The Wynwood district north of downtown is becoming a hot spot for mixed-use development activities. Recent articles in the South Florida Business Journal and Curbed report that construction is under way on Wynwood House, a mixed use building that will include restaurants, office space, and live/work units, and Green Space, a retail/office building, both on NW 26th Street. Over on NW 23rd Street, a New York investor plans a major renovation of a 23,400 square foot building that is to become office and retail space for the “creative industry.”
Mixed-use developments present unique challenges. The integration of multiple uses into a single structure is a complicated process that requires thoughtful coordination of the architect, engineers, contractors and designers. There are potential issues that must be addressed in every phase of the project, from legal to design through construction, which means that construction costs can be greater than they would be in a single-use project. In addition to navigating through a recently revised complex landuse and an expansive Florida building code, there are many construction best practices for mixed-use developments that should be considered. A potential investor or developer considering a project in this trendy but challenging district of Miami is well advised to assemble an experienced team of professionals.
In order to be financially successful, mixed-use developments must hit the ground running, as there are often high carrying costs associated with these projects. Consequently, it is important to avoid delays and complete mixed-use projects on time. The construction schedule for a mixed-use development is typically longer than a comparably sized single-use project, and it is therefore necessary for the development team -especially the construction project manager- to be extra vigilant. Proper selection of the right contractors and construction manager is critical. Likewise, the construction contracts must be carefully drafted to address the complexities of mixed-use development; standardized forms would not be appropriate for mixed-use construction activities.