City gives Bayview complex extra height in exchange for parking
By Risa Polansky
Critics of Miami's newly approved Bayview Market allege a measure designed to reward retail developers for adding extra public parking within the city's Urban Central Business District was written just to benefit the project.
The ordinance commissioners passed last week allows 10 feet of bonus height for every 75 public parking spaces beyond requirements in area retail projects, limiting a possible bonus to 20 feet.
By ordinance, the added spaces must be free to the public during business hours of the development's retailers and offered after hours at market rates.
City Manager Pete Hernandez called it "good, sound policy."
But attorney Tucker Gibbs said the Omni-area Bayview Market is "right now the only property this ordinance benefits."
Mr. Gibbs represents a nearby property owner who opposes the project.
He said Lucia Dougherty, attorney representing Bayview's developers, drafted the ordinance for the city. Neither Ms. Dougherty nor city staff denied Mr. Gibbs' claim.
Saul Cimbler, president of the South Florida Development Group, called the legislation the "Bayview relief act."
"They're super-sizing the project," he said. "This is nothing more than a mirage."
Commissioners late last month approved a scaled-down market project, designed at 120 feet high, 20 lower than planned.
Bayview developer Ignacio Garcia Du-Quesne told commissioners last week "there exists a tremendous demand for new retail within the urban core" and said the ordinance "gives incentives to developers to provide spaces very much needed to relieve the parking needs of shoppers in the area.
"We strongly feel that is has tremendous foresight and reflects good planning," he said, and is "made for every present or future retail developer."