An auto club for motorsport enthusiasts is coming to the new Magic City Innovation District, riding the top floors of a sleek glass structure.
Motorsport Tower, planned for 350 NE 60th St., promises more than 200,000 square feet of offices in the new mixed-use development rising in the Little Haiti area.
Miami’s Urban Development Review Board recommended approval after heaping praise on the developer’s team and architect Dean B. Lewis, one of its own.
Mr. Lewis has been on the board for many years. He recused himself from hearing the Motorsport Tower proposal and left the city commission chambers during that part of the meeting.
The application is from Imperial Capital Group LLC. Attorney Iris Escarra, representing the developer, said there couldn’t be a better time to present the project on the heels of the Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix held in Miami this month.
The project will include two structures, one at 9 stories and 10 stories, and the main building at 13 stories. The project will have 206,352 square feet of offices, 79,676 square feet of commercial-retail, related amenities, and parking for about 390 vehicles.
The site is on the southern boundary of the Little Haiti District along Northeast Fourth Avenue and adjacent to the FEC rail corridor, between Northeast 60th Street and 59th Terrace. A Brightline Metro Station offering passenger rail is to be developed adjacent to the land along the FEC Corridor.
In a letter, Mr. Lewis wrote: “The project will be an instantly recognizable addition to the area and will substantially enhance the surrounding urban context with its architecture and pedestrian friendly uses. The project will introduce new office and commercial spaces, a new pedestrian cross-block promenade, exhibit spaces, new civic spaces and substantial site boundary improvements promoting more pedestrian friendly development.
“Our project is L-shaped in plan and therefore is scaled down to 9 and 10 stories on the southwest and west tower. The taller east tower with its curved glass façade opens up to eastern bay views and also creates more pedestrian fore-court civic spaces at its north and south corner boundaries.
“A south to north Paseo Pedestrian Passage further integrates our project into the urban, pedestrian realm of our surrounding context as illustrated in our site plans. Our Paseo will extend pedestrian connectivity into the center public forum of Magic City’s primary green Mall to the north,” Mr. Lewis wrote.
Ms. Escarra said the project will be “a tribute to auto sports,” and the design of the glass structures is reminiscent of the sleekness of a performance car. “It’s a very exciting project,” she said.
Along with the car club, the project will have offices, retail and activation on the roof of the tallest building, restaurants, a water feature, and about 16% open space, she said.
“A tribute art piece will be located at the entry of the (tallest) building to demarcate entry to the Motorsport building,” she said.
Chairman Ignacio Permuy said, “This has got to be one of the best projects I’ve seen presented to this board … it will truly elevate the level of design for the City of Miami – a great asset.”
Board member Ligia Ines Labrada said it is very sophisticated. “It’s not a design we’re accustomed to seeing, and it will definitely be a landmark project.”
Board member Fidel Perez said, “It’s a beautiful project … something we definitely need in Miami. I think it will be a real success.”