Massive project in Wynwood reaches agreement with neighborhood BID

South Florida Business Journal - September 8, 2016

The Mana Wynwood project, one of the largest developments in Miami at 9.72 million square feet of residential, commercial and cultural amenities, has reached a compromise agreement with the neighborhood association.

New York developer Moishe Mana has been seeking the support of the Wynwood Business Improvement District (BID) before taking his plan to the city commission, which is scheduled to consider it on Thursday. He hopes to make the project a hub for creative office space, trade, education, the arts and younger residents.

The Mana Wynwood project aims to become a campus for business innovation, technology and creative industries.

The Mana Wynwood project aims to become a campus for business innovation, technology and… more

In recent weeks, the two sides have been in disagreement about the timing of the various phases of the project and the financial considerations. The Wynwood BID previously said Mana Wynwood would contribute $10 million to it for neighborhood improvements, but the developer recently committed $7 million of that money to Southeast Overtown/Park West Community Redevelopment Agency at the behest of Miami Commissioner Keon Hardemon.

Located on 23.5 acres at Northwest 22nd Street to Northwest 24th Street between Interstate 95 and Northwest 2nd Avenue, Mana Wynwood is not in Overtown but is directly north of a part of the neighborhood that has experienced economic struggles. Meanwhile, Wynwood has been revitalized into an arts district with new restaurants, retailers and many residential projects in the works.

The neighborhood was recently rezoned to allow for more residential development, buildings as tall as 12 stories and the ability to reduce parking requirements by paying into the BID’s parking fund.

Mana Wynwood would have buildings as tall as 24 stories on the west side near Interstate 95.

On Wednesday, the Wynwood BID and its board of local property owners endorsed a plan to divide Mana Wynwood into two zones. The western zone would have high-rise buildings and the eastern zone would follow the same zoning rules as the rest of Wynwood. The dividing street between the zones is Northwest 5th Avenue.

If the larger eastern zone fell under the same zoning rules as the rest of Wynwood, it would result in Mana making a greater financial contribution to the BID over time.

At the same meeting, the Wynwood BID rejected the special area plan (SAP) that Mana Wynwood submitted to the city in its current form. The BID wants its changes incorporated into the development agreement before the city vote.

“The alternative plan that we presented today further underscores our steadfast commitment to reach a consensus with Mr. Mana,” said Albert Garcia, vice chairman of the Wynwood BID. “We expect Mr. Mana will honor his previous commitments to the Wynwood NRD Public Benefits Trust Fund and the Southeast Overtown / Park West CRA.”

Mana Wynwood representatives said its plan would have $45 million in public benefits, including the financial contributions to the Overtown CRAs and the BID, nearly 2.5 acres of public open space, a new city fire station, a public transit stop, upgrades to roads, walkways, the sewer system and power lines. It also pledged to create a fashion and arts program with the Southeast Overtown/Park West CRA to train students and to meet specific local hiring goals.

“Our purpose in Miami is to build a cultural and business infrastructure rich in fashion, art and entertainment,” Moishe Mana said in a statement. “The continued support of the Wynwood BID allows us to move closer to realizing a historic opportunity to grow the arts and enhance the cultural and business diversity that Miami needs.”

Mana Wynwood would have 3,482 residential units, 51,146 square feet of civic space, 168,287 square feet of open space and 8,483 parking spaces. The balance of the space would be "Flex Space," a category that could include office, showrooms, media and technology, manufacturing-enabled retail, art galleries, warehouses, exhibition, museums and conference space. The developer said 10 percent of the units would be for affordable and workforce housing.

The first component would be a 243,982-square-foot mixed-use building that would be leased to Luxury Brand Partners.

"With the help of policymakers and local businesses we have put together an ambitious plan that expands arts and business opportunities in Wynwood, as well as opportunities for neighboring communities like Overtown who have a storied history of arts and deep cultural significance to South Florida,” said architect Bernard Zyscovich, who works for Mana on the project.