Townhouse apartments to rise in Little Havana, but where’s the parking?
First he persuaded Miami commissioners to approve his radical-sounding idea — a rule allowing small buildings in some city neighborhoods to be built with no parking. Then developer Andrew Frey put his money where his mouth is.
Frey, a longtime advocate for small-scale development as a way to recharge Miami’s urban neighborhoods, bought a vacant lot in East Little Havana and will erect the first apartment building to take advantage of the new rule.
The compact townhouse-style building is a clean, contemporary take on the traditional rowhouses that define prized neighborhoods from London to Boston and New York. It comprises two adjoining townhomes, each split into four rental apartments. Big windows and deep balconies overlook the street. There’s even a front stoop.
This modest project aims to do no less than to recast the face of development in Miami.
Frey and his building designer, Florida International University architecture chair Jason Chandler, plan to replicate it across Little Havana, on the vacant lots that pepper and blight the neighborhood — a consequence of the city’s parking requirements, which critics say make building on a typical 50-foot-wide city lot both unnecessarily costly and physically impractical, if not downright impossible.