82-story skyscraper headed for heart of downtown Miami

Goodbye Courtyard by Marriott, hello 2nd & 2nd.

The heart of downtown Miami is set to change in a big way – literally – when the 14-story Marriott hotel comes down to make room for an 82-story skyscraper known as 2nd & 2nd.

A developer plans an 898-foot mixed-use tower at 200 SE Second Ave., with a hotel, rental apartments, retail and a two-story corner bar in a glass circle.

The site today is home to a Courtyard by Marriott.

Miami Convention Hotel Corp., a Yonkers, NY, entity, has filed the ambitious plan with the City of Miami. The city’s Urban Development Review Board last week recommended approval.

The high-profile site is hugged by an on ramp to I-95, off of Second Avenue, and is right beside the iconic Miami Tower.

The new tower will bring more than 1.5 million square feet of development to the compact site, according to the application to the city. The lot area is 50,187 square feet, or 1.15 acres.

2nd & 2nd is to provide 266 hotel rooms, 637 residences, 9,245 square feet of commercial-retail and 8,563 square feet of open space.

Parking will be built to handle 553 vehicles. The podium also contains hotel lobbies, restaurant space and loading and service areas.

Attorney Iris Escarra, representing the developer, said the plan is to build a sleek, elegant tower on an amazing corner.

“It will be a great asset to the Miami skyline,” she told the review board, adding that the site has four interesting frontages.

She wrote to the city, “The project is centrally located at an intersection which has a variety of retail, civic, and restaurant uses located on all sides of the Project. With the abutting Metromover Station, the entirety of downtown and Brickell is accessible from the property.”

Redevelopment will provide ground level retail, which the existing structure lacks, she said.

“This will enhance the pedestrian realm and encourage walkability along a stretch of downtown with no retail frontages,” she wrote.

The tinted-glass tower design is from Coral Gables architects Nichols Brosch Wurst Wolfe & Associates Inc.

Architect Igor Reyes spoke of the time and care put into designing the building and where it will be on the site, noting that access is very important to the project.

“There is a lot of traffic there. The intersection is really busy,” he said.

The developer is requesting several waivers, including:

■A 10% increase in maximum lot coverage. The unique shape caused by I-95 on-ramps and elevated Metromover tracks makes strict compliance with lot coverage requirements impractical for a site within the urban core, the application says. A waiver to increase lot coverage will alleviate a practical difficulty caused by the unique site and allow a functional design, the request says.

■A 10% increase in the maximum floorplate above the eighth story.

■Substitution of a commercial loading berth for an industrial loading berth.

■Parking encroaching into the second layer above the first story, along the primary frontage, with an art or glass treatment approved by the planning director with the review board’s recommendation.

The Courtyard by Marriott has 208 rooms, 25 suites and four meeting rooms, its website says.

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