North Miami Beach Community Redevelopment Agency
- Urban Design & Planning
- Ongoing Urban Design Review
- Economic Development Implementation Plan
- Retail Market Assessment
- Demand Analysis
- Public-Private Partnerships
- CRA Administration
- CRA Incentives
North Miami Beach Downtown, Biscayne Corridor & Waterfront Mixed-Use Districts
North Miami Beach was languishing and being strangled by traffic while neighboring cities, such as Sunny Isles and Aventura, experienced unprecedented growth and economic development. Development was stifled by low height and density, even in areas where transit oriented development was desired. Development pressure for more height and density resulted in endless debates and horse trading in commission meetings. Projects that were coming forward were dense yet auto-oriented and did not enhance the character of the city with its well established street, park, and waterway system. The result was more development with no real plan for growth and no control of its remaining valuable assets, such as the Intracoastal waterway parcels. The city was in need of a strategy for encouraging redevelopment while laying out the expected public benefits, providing residents with a comfort level that quality of life would be enhanced. Following leadership changes on the City Council, which in turn led to changes in the city’s administrative leadership, the city embarked on an aggressive program of redevelopment, revitalization, and tax base enhancement. This included RMA’s development of an economic development implementation plan, which began with efforts to change the city’s reputation in the real estate industry and to ensure that city regulations matched market conditions and market potential. RMA assisted the city in the Land Use and Zoning amendment for seven mixed-use districts in the City to include the Downtown area, Biscayne Boulevard Corridor and Waterfront Districts.
RMA worked with the city to begin a campaign to “spread the word” about the new opportunities in North Miami Beach, and especially the new attitude toward private sector investment. This began with an analysis of the market demand and potential, a review of development financial feasibility, and the development and implementation of tax increment incentives for new investment Subsequently, the urban design team developed a vision plan for the future growth based on the market study. The vision plan became the base for the proposed land use policies and objectives and zoning map and text amendments.
The planning team conducted a buildout analysis to determine the existing entitlements under the current regulations and the future entitlements under the proposed regulations. Additionally, RMA conducted a concurrency analysis based on the projected entitlements to address infrastructure improvements needed as well as potential impact fees generated for parks and police services. The CRA Tax Increment Recapture Incentive Program was revamped to establish clear and stricter guidelines for giving rebates. Before RMA revamped the program, the CRA gave up to 75% tax rebate for any projects that came in regardless of what they developed in the CRA.
The amendments were unanimously approved in March 2015. In less than one year of adopting the regulations, the city received nearly ten applications for site plan approval. Two major development sites that were considered to be a hindrance to redevelopment, a large adult entertainment venue in the waterfront district and a commercial property near the future rail station, were sold for a combined $30 million, making way for mixed use developments. Over $280 million in real estate transactions took place in the target area in the first 18 months, with approval of over 1,000 residential units, 200 hotel rooms, and significant commercial development. The quick change in North Miami Beach’s reputation in the private sector, combined with strong, visionary leadership and RMA’s approach, enabled North Miami Beach to lead Miami-Dade County in property taxable value growth from 2015-2016, at a year over year rate of 17%. Additionally, the taxable value of property within the North Miami Beach Redevelopment Area increased by 46% during the same period. This growth was driven by real estate transactions, and additional, even more significant tax base enhancement, will occur as the projects are completed over the next few years.