One of the most ambitious – and often delayed – real estate developments in Miami-Dade County’s recent history is finally open for business.
Solé Mia, the massive 184-acre mini-town headquartered at 15055 Biscayne Blvd., begins renting its first two apartment buildings on January 14. The 17-story twin towers, known as The Shoreline, will offer 397 rental units, ranging from studios to three bedrooms and priced at $ 1,700 to $ 3,700. The moves are expected to begin in February.
Top amenities for new tenants include South Florida’s first man-made lagoon, a Caribbean blue water pool that spans seven acres, including sandy beaches, and its own tiny island.
The apartment buildings, which were designed by Miami-based Arquitectonica and Robert M. Swedroe Architects, feature a white and blue color scheme and curved edges. They overlook the northern end of the lagoon and the mangroves of Oleta River State Park that surround the entire development.
A 156,000 square foot Costco store, which has moved to Solé Mia from its previous location at 14585 Biscayne Boulevard, is expected to open before the first tenant moves in.
The two towers, lagoon and stores are the first phase of the development of the $ 4 billion SoLé Mia, a joint venture between Aventura’s Turnberry and New York-based LeFrak. The developers say it will take at least 15 years and $ 4 billion to complete the project, which is expected to eventually include 4,000 residences, a school, parks, a hotel and more than 500,000 square feet of office space. and retail – essentially a mini-city.
“The idea of creating a new neighborhood in the Biscayne corridor is very exciting,” said Richard LeFrak, president and CEO of the namesake company. “The location is attractive and the product is unique. I am optimistic that it will be a great success.
Jeffrey Soffer and Jackie Soffer, co-chairs of Turnberry, declined to comment for this article.
“The Soffer’s are both the directors and very involved in this project,” said LeFrak. “They are partners in the business and handle a lot of day to day things.”
Solé Mia is the culmination of five decades of failed attempts by various developers to build on the site, the largest undeveloped piece of land east of Biscayne Boulevard in Miami-Dade. Previous proposals included an amusement park in the 1960s and an indoor ski slope in the late 1990s.
From 1975 to 1981, the land was used as a municipal landfill. The land became so contaminated that it was designated a Superfund site by the United States Environmental Protection Agency in 1982. It remained unused until 1999 when the land was declared safe for use. development after intensive groundwater treatment and installation of disposal systems.
A lure for investors
Solé Mia is located in one of the top 68 Designated Opportunity Zones in Miami-Dade. The zones, which are a provision of President Donald Trump’s 2017 tax reform plan, are designed to attract investors and business owners to economically troubled areas. Taxes on capital gains are deferred or reduced for a period of 10 years, provided those gains are reinvested in the region.
Although the two new apartment buildings were launched before the Opportunity Zone program began, LeFrak said any future investors or business owners would benefit from the designation.
These investments could give a boost to a city in need of an economic boost. North Miami has a population of 63,500 and a median household income of $ 40,882, according to the North Miami Community Planning and Development Department. The city is promoting itself as an affordable alternative to the more expensive areas of downtown Miami and Fort Lauderdale. The median selling price of a single-family home as of October 31, 2018 was $ 199,000, according to Zillow.
“It’s a game-changer for the city,” said Larry Spring, director of North Miami City. “This is first and foremost about transforming what was previously a landfill into a neighborhood that will attract new residents from diverse economic and social backgrounds. It is also a job creator. And when those buildings are put on the tax roll, we’ll be able to reinvest that money into improving the city’s roads and parks.
Spring points out that Costco’s move to Solé Mia – just 1,000 feet from its previous location – means the store is now part of North Miami instead of North Miami Beach. The new store is also 10 percent larger than the previous one and will hire an additional 30 employees.
The new apartments are designed to attract young people entering the workforce and starting their independent lives, LeFrak said. They are also expected to appeal to the “money wave” – seniors who sell their homes and move into a rental.
He said plans were already in the works for Solé Mia’s next phase – a 33-story, 300-unit condominium tower and another seven-story rental building.
“The idea is to have a pedestrianized area with everything close at hand,” he said. “First of all, however, we have to see what the consumer acceptance is. We have accomplished a lot in a short period of time. We hope people will want to come and see what we have on offer. We keep our fingers crossed that it is a big success.
This story was originally published January 9, 2019 6:00 a.m.