Developer plans Miami Beach apartment building with cheaper rents for local workers
A new workforce housing project could help relieve some local residents of exorbitant rents in Miami Beach, one of the most expensive residential markets in Miami-Dade County.
A characterful rental building with 60 apartments proposed for the Normandy Islands neighborhood could offer essential workers — think teachers, nurses, police officers and firefighters — more living options depending on their income.
Alan Waserstein, owner of the Miami Lakes Investment and Development Company RentalFloridaplans to build a four-story development called Mia, containing the 400-square-foot studios and ground-floor retail space, at 1960 Normandy Drive, according to plans submitted at the City of Miami Beach Design Review Board.
Mia people should win between 60% and 140% the area’s median income in order to qualify to live in the building, or between $50,820 and $118,580 per year for a family of four, according to the Miami-Dade County Department of Public Housing and Community Development . Renters can expect to pay between $683 and $2,390 per month depending on their income and recent Income Florida Housing Finance Corporation guidelines.
There is an urgent need for affordable housing and labor in Miami-Dade County. The county’s housing affordability crisis predates the pandemic, but demand has skyrocketed during the spread of COVID-19. Already accustomed to competing with foreigners for housing, local residents face competition for homes from an influx of wealthy digital nomads from across the country seeking refuge from tight pandemic restrictions, cold climates and harsh climates. high taxes.
The migration here has prompted landlords to raise rents so much that Mayor Daniella Levine Cava in April, declared a state of emergency due to the county’s housing crisis and budgeted more than $40 million to help the hardest-hit residents pay their rent.
Waserstein, a Miami Beach native and resident, decided to build Mia to meet the demand for housing from the workforce. He has built several residential projects – including 63 Nobe and the St. Tropez Condominium in Miami Beach – but this will be his first subdivision priced for local labor.
A neighborhood like the Iles de Normandie needs social housing given its proximity to employment centers and growing business sectors.
“We started noticing the demand for workforce housing when the pandemic hit,” the developer said, noting a hotel his company acquired during the ongoing pandemic and turned into an apartment building. “We have a lot of people – waiters, hoteliers, the workforce. We had a waiting list of people trying to rent our rooms. That’s when we noticed there was a high demand.
Waserstein’s latest development proposal is presented to the Miami Beach Design Review Board in September. If approved, he plans to finalize design plans and obtain building permits to replace the existing surface parking lot and small warehouses with the planned Mia apartment building. Construction and early leasing could begin by mid-2023, with completion slated for late 2024.
Mia and other workforce housing projects would attract tenants like 28-year-old Filip Bodic. The tennis coach resides in North Beach to live near his job at the North Shore Tennis Center. After paying $1,950 a month for a one-bedroom apartment, Bodic said he was looking for a bigger one. He has made four offers on different North Beach apartments in the past two months. Other tenants have beaten it in housing competition due to signing leases earlier or offering one or two years of cash rent.
“Projects like this in the Normandy Islands are useful for people like me who cannot afford a year’s worth of cash rent. Plus, it’s a safe neighborhood close to work,” Bodic said.
The man-made Norman Islands and adjacent Normandy Coasts lie west of Collins Avenue, north of 71st Street. The islands’ roots date back to the 1920s. Henri Levi, one of Miami Beach’s first developers and investors, connected the islands to the mainland by a road that leads to the 79th Street Causeway. Levi also commissioned the Île de Normandie fountain, which underwent a $350,000 restoration in 2014.
The Normandy Islands and other Miami Beach neighborhoods need workforce housing, said Robin Bachin, associate professor of history and urban planning expert at the University of Miami.
“If we’re going to encourage technology infrastructure, we need to accommodate new people coming in and people staying,” said Bachin, deputy provost for civic and community engagement. “Leading the development of new housing in this wage bracket (workforce housing) is important for neighborhoods to remain stable and for us not to lose this workforce that is part of our essential economy. .
This story was originally published August 11, 2022 1:45 p.m.