First Phase of Miami Mixed-Use Project Completed

Link at Douglas' first phase includes 733 apartments in two buildings, with another pair of residential towers planned.

Rendering of the first phase at Link at Douglas. Courtesy of 13th Floor Investments and Adler Group

Developers 13th Floor Investments and Adler Group have completed the first phase of Link at Douglas, a transit-oriented property in Miami.

The seven-acre master-planned development features two residential towers with a total of 733 units. The development has transformed Miami-Dade County’s Douglas Road Metrorail Station into a mixed-use transit hub at the confluence of Miami’s Coral Gables and Coconut Grove neighborhoods. Adler and 13th Floor broke ground on the multi-phase project in April 2019.

The first phase includes the 22-story, 312-unit CORE building at 3060 SW 37 Ave., and the 37-story, 421-unit CASCADE tower, as well as more than 30,000 square feet of retail space anchored by Milam’s Market on the ground floor. Located at 3050 SW 37 Ave., CASCADE began construction in February 2020 and was completed in January, with the market opening in December. The apartments include market-rate and workforce housing.

More than $17 million in public infrastructure improvements are part of the larger project, which includes a fully-renovated Metrorail station and the development of a public plaza that connects with a section of The Underline, a 10-mile-long linear park extending from southward from downtown Miami through several neighborhoods.

At buildout, the master-planned development will have approximately 1,600 apartments, 68,000 square feet of retail and 280,000 square feet of office space and a public park. Co-developer 13th Floor is moving forward with plans for the second and final phase, which will include two additional residential towers with approximately 850 units. Construction on the second phase is expected to begin later this year.

Meanwhile, the developers, including another partner, Barings, sold the ground lease of the CORE apartment building to entities controlled by 13th Floor and LeFrak Organization for $127 million to recapitalize the first phase of the project, according to the South Florida Business Journal. The buyers assumed the $42 million Santander Bank mortgage on the property and increased the debt to $72 million, the journal reported.  The building also has 6,000 square feet of ground-floor retail. The land is leased from Miami-Dade in a public-private partnership.

Public-Private Partnership

The developers entered into a public-private collaboration with Miami-Dade County, with a ground lease for the publicly-owned land in exchange for privately-funded transit and infrastructure upgrades to the county’s transit system. Link at Douglas’ mobility plan includes connectivity to Metrorail, county buses and municipal trolleys. The Link at Douglas is expected to generate $800 million in revenue for Miami-Dade County over the life of the lease.

Arnaud Karsenti, managing principal of 13th Floor Investments, said in a prepared statement that the partnership with the county with Link at Douglas sets a new standard for urban living in Miami and will also help reduce road congestion by connecting people with alternative forms of transit, particularly as the Miami-Dade population continues to experience rapid growth.

Eulois Cleckley, county director of public works, said in prepared remarks Link at Douglas is a model for the future of development and mobility in Miami-Dade County. Cleckley said it will enable more residents to live, work and play without worrying about traffic or parking while at the same time helping to offset expenses, reduce emissions and promote Metrorail ridership.

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