The planned Centro Lofts tower may well set a new template for residential development in Miamiâ€™s downtown core: compact units, 10-foot ceilings, interiors by top-drawer celebrity designer Yves Behar, a signature restaurant and rooftop pool, and a two-story private lounge.
But - no parking garage.
It will however have, valet service, a five-spot Car2Go auto-share hub, covered bicycle parking and, possibly, also a station for Miamiâ€™s upcoming bike-share program. Residents who need parking can get a spot at a nearby city garage.
If you think this sort of thing wonâ€™t fly in auto-centric Miami, guess again. Half of Centroâ€™s 352 units are sold even though the building hasnâ€™t broken ground. Prices start at $220,000 and top out in the mid-$400,000s.
Planners and developers say there is something new and different going on here - in Miami as elsewhere across the country; walkable urbanism is undergoing a renaissance as young people flock downtown to live and work. Driving and car ownership, in particular among those aforementioned young, is down. The New York Times provoked a national buzz last month with an article suggesting that the appeal of Americaâ€™s car culture has dimmed for many.
Centro isnâ€™t the first new tower downtown to forgo a garage, something made possible by zoning rules that exempt residential buildings that sit within 1,000 feet of transit stations in high-density zoning districts from minimum parking requirements, which covers virtually all of downtown given its proliferation of Metrorail and MetroMover stations.