If you own a high end automobile it is understandable that you want to park it in a safe and secure location that mirrors the kind of luxury condos you live in. Developers have a new twist on owner’s desire to park their Porches in a high end garage, and recent reports say they’ve picked an unlikely location in Miami for plans to build the latest in Miami condo investments.
The location for a new condo that’s specifically designed for cars and excludes people is in a historic Miami neighborhood that’s seen better days. Overtown is bucking the headwinds of an unemployment and crime problem, but a developer is intent on turning things around with this new addition to the Miami condo lifestyle. Plans are in the works to use some vacant land for a seven story high structure to be called AutoHouse. It will include a restaurant on the roof as well as exclusive members only social club.
Louis Birdman is the developer who saw an opportunity. He recently told the Miami Herald that many people who own Miami luxury condo units also have cars that correspond with their lavish lifestyle. Birdman says when these people decide to leave Miami to live in their other homes, they store the cars and the structure will offer an attractive solution.
If you’ve started to wonder just how expensive these units will be, prices are projected to begin at $350,000 and go up to 1.5 million. There are options to outfit each of the spaces with additional features like a sound system and wet bar.
With all the other luxury condos for sale in Miami, this latest proposal to build a luxury condo specifically for vehicles is drawing mixed reviews. At least some activists who are involved with Overtown are pointing to a building boom in downtown Miami that’s responsible for a new wave of gentrification.
Kian Frederick is the executive director of the nonprofit South Florida Voices for Working Families. She spoke to the Miami Herald lately and voiced her concerns over the perception the project signals a move that favors luxury cars over the character of the community.
She went on to say that building a luxury condo for automobiles is like putting up a billboard announcing their eviction to residents.
Irby McKnight is a longtime resident of the area who serves on the city of Miami’s advisory board for the Overtown area. He says that while local residents are always excited about opportunities for growth, they are concerned about old Overtown disappearing completely. McKnight goes on to say that the community would be better served with workforce housing and AutoHouse wouldn’t really serve the needs of its citizens all.
Keon Hardemon supplies another viewpoint on the subject by suggesting the project will be instrumental in creating a new image for the area that has one of the highest crime rates in the city. The Miami Commissioner stresses the need for different types of development to make the community successful. He adds that AutoHouse will not receive any public money or evict any of the current residents from their homes, and will in fact attract a new kind of person to the downtown.
Overtown is a historically African American based part of the downtown Miami core. AutoHouse isn’t the only proposal that has plans to change the face of that community. Two other mixed-use developments are in the works and there is even a proposal for a soccer stadium named after David Beckham.
Finally, Birdman sees nothing but positives in this trend adding he feels that these kind improvements will lead to others and be good for the community in the long run.