection of agents and market experts from Majestic ’s roster to Douglas Elliman’s national network of over 4,000 professionals across more than 70 offices.

“The acquisition of Majestic Properties is a prime opportunity to expand our network of agents with some of the best in the market,” said Jay Phillip Parker, CEO of Douglas Elliman’s Florida brokerage. “Under Jeff’s leadership, Majestic has been one of the area’s premiere boutique operations for the past 20 years. We recognize how his insight and experience will help us reach our end goal to provide the strongest resources possible to buyers, sellers, and developers.”

Morr, who will serve as a broker in his new role at Douglas Elliman, will work directly with Parker and the firm’s managing brokers, drawing on his 25 years of experience. Through Majestic’s three offices, agent network, and sales and marketing team, he is credited with selling more than 3,000 condominiums valued at over $3 billion; his sales include an impressive list of properties such as 10 Museum Park, Marquis, Paramount Bay, and Midtown Miami 2 & 4, among many others. Morr is also the chairman of the Master Broker’s Forum, an organization comprised of the top 250 real estate agents and brokers in Miami-Dade County.

“I started Majestic Properties in 1995. After two wonderful decades, I have decided to relinquish my management responsibilities and to focus on my favorite part of the business: brokering substantial residential and commercial transactions,” said Morr. “Douglas Elliman was my only choice when contemplating a new home for myself and for my agents. I believe that their business model, a mix high energy with high style, best parallels that of Majestic, I very much look forward to working with Jay and the rest of the Douglas Elliman  team as we continue to build on the tremendous level of growth they have achieved in South Florida.”