A New Hotel On Miracle Mile: Part 1

The latest development project making its way through City Hall is a proposed seven story hotel with zero on-site parking owned by Terranova Corp.  

Gables Miracle Mile, LLC., located at 220 Miracle Mile, has plans to redevelop the existing two-story commercial/office building fronting Miracle Mile with a 120-unit hotel with 16,000 square feet of ground floor retail and approximately 11,000 square feet of upper floors commercial.

HEIGHT

At the October 8th City Commission meeting, the project received approval for a Transfer of Development Rights (TDRs) in a 3-2 vote.

A motion was made by Commissioner Keon, seconded by Commissioner Mena, that this matter be approved as an Ordinance on First Reading.

The motion passed by the following vote:
Yeas : 3 – Commissioner Mena, Commissioner Keon and Mayor Valdes-Fauli
Nays : 2 – Commissioner Fors, Jr. and Vice Mayor Lago

TDR’s allow the developer to take unused development rights from an historically designated property within the Central Business District and apply it towards their project. The TDR’s allow the developer in this case to secure an additional 25% of Floor Area Ratio (FAR) which essentially means an increase in density.

The developer may build up to 70 feet under the provisions of the Miracle Mile Overlay. However, the developer applied for a Mediterranean Bonus which allows for an increase in height up to 83.5 feet.

Although much discussion was had at the commission meeting and TDRs approved, the project is not near the finish line just yet. In an email from City Attorney Miriam Ramos to Vice Mayor Vince Lago, there appears to be several issues at hand that need to be ironed out including one that would set precedent on height along Miracle Mile.

Height – the project is allowed to go up to 70 feet under the provisions of the Miracle Mile Overlay. The applicant has applied for Level 1 Mediterranean Bonus which would allow them to go to 83.5 feet. The Miracle Mile Overlay Ordinance does not expressly prohibit or allow bonuses. In several places in the Zoning Code, bonuses are expressly prohibited,” wrote City Attorney Miriam Ramos in her opinion. She added that, “it is important for the Commission to note that allowing the use of a bonus on this project will set a precedent for similar projects in the Miracle Mile Overlay in the future.”

PARKING

The issue of parking in downtown Coral Gables, and in particular Miracle Mile, has been a topic of great discussion over the last few years. However, 220 Miracle Mile believes they will be able to run a full-service hotel without parking for guests or staff.

The project proposes access to the hotel through the back alley located on Ponce de Leon Blvd between Miracle Mile and Andalusia Avenue. The existing alley is a narrow working-communicator used for deliveries, staff parking and dumpsters for businesses on Miracle Mile and Andalusia. The newly announced Cheesecake Factory location would also abut the same alley.

Community worries are that the use of the alley would be unrealistic and problematic. Some believe as proposed, it would cause delays in deliveries and congestion, in addition to accessibility concerns for public safety equipment to reach the rear neighboring buildings along the alley.

“We believe the right thing to do is to support a pedestrian experience for guests in an area that already boasts one of the highest walkability scores in South Florida. This project is designed to limit traffic impacts in our community, recognizing that most travelers today opt for ride-share or other transportation options. The hotel will accommodate the few travelers who arrive by car but, in the downtown area, a mix of unique transportation choices, like electronic scooters, the Coral Gables Trolley, and Freebee rides, are also available, limiting the need for private vehicles. In fact, the hotel will generate far more pedestrian traffic and far less peak vehicular traffic for Miracle Mile than other uses – such as office or multi-family – which supports local business owners,” said Mindy McIlroy, President of Terranova Corp.

The Coral Gables Trolley and Freebie, both publicly funded, are transportation alternatives that have been discussed. In addition, the applicant has referenced the increase in ride-share mobility such as Uber and Lyft as favored methods of transportation for their targeted clientele.

