A developer plans to knock down old duplexes to build condo towers and hotel rooms near Miami’s downtown.
Santiago Vanegas, CEO of Habitat Group, is behind multiple projects he says will expand his presence throughout Miami’s urban core. He said he needs to move quickly because land is running out.
“Big developers or big players must buy complete buildings to knock down middle-size buildings to make new projects because there is no land available in the Brickell area,” he said. “That’s why we made a very aggressive investment strategy.”
His projects include:
Apartments: An $11 million project known as East River Living is being built on empty land at 39 NW Seventh Ave. It will feature 34 rental apartments (studio, one- and two-bedroom units) and amenities such as a pool and gym. Units will range in size from 500 square feet to 850 square feet, and prices will start at $1,300 a month.
Completion of the eight-story rental apartment building along the west side of the Miami River is expected in the third quarter of 2019.
“It’s very attractive for the people who work on Brickell,” he said, because it’s a five-minute drive away.
Condo and hotel towers: His three-tower, $60 million Smart Brickell project will break ground by year’s end at 229 SW Ninth St.
The first tower — Smart 1 — will have 24 floors, with 50 hotel rooms on the second through eighth floors, and 50 condos on the ninth through 24th floors.
Two duplexes on-site will be demolished by the end of the month, and construction is expected to begin in February, he said.
The Smart 2 tower will have the same configuration of 24 floors of hotel rooms and condos. Two duplexes will be demolished by the third quarter of next year, and construction is expected to begin by the end of 2019.
Smart 3 will have 50 hotel rooms and 70 condos in a 26-story building. Three duplexes in its path will be torn down.
The towers will share amenities: Tower 1 will have a spa; Tower 2 will have an event room; and Tower 3 will have office space and restaurants. All of them will share a pool.
Homes generally will start in the $300,000s and top at $600,000s.
The hotel rooms will make up the Smart Brickell Hotel, which is Vanegas’ company’s brand. Vanegas said he has built four other hotels in the last eight years surrounding Brickell Avenue and Little Havana.
More hotels: Vanegas has more in the works. He said he is planning two other hotels, with 57 units each, about three blocks away at 239 SW 12th St. He bought that land earlier this year, and the hotels are in the zoning approval process.
More apartments: About two weeks ago, he closed on land at 143 SW Ninth St. that now has a 39-unit apartment building. Within two years, he said, he plans to build a 36-story project: a 108-unit condo tower, a hotel with 60 rooms, plus 12,000 square feet of commercial space.
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