By Myles Stepner | September 14, 2018
Present Day – Village of Merrick Park
In recent years, Coral Gables has carefully managed a historic development boom. Major improvements have dramatically enhanced Coral Gables’ Miracle Mile. Now, interest and development are shifting south towards the Village of Merrick Park. The projected increase in density for this micro area is startling. In 2008, this market was home to a mere 267 residences. Since the end of the most recent recession, 910 units were added. Over the next three years, seven projects presently in various stages of development are expected to add another 2,322 units. In addition to the new residences, 319 hotel rooms and 50,000 SF of office space are planned for the area, along with 225,000+ SF of retail.
The Village of Merrick Park rates well regarding connectivity and walkability. The area’s central location allows residents convenient access to every major market in Miami-Dade County. A free trolley service will take you to most of Miami in minutes, while the Metrorail is within walking distance and offers an affordable ride beyond the trolley’s range. With a walkability score in the 90s, the Village of Merrick Park is among Miami’s most walkable markets. The area is home to five schools ranging from K-12th grade. Restaurants and a movie theatre are conveniently located in the neighborhood. Also, the Shops at Merrick Park provides residents and businesses easy access to luxury retailers such as Neiman Marcus, Tiffany and Co., Williams Sonoma, Gucci, and Diane Von Furstenberg.
By 2021, The Village of Merrick Park will be home to a staggering 3,538 multifamily units and 431 hotel units, placing it among Miami’s densest submarkets. During the next three years, investors are projected to spend over $250 million on land acquisitions, with construction investment nearing $1 billion. Among the planned developments are the Link at Douglas by 13th Floor Investments and the Adler Group. With groundbreaking scheduled for early 2019, this development will be located on seven acres of surface parking lots at the Douglas Road Metrorail station and will include 970 residential units with a grocery store, a public plaza, retail and more. A competing project is being built just down US-1 by NPI. NPI’s development, Gables Station, will have a three-acre park running through its 553 apartments and 66 hotel rooms, with a 90,000 SF Life Time Fitness serving as its anchor.
I’ve witnessed the growth of the Merrick Park neighborhood firsthand while representing Terrace Mountain Investors’ 10,000 SF of ground floor retail space at The Henry. The Henry is a 120-unit, mixed-use rental project under construction at the corner of Laguna St. and Altara Ave and is indicative of the caliber of projects planned for the neighborhood. It will have condo-quality finishes including hand-selected tile, premium appliances and fixtures, and imported Italian cabinetry. Amenities will include a state-of-the-art fitness center outfitted with Peloton equipment, a lushly gardened fourth-floor terrace, and a beautiful rooftop pool. An expansive garage will provide convenient parking for ground floor retail. The garage will be supported by the INDECT Parking System which will provide real-time parking availability information. Though ground-breaking on the project commenced in June, we have already seen interest from retail groups ranging from local Miami favorites to internationally known European brands.
The Village of Merrick Park provides everything today’s residents want. Once an industrial section of Miami-Dade, the neighborhood has quickly evolved into an ideal live-work-play environment.