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14 thoughts on “A New Hotel On Miracle Mile: Part 1

  1. My husband and I have owned a store on Miracle Mile for 30 Years that has a back door on this alley.. It is bad enough to receive packages now. I have been on the Mile for 42 years and have seen many changes, this last one has been the worse..The parking is still terrible ..The restaurants think they own every inch of the front walkway..
    Building a Hotel with no parking would be a disaster .. What ever happened to the Coral Gables charm? I vote NO on this project..

  2. A Hotel in Miracle Mile MUST HAVE its own parking in its own building.
    Are some of our City Coral Gables Representatives doing their duty for the citizens who elected them? or for the HUNGRY developers. The project as we read above is designed to do a poor service for travelers, if the developers use their brains, instead of their ambitions; the project well thought could serve well our Coral Gables community and their potential travelers.
    The hotel should have its OWN parking space in its own building, do the right thing, don’t just try to take other spaces to benefit only you.

    If there is congestion and traffic think harder a give a good solution to so call back alley.

  3. This doesn’t make sense. What if I’m a tourist w/rented car? I think I’d head over in 1 min. to the Holiday Inn on Lejeune w/lots of convenient free parking for its customers.

  4. This is crazy….Been living in the Gables for 60 yrs & have never seen such nonsense. We used to have shops with free parking in the pack for customers & tourists… & now this monster? and without parking? What if a tourist, heaven behold, rents a car & happens to pass by & wants to park his rented car close by? Do you really think he’s going to choose this place over the Holiday Inn on LeJeune who does have lots of free parking? Don’t think so.
    I urge you to rethink this ridiculous idea, who’s behind all this?.. & please stop competing with Brickell…we are Coral Gables & have to maintain our essence & unique Merrick charm-that is being lost w/the passage of each day.

  5. The idea of using the narrow alley, as is, for pick-up and drop-off is simply unrealistic. Perhaps the developer already knows this and will use it as a concession when a more practical dedicated access ramp is built into the hotel property. An access ramp will cut into the first level square footage still, it is the only way one-way east bound traffic (using Andalucia east bound) can navigate to and from the reception area. Any hotel traffic that comes from south bound Ponce de Leon will back up the Mile and create congestion at the intersection.
    This is so obvious!

  6. Ride sharing, millennials, the re- conceptualization of cars and parking is the future. Nothing is uglier and more wasteful than building soon to be obsolete parking garages. Dress up a parking garage how you want but it’s still ugly and wasteful.
    I think this hotel should be over 100feet high. Congrats to those who voted for it, build a city and support in-fill development. Save the environment and the Everglades.

  7. DO NOT APPROVE THIS PROJECT!!!

    This sets a horrible precedent for Miracle Mile!! Too high, no front entrance, no parking. What are you thinking? Please consider the people you represent before you allow yourself to be swayed by greedy and unscupulous developers.

  8. A hotel in Miami with no parking is completely unrealistic! While out of town hotel guests may not need parking, the commercial and retail space of this proposed hotel will attract plenty of local customers, who will undoubtedly drive their cars to Miracle Mile and require parking.

    In addition, allowing this hotel to be built higher than 70 feet would set a horrible precedent for Miracle Mile. It would only be a matter of time until the entire Mile loses its charm and becomes overdeveloped.

  9. It is hard to believe that only Fors and Lago voted against this. Another hotel without parking
    or a “drive up” to its entrance is ludicrous; transferring historical credits to predatory developers
    is a sad event for Coral Gables. Where is Dorothy Thompson when we need her? Shame on you Vales-Fauli.

  10. This city council is selling out not only the citizens of Coral Gables but any guest that does not have a private chauffeur to worry about his car. No happy and will show my displeasure on election day mayor et al.

  11. What has happened to Coral Gables ????
    The City Beautiful has become just another Developer-Hungry area. A Hotel on Miracle Mile with no parking. Is that a joke? Parking is already a precious commodity . I stopped going to Miracle Mile because the valet parking is too expensive and then you have to wait minimum 30 minutes for your car. CG has given up on its original, wonderful charm. Bring on the concrete !

  12. I agree that the hotel should not be higher than 70 feet. An exception would set a precedent!

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