NEIGHBORHOOD TOUR: Wynwood ready for development boom as it grows up
10.18.2016 | South Florida Business Journal

NEIGHBORHOOD TOUR: Wynwood ready for development boom as it grows up

Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood current incarnation as an arts district and retail and nightlife cultural hub took off in the mid-2000s when Goldman Properties and its founder Tony Goldman began buying up chunks of the neighborhood in 2006. Now, a decade later, the neighborhood is entering set its next stage as a work/live destination.

In addition to Goldman Properties, which still has significant interests in the neighborhood, developers and investors from far and wide are working to build up Wynwood. First came the multitude of murals, art galleries, restaurants and bars and the next step in Wynwood’s evolution looks to be residential towers and high-end mixed-use office and retail centers. Today, Miami’s Wynwood is centered around N.W. 2nd Avenue between 20th and 29th streets, extending to N. Miami Avenue to the east and I-95 on the west. But as projects are added, those boundaries will be pushed outwards.

Miami-based Related Group and New York-based Thor Equities have each proposed mixed-use projects that focus on smaller residential units. Related’s Wynwood project would sit on the blocks along N.W. 29th and 28th streets to the west of N.W. 1st Avenue and is designed by local architecture and design firmArquitectonica. The units will primarily be micro-units, between 416 and 802 square feet.

The Thor project would sit on a 2.07-acre site to the west of N.W. 2nd Avenue between 29th and 28th streets and is dubbed Wynwood Plant.

The 12-story mixed-use building was designed by Touzet Studio to include industrial elements, such as exposed beams and water towers that are reminiscent of its former use as a Coca-Cola bottling plant . The building would have 305 residential units, retail and parking spaces.

South of the Related and Thor projects is Moishe Mana’s mega development, Mana Wynwood. The project from New York developer Mana would consist of 9.72 million square feet of residential, commercial and cultural amenities.

To get the project done, Mana got the support of the Wynwood Business Improvement District and agreed to a number of community investment and redevelopment stipulations. Located on 23.5 acres at Northwest 22nd Street to Northwest 24th Street between Interstate 95 and Northwest 2nd Avenue , the project as planned has buildings as tall as 24 stories, 168,287 square feet of open space, parking and more.

Mana Wynwood is designed by local architect Bernard Zyscovich.

“It’s enough of a place where we can really create an impact,” Mana said in theinaugural “Breaking Ground with Brian Bandell” hosted by the Business Journalat it’s Miami offices. “This will really be the cultural hub of Miami. It is really like what we did in Jersey City.”

Mana likens Wynwood to New York’s Meatpacking District. Another New York investor and developer present at the Breaking Ground event was East End Capital’s Jonathon Yormak. East End Capital has transformed several old warehouses into the recently finished Wynwood Arcade, a hip retail and restaurant open-air complex. The developer also plans to build Wynwood 25, a retail and residential project.

“Wynwood attracted my company because there was already a strong embedded creative class and that’s what differentiated it to me from other parts of Miami,” Yormak said. “The whole world revolves around content and people want to have unique experiences. And I think Wynwood offers that. It’s not just about the murals on the walls. It’s more about the people who we and others have seeded to bring people to the neighborhood and create great products.”

The Wynwood neighborhood itself was originally developed by a couple of Miami pioneers in 1917 – Josiah Chaille and Hugh Anderson. The duo purchased farmland and part of an estate in 1917 and called the area “Wyndwood,” according to Miami History. Three months later, the City of Miami built a park and dropped the extra “d.”

Since then, Wynwood has largely been an area for working class families, adding industrial uses over time. The Coca-Cola bottling plant – which is one inspiration behind Thor Equities residential project – opened on N.W. 29th Street in 1926.

Nearly a century later, the neighborhood has drastically changed. One recent hiccup in Wynwood’s arts and culture boom was the region’s Zika crisis, although Wynwood saw the successful lifting of the CDC’s travel advisory to the neighborhood on Sept. 19.

As Wynwood moved through the first decade of its resurgence, it served as an ecosystem for local businesses like Panther Coffee, Wynwood Brewing Co., J. Wakefield Brewing, Zak the Baker, and the LAB Miami among others. Now, the area is gearing up for its next growth spurt.