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

10 August 2023

Firm paid $28M in November for dev site, home to closed Starlite Motel East

The Real Deal | August 10, 2023

Focus wants to build a 516-unit apartment tower on a Brickell site it bought last year, marking a continued flurry of project applications targeting Miami’s financial district.

The Chicago-based firm proposes a 39-story building with ground-floor retail on nearly an acre at 128 Southwest Seventh Street, according to Focus’ filings to Miami-Dade County submitted this month. Apartments would range from studios to three-bedroom units, spanning from 492 square feet to 1,416 square feet.

The filing comes nine months after Focus paid $28 million in November for the development site, which is now home to the closed two-story, 60-key Starlite Motel East.

In July, Miami-Dade County commissioners included the site in the Rapid Transit Metromover subzone area, a designation that allows denser projects partly due to their proximity to public transit stops. Focus’ property is about two blocks west of the Eighth Street Metromover stop at Brickell City Centre.

Focus is seeking a pre-application meeting with Miami-Dade, which developers request to consult with county administrators before filing an official application.

Founded in 1993 by Tim Anderson, Focus has largely focused on developing in Chicago and surrounding areas. In Lake Forest, it completed the 111-unit Kelmscott Park Apartments in 2018 and sold it in 2020 for $54 million.

Focus also has partnered with Centennia and Atlantic Residential to redevelop the Fox Valley Mall in the suburb of Aurora. The threesome plan 323 apartments and a 212-unit senior housing project for the project’s second phase.

The Brickell development marks Focus’ debut in Miami and its push into Florida. In St. Petersburg, Focus paid $20 million for a downtown development site where the firm obtained approvals last year for a 22-story, 335-apartment building, St. Pete Catalyst reported....

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