The South Miami City Commission on April 23 unanimously approved a major redevelopment plan for the Shops at Sunset Place, which will include apartments and a hotel.
Opened in 1999, the open-air mall at 5701 S.W. 72nd St. (Sunset Drive) has struggled to attract shoppers in recent years. It was acquired for $110.2 million in 2015 by the joint venture of Federal Realty Investment Trust (NYSE: FRT), Coconut Grove-based Grass River Property, and Miami Beach-based Comras Co.
A similar plan failed to pass the City Commission in 2017. The density in the new plan is essentially the same, but there were significant design changes.
The 9.7-acre property currently has 524,180 square feet of retail, 15,000 square feet of office and 40 residential units.
Under the redevelopment plan, the retail space would be reduced to 440,148 square feet and the office space would increase to 32,840 square feet. The developer would also build 414 apartments in two buildings, a 182-room hotel, a two-story expansion to the parking deck, and 216 new structured and valet parking spaces.
Shops at Sunset Place would have its massive façade reduced in size to create more pedestrian pathways, publics spaces and landscaping. There would be an interior grassy courtyard with seating and event space.
“Federal Realty, Grass River Property and the Comras Company have always believed that a reimagined Shops at Sunset Place can be a catalyst for activity in South Miami’s downtown, a gathering place for residents, and an economic engine for the city,” said Mark Brennan, VP of regional development for Federal Realty. “The commission’s unanimous vote reflects the community’s outpouring of support for revamped retail and dining, market rate housing, a hotel, and new public spaces that will help revitalize downtown South Miami and enhance connectivity with the surrounding neighborhood and nearby transit options.”
As part of the agreement, the developers will contribute $250,000 to the city for improvements to public spaces, such as benches, and another $1.5 million towards a pedestrian bridge over U.S. 1. If the state does not approve the pedestrian bridge, the $1.5 million would go towards another city transportation project.
The apartment buildings would be on the northern side of the property at Red Road and U.S. 1. The towers would rise 14 stories.
The developers have not determined when they can break ground. Zyscovich Architects designed the project.
The Shops at Sunset Place remains open and the Yumbrella food hall recently opened.
Brian Bandell, South Florida Business Journal
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