Aimco Still In Court Over Approval To Build Miami’s Tallest All-Apartment Building

NYSE-listed Aimco wants to build a massive apartment tower in Brickell, but still has no clarity from a Miami court on whether construction can begin.

Last month, Aimco asked Miami’s 3rd District Court of Appeals to step in and issue a ruling on a lawsuit in a lower court filed by a competing developer, but Aimco later voluntarily dismissed the appeals court filing. The case is now still pending in the lower court.

In May 2017, Miami Planning & Zoning officials approved a proposal by Aimco to build a 61-story tower at 1111 Brickell Bay Drive, as part of a redevelopment of the company’s Yacht Club at Brickell which is an existing apartment complex.

In November of last year, a Florida East Coast Realty affiliate filed a lawsuit, asking a court to overturn the city’s approval. FECR was in the middle of developing the 85-story Panorama Tower with 821 apartments across the street, and Aimco’s new tower could potentially block views from some apartments at Panorama.

FECR’s lawsuit is a Petition for Writ of Certiorari, challenging four waivers granted by Miami Planning & Zoning officials:

  • A waiver granting a 30% reduction in parking spaces compared to Miami 21 zoning requirements at Aimco’s new tower (up to 50% with payment to a parking trust fund) – FECR’s lawyers argue that it will cause an increase in drivers circling to find scarce parking, increasing traffic.
  • A 10% extension in floorplate above the eighth level, from the 180 foot maximum under Miami 21 to 198 feet
  • A waiver in setback above the eight floor from 30 feet to 27 feet
  • A 10% reduction in the minimum setback between two buildings, where normally 60 feet is required

Aimco has received approval from the FAA to build the new tower at 751 feet above ground, or 755 feet above sea level. If built at that height, it could become Miami’s tallest all-apartment building (Panorama is Miami’s tallest building at 868 feet above ground, but includes hotel and office space on the lower levels).