Chicago developer reveals plan for former Brickell motel site

10 August 2023

By Brian Bandell – Real Estate Editor, South Florida Business Journal

Chicago-based developer Focus has revealed plans for its first project in Miami, a 39-story apartment tower in the Brickell neighborhood.

The developer acquired the one-acre site at 128 S.W. Seventh St. for $28 million in November. It was formerly the home of the Starlite East, a two-story motel built in 1995.

The Miami-Dade County Commission recently expanded the Rapid Transit Zone (RTZ) to include this property because of its close proximity to the Brickell Metrorail Station. That allowed for a boost in density and more flexible parking requirements, said Vicky Lee, senior VP of Focus.

Focus filed plans with the county for a 700,000-square-foot building, including 516 apartments, 7,500 square feet of retail and 500 parking spaces. Tim Anderson, CEO of Focus, said it could have built much less parking, but he expects there will be demand for parking spaces from many tenants because the building has good access to Interstate 95 to the west.

The building would have amenity decks at both the eighth floor and the rooftop, each with a pool and lounge. Anderson said the lower pool would be designed more for fitness because it would be near the gym, while the rooftop pool would be more for relaxation and watching the sunset. Lee said other amenities would include a sauna, massage rooms, a private party room, cowoking space, a bar, a game room and a golf simulator.

Lee said the firm selected Brickell for its first project in Miami because of all the office construction there, which will lead to many office workers seeking apartments. This project would cater to them with mostly smaller units, with about 30% of its unit count studios and 40% of them one-bedroom apartments, she said. The average unit size is 775 square feet.

“They need smaller unit sizes, but still rather spacious, and couple that with all of the amenities so they don’t feel like they are in their apartment all of the time,” Lee said.

This article originally appeared in the South Florida Business Journal, you can read the entire article here.

Subscribe to learn more.

Next Article - Focus proposes 39-story, 516-unit apartment tower in Brickell

Get in touch

Back To Top