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Urban-X Group Brings a Sense of Community with River Landing Shops & Residences

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Urban-X has seen strong interest in its River Landing Shops & Residences project, which is due to its location near expressways.

The Health/Civic District west of downtown Miami on the Miami River has always served the city well, but the area didn’t have the pizzazz for which the international metropolis is known. That is, until the 2-million-square-foot River Landing Shops & Residences came into the picture as the result of Urban-X Group’s vision for the area. With the arrival of the mixed-use development, the up-and-coming Mid River District and neighboring Health District are becoming places to be seen — and people are buzzing about it. 

“We have a very high level of interest in the rental apartments — more than 190 people have asked for rental information, so the demand is quite strong,” says Co-Founder and Principal Andrew Hellinger, who along with Co-Principal Coralee Penabad is developing River Landing Shops & Residences. “The demand for the market-rate apartments is not coming from our marketing efforts — it’s coming from the fact that our building is visible from the major expressways, the architecture is stunning, and there is a pent up demand for quality housing in one of Florida’s largest employment hubs.

“The response to this project has been exactly what we had expected,” Hellinger added. “We get drive-bys from medical students asking when they can move in. “Parents of students call us, asking if they can buy a place for their son or daughter. This area was really void of continuity and a sense of community, but now it’s a live-work-play-shop district. There’s even boat service if you want to play on the water.”

River Landing Shops & Residences sits on an 8.14-acre parcel on the west end of the Miami River. The structure consists of approximately 360,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, 118,000 square feet of office space, 526 market-rate apartments, more than 2,000 parking spaces, and a landscaped river walk. Retailers with the project include Publix Super Markets, Burlington, TJ Maxx, Ross Dress For Less, AT&T, Old Navy, Chick-fil-A, Planet Fitness and Hobby Lobby, among others.

The structure involves four levels of retail, three levels of office space above that, and the two apartment towers – rising 15 and 13 floors – sit atop a 12-story parking deck. A one-story amenity deck between the apartment towers will feature an Olympic-sized pool, spa, gym, outdoor fitness area, business center and party room. The retail side of the building will have a steel-frame skin, with glass and precast concrete. The parking garage and residential towers will have a concrete structure, with glass, block and stucco on the exterior of the residential portion. 

Completion of the development is expected for Spring 2020. Mostly interior work and site work is left to be done. A good takeaway from this development has been the strong relationship that Urban-X has developed with Miami city officials, coordinating construction of a project that was designed to serve the needs of locals and international visitors. 

“It’s been good to experience the partnership we created with the municipality,” Hellinger says. “We’re building a new sense of community within the Mid River District and nearby communities such as the Health District and Allapattah.

“What’s great is that we have been able to stay true to the design intent and architectural elements of the project,” he notes. “I’m proud to be part of reshaping Miami’s skyline and proud this project is going to open.”

Focusing on Creativity and Value

Going forward, Urban-X will continue to look for development opportunities in Florida, especially in south Florida, Orlando, St. Petersburg and Clearwater. Hellinger says Urban-X brings a “creative and entrepreneurial spirit” to its projects, focusing on adding value to neighborhoods and helping them to grow without losing their character. “Preserving the community” is key to bringing additional value to an area while keeping it affordable, he notes.

“We are looking for places where we have an opportunity to build multifamily apartments, rather than a mixed-use concept like River Landing Shops & Residences,” Hellinger explains. “We are looking to build a nice product at an affordable price. This can be a struggle because the land value is so high in these areas, but we do a lot of planning and always find the right piece of land at the right price to build projects that bring value to area’s residents.”  

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