By Jeffrey Steele, Contributing Writer
Miami, Fla.—The first condominium to be built in Miami’s central business district in five years has broken ground. Centro, a 352-unit loft-style condominium tower from Newgard Development Group, will leverage downtown Miami’s newly-emergent standing as an eclectic, 24-7, pedestrian-friendly residential enclave to attract would-be buyers.
Centro will rise at 151 SE 1st St. in the heart of downtown Miami, which has been reborn in recent years as a center of cultural arts, entertainment, high-end retailing, restaurants and luxury hotels. These attractions are combining to lure a highly coveted cohort of young professionals interested in multifamily living.
“Today’s downtown Miami looks very different from that of five years ago,” Harvey Hernandez, Newgard Development Group chairman and managing partner, tells MHN.
The district’s full-time population has doubled in size over that time to 80,000, he reports. “The central business district is home to a thriving arts and cultural scene, with home-grown artist studios; the thriving Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, which was a catalyst for the development of the area; and Museum Park, which will encompass the Perez Art Museum Miami and the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science, now rising to the east. Restaurants and retail businesses are opening weekly. Public transportation is at an all-time high and growing. The time is right for a residential development like Centro. I expect other developers to follow our lead.”
In keeping with downtown Miami’s budding reputation as a walkable district with many transit links and alternative transportation modalities, Centro will blaze trails in encouraging a vibrant streetscape. It will not include an on-site parking garage, but instead will give residents access to 24-7 valet and a dedicated car sharing program hub at the building‘s ground floor.
“Centro has been extremely well received,” Hernandez says. “The exclusion of an on-site parking garage was a bit of a challenge in the beginning, but in fact, we will have off-site parking available for residents in an adjacent third-party garage, as well as 24-7 valet parking in the building for residents and guests.”
By avoiding building a garage, Newgard Development Group has been able to pass along the 20 to 25 percent construction cost savings to the buyer. Centro’s maintenance fees are one-fifth lower than condos with on-site parking garages.
“Centro’s ideal location within the heart of downtown Miami’s central business district puts residents within walking distance to key amenities,” Hernandez adds. “Also, we’ve partnered with Car2Go, a car-sharing program that has taken off in Miami, as the city realizes the benefits and savings of not having to drive a car to and from work every day.”
If Hernandez is correct in his prediction, Miami will see more condominiums like Centro in near future. “Centro is one-of-a-kind today,” he says. “But we believe it’s the template for condo development in the new urban Miami.”