Meeting Today To Discuss New 17-Story Development On Ponce + Gift Of City Land

Ariel Fernandez

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In a tale of developers aiming higher, this project will feature 17-stories, 179 feet in height, 161 residential units and over 18,000 square feet of commercial, at the corner of University Drive and Ponce de Leon Boulevard.

The project went before the Planning and Zoning Board earlier this year. The project was held during the election and has now begun picking up steam.

This massive new development, proposed by developer Allen Morris, is currently named Ponce Park Residences. Part of the requirement to ensure maximum return on investment, a gift from the City of Coral Gables or, in reality, a gift from it’s residents. Neighbors have been voicing their concerns for this project for months. The City would be vacating University Drive, as well as use of a public alley. A total of 16,147 square feet, which would ensure the developer is able to maximize the Floor Area Ration (FAR). This will ensure the developer can build a taller building, by creating a pocket park on the gifted land, instead of on the land they will develop.

Morris previously built Alhambra Towers, a 175-foot, 16-story commercial building in downtown Coral Gables.

The meeting will take place at 3000 Ponce de Leon Boulevard from 5:30PM to 7:00PM Tuesday, June 1st.

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22 thoughts on “Meeting Today To Discuss New 17-Story Development On Ponce + Gift Of City Land

  1. Dear Commissioner Kirk Menendez,
    I do not know if the Allen Morris Company or any of its affiliated entities or individuals made contributions to your campaign. Nevertheless, the Allen Morris Company did not elect you into office-the residents of Coral Gables did that. Keep your campaign promise ” That is why I pledge to all our residents that during my term as Commissioner, I will not support variances that come before me asking for increases to the height of new projects beyond what the code allows.” Show us now that you are an honorable person and vote NO if this variance request comes before you on the commission. Let the Allen Morris Company build what current zoning allows on the site and nothing more. Stop the development insanity!

  2. We are building our second house in Coral Gables. The restrictions in height, green space, trees, etc. exceed reasonable requests yet we had to satisfy these in order to receive a building permit & eventual Certificate of Occupancy. To do this, we gave up financial opportunities in maximizing the properties. NO to giving away land. NO to large developments. YES to green space for all residents & visitors to use.

  3. This is absurd. Which of you is allowing these monstosities in our City. You talk about traffic calming but you continue to push on these mega projects that only congest our streets. What’s so green about any of this? Do any of you have a clue? You removed all the No Dumping signs throughout the City because you think it’s CLUTTER…but you can justify these projects? Coral Gables is being stripped until she will have no more to give. At that point it will be too late to save our City. You have sold her soul to the Devil. This is NOT what our Founder ever had in mind. SHAME ON YOU

  4. I watched the Planning & Zoning meeting about this project a few months ago. The attorney for the developer droned on and on and repeated himself over and over again that there wasn’t any time for public comment – I feel certain that it was intentional on his part! And I am sorry to be just finding out about this meeting this afternoon – also intentional to be sure! How much more development can this section of Ponce take – ridiculous! Gridlock for sure!!

  5. I like Michael Ray’s idea…let’s go ahead and do it.

    The city managers are tone deaf, we need to make them listen! No more construction. Developers need to go elsewhere!!!

  6. Kudos to Gables Insider for keeping the citizens of Coral Gables informed on all the wheeling and dealing the City always seems to be up to.

  7. Thank you for your reporting, especially on this matter. A list of email addresses for the new city commission would be most welcome.

    Gifts of city land to private developers should generally be viewed with a jaundiced eye. This unconscionable gift and its proposed density will certainly ensure more city congestion and road surface destruction. At present, driving through the Gables is reminiscent of negotiating one’s way in a third world country. How much higher does the population of a city of this size need to be to make it unlivable?

    A Durand, city resident for more than 33 years

  8. Coral Gables is no longer a quiet, beautiful little town. It is being destroyed with hugh ugly buildings which increases the population, decrease tranquility, natural beauty, parking space.
    Mayors and commissioners ran on a platform to stop big builders. DO THE JOB YOU PROMISED US.

  9. I want to make my house 4 stories on a single lot with a rooftop pool. I will ask the city to gift me the swale (which I maintain). I will graciously allow the city they to put a poop station on my property and I will plant a mandarin tree which shall resemble Valencia, Spain for a bonus.

    How do you think my proposal will work out for me? Why should a developer get any more preference than a homeowner who votes? My outrageous proposal is in tune with what developers get on a daily in Coral Gables.

  10. Once again we, the people, the residents of Coral Gables find ourselves dealing with the arrogance of developers, ie. Allen Morris, who refuse to listen to us. More density. N0! Higher buildings, NO! More giveaways from the City. No!!!
    How many times, and how loud, do we need to say NO!!
    Are they deaf, or do they expect to collect from those elected officials that they supported in recent and past elections? Is that why this project was taken off the process “until the elections?” How many votes have they been able to secure? Anyone interested can request the candidates’ financial reports from the candidates elected the last two or three elections by filing a public records request! Wake up Coral Gables residents before it is too late! Get your neighbors involved! Contact the elected officials and tell them ENOUGH is ENOUGH!!! Attend the meeting this afternoon! Show the developers and their representatives what they will have to deal with if they continue pushing !! And, please, make sure that our City’s employees understand that THEY work for us and their job is not to HELP the developers, but to protect us!

  11. NO more construction. NO more construction. NO more construction. How much louder do we have to yell? When will you listen? This is OUR City and no more construction. Traffic is horrible, we are looking like Brickell and we are the City beautiful. Anyone who votes for this ends their career. We have every right to say no and you have a fiduciary responsibility to support the citizens of Coral Gables!! NO Alllan Morris. You have enough money.

  12. Ridiculous. Not only for the land giveaway but also for the height of the building. How does that comply with the code given the lot size?

  13. This can end if the citizens of Coral Gables use the initiative procedure to propose legal changes to protect against over development. See Article 1 Section 10 of the City Charter. Yes, you do have the power to effect change on your own.

  14. Just look at Allen Morris’s max height Alhambra Tower downtown. A church was demolished to make room for it. If memory serves, a street was rerouted. What did the residents get in return? A “public park” that typically functions as the outdoor dining patio of whatever restaurant occupies the ground floor.
    Oh, and the building is composed of vertical slabs.

  15. It takes residents almost a year to obtain city permits for modifying the interior of their homes. Building Permit fees in Coral Gables now exceeding 2%, among the highest in the County, but here the city literally giving land for free. Yes, it is free.

  16. I am horrified at what is going on in the Gables, yet another sellout to a developer. I moved here from Sarasota in 2010 because of overbuilding in that city which ruined it, and I am now devastated to see that the same thing is happening here in Coral Gables. The traffic and congestion in Sarasota due to over construction made it unpleasant and unlivable; all the residents who had loved the small-town feel of that city felt betrayed. I was one of them, and fled. I was so pleased to find the elegance and containment of Coral Gables 10 years ago, and resent that the same thing is happening here.

  17. Beautiful on paper. Unfortunately that corner will become more of a traffic nightmare than it already is.

  18. Love the building. I’ll support it and many more. The future looks. Right for coral gables.

  19. Here we go again, density, higher and more consetions. Will it ever end? With The Plaza across the street another monstrosity in the area. What is next, the parcel where the courthouse is or Christi’s and the rest of that block?

  20. Thank you for your superlative reporting in general, and specifically on this proposed project.

    I have lost faith in Allen Morris, and I agree with residents who oppose this project as yet annother aspect of runaway development.

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