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Miami to review plans for 464-unit Vice apartment downtown

Miami officials are set to consider plans for the 464-unit Vice apartment tower by Property Markets Group in downtown.

The project is located on part of the 2-acre site that PMG acquired in late 2014 for $80 million out of a receivership case. The previous owners, Maurice Cohen and Leon Cohen, planned to build twin 93-story buildings there called Empire World Towers, but they were convicted for tax evasion and defrauding French banks.

PMG’s plan for the 32-story Vice on the western one-acre part of the property is significantly smaller than what the zoning code would allow. The building would total 705,750 square feet, with 464 units, 7,000 square feet of retail and 670 parking spaces. The plan will be considered by the city’s Urban Development Review Board on Oct. 21. 

“We could have done 800 units on the rental side but you must consider the livability index. You don’t want 800 people living on an acre,” said PMG Partner Ryan Shear.

Shear said Vice would have four elevators plus a service elevator to reduce waiting times and high-end glass rails on the balconies. The amenities would include a 18,000-square-foot pool deck and a 6,000-square-foot gym, he said.

Units would be relatively small, with one-bedroom units of about 600 square feet and two-bedroom units of 800 to 900 square feet.

Shear said the plan is to make Vice more affordable for the younger demographic. The one-bedroom units would start around $1,500 per month, he said. Located at 243 N.E. 3rd Street, the project is near the College/Bayside Metromover station and Miami-Dade College’s downtown campus. It’s also a quick walk from American Airlines Arena and Bayfront Park.

As for the east side of the site with an acre at 300 Biscayne Blvd., Shear said the plan is to replace the office building with a condo of about 500 units. He expects the city to review those plans in late 2015 or early 2016.

“Even if I wanted to come out of the gates now [with condo sales], I wouldn’t be ready,” Shear said. “It’s a complex building. To build a sales center would take six to eight months.”

Shear said it would be a luxury product since it would have views of Biscayne Bay across from Bayfront Park.

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