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More Drama with Miami Midtown Walmart

February 25, 2013

Walmart’s high-profile effort to expand in Midtown has reached yet another snag, according to a report by Curbed Miami, a website about local Miami real estate.

“The city’s Urban Development Review Board took a hard line stance against the latest designs for the Midtown Walmart yesterday, saying it flounced the zoning code, and giving Walmart the chance to rework and resubmit their plans. They were all like, to quote architect Willy Bermello, “I feel like a violin and I’m being played.” Walmart, used to ruling the world, decided not to resubmit their plans because, well, this board is just an advisory panel which (conveniently for Walmart) doesn’t hold any real power to block the supersized store. “We’re just at a point where the project is taking way too long,” Walmart’s attorney said. The decision is now in the hands of the city’s planning director Fransisco Garcia.”

Midtown Miami

Walmart’s high-profile effort to expand in Midtown has reached yet another snag, according to a report by Curbed Miami, a website about local Miami real estate.

“The city’s Urban Development Review Board took a hard line stance against the latest designs for the Midtown Walmart yesterday, saying it flounced the zoning code, and giving Walmart the chance to rework and resubmit their plans. They were all like, to quote architect Willy Bermello, “I feel like a violin and I’m being played.” Walmart, used to ruling the world, decided not to resubmit their plans because, well, this board is just an advisory panel which (conveniently for Walmart) doesn’t hold any real power to block the supersized store. “We’re just at a point where the project is taking way too long,” Walmart’s attorney said. The decision is now in the hands of the city’s planning director Fransisco Garcia.”

A few months ago, Walmart had released plans that revealed a significantly redesigned plan for its Midtown Miami store, which is to be located along Midtown Boulevard, between NW 31st Street and NW 29th Street. The plans were submitted to the City of Miami for approval late last Thursday. As CBS Miami reported:

The 16,000-square-feet of retail would line the ground floor of one side of the Walmart store, providing a more interactive street front for pedestrians that maintains the character of the Midtown Miami project, CBS 4 news partner The Miami Herald reports.

“This additional retail building would be a joint venture between Walmart and Midtown Opportunities, the developer that owns the majority of the undeveloped property at Midtown. Midtown Opportunities would develop the liner retail building and lease the property to retailers and restaurants. The plans were part of an amended permit application Walmart submitted to city staff for approval.

Throughout this process, we have remained engaged with the surrounding community to discuss ways our plan could best serve local residents,” said Steven Restivo, senior director of community affairs for Walmart. “Our plan now allows for additional retail that will not only compliment our store but also offer customers more choices for their shopping needs. Plus, we think the opportunity to activate an empty parcel will add an additional economic boost to the surrounding area.”

Walmart’s redesign was intended to conform to the unique “urban character” of the community while incorporating the latest in contemporary design. The revision included more metal canopies, awnings, and a glass storefront. Zyscovich Architects, which created the master plan for Midtown, has been hired by Midtown Opportunities to design the retail space, which will have room for about four to six new restaurants and shops.

Walmart is hoping, to begin construction this summer, and is scheduled to open its store by 2014 – provided that it gets through this latest hurdle. Its willingness to push through with the project is likely a testament to the desirability of Midtown Commercial Real Estate.

This news was brought to you by Metro 1 CRE, the leading provider of Miami Commercial Real Estate. For any commercial real estate needs, contact us at 305-571-9991.

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