Commission Vote Could Add 1.5% Fee On New Construction To Fund Public Art

Miami’s commission could make new development more expensive in order to fund public art.

The Art In Public Places Ordinance already passed the first reading, and is scheduled for a second reading on July 14.

TNM reader Albert Cabrera writes that the proposed new law is a mistake:

In summary the Arts in Public Places Ordinance proposes the implementation of an administrative board charged with the acquisition, disposition, and exhibition of art in public places. The board and the entire process (acquisition, curation, exhibition, and maintenance of the art), will be funded by a 1-1.5% fee assessed on the hard costs (construction, consultants, demolition) of all new, commercial and residential (more than 7 units) , development (public and private). This is a massive fee that will only raise rents and reduce the availability of affordable housing in Miami-Dade County.

According to Zumper, the median rent for a one-bedroom condo in Miami is $1,900 making Miami the eight highest rental market in the nation. Recently, the Planning and Zoning Appeals Board of the City of Miami unanimously voted to adopt an arts in public places ordinance which ultimately increases the cost of construction and development in order to fund the public display of art. The AiPP ordinance, levies an additional 1-1.5% fee on the Construction Costs (aka hard costs) component of— generally—all Public and Private Development (defined in the ordinance below) in order to promote art in public places. Based on our internal estimates, AiPP fee will add an additional million dollars ($1,000,000) of expense to a 300 unit building. Ultimately, this increase in cost will be absorbed by the consumer and will translate into less development and higher rents for market rate housing and less affordable housing projects being constructed through the city.

An administrative body, within the City of Miami, will be responsible for the administration and assessment of the fees. That same ordinance also creates an independent board responsible for the acquisition, curation, and exhibition of art. The City has wide discretion as to what is deemed art, what is procured and where the art is displayed. This program’s unspoken goal is to continue to attract foreign buyers, via the arts, in order to prop up prices for condominium developers which ultimately increases development costs and makes it more difficult to get rental projects built translating into less market rate and affordable housing inventory and higher rents.

The AiPP is ordinance is scheduled to go before the Commission, for second reading, on July 14, 2016. If the ordinance is passed and is then ultimately made law, it will have broad implications on public housing and market rate development and negatively impact the Citizens of Miami and job growth all for the benefit of luxury condo developers.


AiPP LegislationThe Next

(photo: phillip pessar)