Wynwood's Demolition Wave: Homes Razed to Make Way for Development
If you frequent Wynwood, you've noticed the changing landscape: new murals, new construction, new businesses, and fresh demolitions in the small pockets of residential areas amid the warehouses. I've witnessed six houses on 27th Street between North Miami and NW Second avenues come down in the past couple of months. The teardowns are quick. From the time the excavators roll in to the time the land is leveled is anywhere from two to seven days, depending upon the size of the property.
Kerry McLaney One of several recently razed plots of land in Wynwood.
So why the recent rapid developments in the "Café District"?
Cho said he prides himself on contributing to the green living movement; his office is covered wall-to-wall with eco-friendly tips. He wants to inspire more people to live and/or work in Wynwood, reducing the ecological costs of commuting. His goal is to increase the population so prime independent retailers and restaurants will invest in the future of this community.
Newly empty plots of land dot the Wynwood landscape.
Cho and Lombardi said they have been battling the City of Miami, the Zoning Department, and the Parking Department to create a viable community where locals and tourists are guaranteed a safe experience. Lombardi pointed out that the majority of Wynwood is classified as D-1, meaning only 36 units per acre and three parking spaces are required for every 1,000 square feet of commercial space such as retail or office. It's an ideal classification for warehouse and industrial districts, but not so much for rapidly developing retail and restaurant centers.
However, the areas where most of these razed houses are located are zoned as T5-L, where 65 units are allowed per acre. That regulation lends the area to midrise buildings with retail, restaurant, and live/work options -- exactly the direction in which Cho and Lombardi hope to take the neighborhood.