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August 25, 2016

Hey, City of Miami, you listening? Fix your permitting and impact fee requirements!

That’s the message two developers offered Miami’s Planning & Zoning assistant director Luciana Gonzalez during a panel discussion on adaptive reuse of properties at our Miami Adaptive Reuse & Repositioning Revolution this week.

Both Menin Hospitality Group’s Keith Menin and Metro 1 CEO Tony Cho told Luciana, and our audience of more than 130 CRE pros, the permitting process could be faster and impact fees should be lighter.

“Those fees can be super excessive” when adapting a building for a new use, Tony said. “The county needs to understand how valuable it is to upgrade and bring these uses to their contemporary and highest and best use.”


The trio were part of a panel that included CityLift Parking’s Andrew Ginsburg (our moderator), Goldman Properties’ Joseph Furst and DACRA’s Steven Gretenstein. Luciana said the city is still wrangling with the idea of reuse since Miami is so young, and 80% of the area is still single-family neighborhoods.

“I think as a community overall, we still have a lot to learn,” Luciana (below) said. At the same time, she credits Miami 21 zoning laws for creating mixed-use, diverse neighborhoods like Wynwood in Miami.

The developers on the panel all said adaptive reuse is about finding a story to tell customers.

“When it’s done well and when it’s appropriate, I think [adaptive reuse] helps you tell the story for the users, the tenants, the developer, the neighborhood,” Tony said. “Before just knocking down a building, you have to understand the context and what was there before.”

“It’s about creating experiences for consumers and for people,” Joseph said. “And experiences are only fun and relevant if they’re exciting and rooted in history and rooted in something fresh and new.”

Keith said his firm, riding on the coattails of success with Bodega Taqueria y Tequila, is opening another three new concepts along Miami Beach, including a new bar called Ricky’s.

And, most recently, his firm purchased the historic Firestone building on Alton Road. According to recent reports, Keith plans to open Al’s, a 24-hour diner.


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