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Apartment project in Overtown would mix luxury and affordable housing

On Oct. 17, Miami's Urban Design Review Board will consider a project that would mix luxury apartments with affordable housing.

The Soleste Grand Central apartments would rise 18 stories at 218 N.W. Eighth St. in Overtown.

The 1.23-acre site, which is vacant except for a pool, is owned by Sawyers Walk Ltd. and Poinciana Village of Miami Ltd., but it’s under contract to Miami-based apartment developer Estate Investments Group (EIG). The currently owners previously acquired the property in partnership with the city’s Overtown/Park West Community Redevelopment Agency.

Tony Castro, COO and principal of EIG, said it struck a deal to pay the CRA $3 million and include some affordable housing in Soleste Grand Central. The developer has built a handful of Soleste-branded apartments for the luxury market around Miami-Dade County. This would be its first project in the urban core, and its first project to include some affordable housing.

“We have seen downtown and Brickell rents rise,” Castro said. “They are at a place where we saw our business model as an effective way to penetrate the market and compete.”

EIG has a in-house general contractor that allows it to reduce construction costs and offer lower rents, he said. The property is also in a federally designated Opportunity Zone, which offers signifiant tax benefits, Castro said.

Soleste Grand Central would total 429,234 square feet with 360 apartments, 6,500 square feet of retail, 2,250 square feet of offices, and 438 parking spaces. It was designed by Caymares Martin Architectural and Engineering Design. Attorney Iris Escarra represents the developer.

The developer agreed to offer 10 apartments for families earning no more than 80 percent of the area's median income, 15 apartment for families earning no more than 100 percent of the area's median income, and another 15 apartments for families earning no more than 120 percent of the area's median income.

Castro said the affordable units would be evenly distributed throughout the building, so they would share the same floors and amenities as a luxury units.

There would be a pool deck on the fourth floor with a fitness center, playroom, business center, lounge and a spa.

There would be 152 studio apartments, 70 units with one bedroom, 47 units with one bedroom and a den, 64 units with two bedrooms, and 17 with three bedrooms. The smallest unit would be 400 square feet.

Castro said the location will be convenient for many workers, as it’s near the Brightline passenger rail station, the Metrorail station, and the Metromover station. He hopes to break ground in the first quarter of 2019.

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