This Week in Miami Real Estate: Amendment 2, Coconut Grove construction and more

by Zachary Wright

The Amendment 2 is for Everybody PAC gained a $4-million-dollar boost after the Florida Association of Realtors donated the amount, according to state campaign finance records reported by Florida Politics.

The PAC has spent about $5.3 million, which includes a campaign ad of $4 million. So far, the campaign effort has gained $5.5 million.

If the proposal is approved, Amendment 2 would permanently extend a 10 percent cap on taxes for properties not covered by a homestead exemption. Voters approved the current cap in 2008, during the Great Recession. The proposal was brought up on the ballot in 2017 when Florida legislators nearly unanimously approved the idea.

French Brown, a lawyer for Dean Mead who has more than a decade of experience in state and local taxation, said property tax values could increase if the amendment fails. “If the property tax values are allowed to increase unchecked in the future – if Amendment 2 fails – then it can certainly hit all Floridians in their pocketbook,” Brown said.

In other real estate news:

  • Private real estate investment firm the TREO Group received a loan of $33 million from FirstBank Florida for the construction of Regatta Harbor, according to a press release. The mixed-use waterfront development will be located in Coconut Grove’s Dinner Key. Otto Boudet-Murias, principal of The TREO Group, commented on the new partnership with FirstBank Florida: “We are thrilled to be at the forefront of Coconut Grove’s transformation and look forward to shaping the future of the area with this lively epicenter while maintaining the rich culture and history of Dinner Key,” Boudet-Murias said. Development of Regatta Harbor will come in multiple phases, starting with a dry-storage marina that will be completed in November. The proposed retail area will be completed in the summer of 2019 with waterfront restaurants expected to open in 2020.
  • Young black investors are combating gentrification by purchasing homes in neighborhoods like Overtown and Liberty City. The Miami Millennial Investment Group (MMI) has purchased 13 neglected homes in need of renovation and resells them at an affordable price. MMI investor Ernisha Randolph said they renovate and resell the homes to allow residents to stay in their neighborhoods. “Communities that we grew up in and we loved [and] we considered to have a cultural connection to, we realized that they were being priced out,” Randolph said. MMI also holds workshops to teach residents about home ownership, as well as other workshops about hurricane preparedness and climate change.
  • Fort Lauderdale commissioners approved of the mixed-use development Riverparc Square. Commissioners approved Riverparc Square after rejecting the high-rise development of Alexan-Tarpon River. Commissioners cited traffic as their main concern. Traf Tech Engineering conducted a study in Feburary, finding Riverparc Square would generate 10,491 daily trips. The three towers will include 790 residential units, hotel rooms, retail and office space. The developer, Southside River LLC agreed to mitigate traffic. However, Fort Lauderdale residents voiced concerns about Riverparc Square’s impact on the city’s sewer and storm water systems. Riverparc Square won a prelimary approval on Sept. 4 after agreeing to cut the number of residential units and hotel rooms, as well as to decrease retail and office space.
  • The 57-story Missoni Baia condominium tower begins to climb skywards after completing foundation work. The work pace is expected to take off as the tower rises and crews are expected to pour roughly one residential floor per week. Construction crews are working on the columns and shear walls of the building’s amenity deck and 400-car parking garage. Located at the edge of Biscayne Bay, the design from Asymptote Architecture will include 249 residences in one-to five-bedroom layouts styled by New York interior designer Paris Forino. This is the first Miami project for developer OKO Group and Cain International. Missoni Baia is expected to be completed in late 2020.
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