Image: Celal Ozkan and a rendering of Skygarden tower (Linkedin, Permuy Architecture).
UPDATED, May 3, 12:50 p.m.: North Miami Beach gave final approval for a Turkish developer to build a 19-story, mixed-use multifamily tower.
Skygarden at 16300 Northeast 19th Avenue will be 224-feet tall and include 341 apartments, 12,635 square feet of retail space, 405 parking spaces, a recreational deck with a pool and garden on the sixth floor, a rooftop terrace, and public art.
Developer Celal Ozkan, chairman of Istanbul-based CEO Contract, told commissioners that he wants to break ground in September and complete the project by August 2023. Ozkan also said he wants to make Skygarden the first of several projects he hopes to build in the city, and other parts of the nation. And he said he is moving his company’s headquarters to North Miami Beach.
“We are fully confident that North Miami Beach is the perfect city to do our branding,” said Ozkan, adding that CEO Contract has previously built 50 mixed-use, multifamily buildings and 100 hotels on three continents — mainly in Russia, Turkey, and North Africa.
The North Miami Beach City Commission late Tuesday approved the project by a vote of 6 to 0, with Mayor Tony DeFillipo abstaining due to his involvement in a previous sale involving the property.
According to a market study CEO Contract submitted to the city, rents at Skygarden will potentially range from $1,618 a month for a 593-square-foot one-bedroom/one-bath unit to $2,154 a month for a two-bedroom, two-bath.
Although the project’s overall size is within code, CEO Contract needed four variances to construct the high-rise designed by architect Ignacio Permuy, president of Coral Gables-based Permuy Architecture. They included setback waivers and approval for the average unit size to be below 800 square feet in size. The average unit size at Skygarden will be 740 square feet.
Matthew Amster, one of CEO Contract’s attorneys, said Skygarden’s unit size conforms with his clients’ market study.
Commissioners Fortuna Smukler and McKenzie Fleurimond asked how the developer plans to fill the ground-floor retail. Smukler noted that the ground-floor retail at Lazul Apartments in North Miami Beach was never filled. Fleurimond asked if Ozkan was consulting any well-known restauranteurs. “Whatever they touch usually brings a lot of business. You have in particular, a Dave Grutman?”
Ozkan said he was already talking to brands including “a very nice coffee shop” and a “Mediterranean kind of a restaurant” that will serve healthy food and kabobs. Ozkan added that his property gets far more exposure than Lazul does. “There are 80,000 cars passing by our building every day,” he said.
A company connected to Ozkan paid $5.2 million for Skygarden’s site in November. The seller was Afin Developer Group’s Alejandro Araujo, who previously planned to build a seven-story, 129-room hotel. Araujo knocked down the office building on the 37,500-square-foot lot, but the hotel was never built.
As part of its benefits package to the city, Ozkan said he would give $1,000 college scholarships to 10 local students. CEO Contract’s attorneys also promised to give 10 percent of its contracts to minority-owned businesses.
North Miami Beach is attracting other real estate investors.
In November, the commission approved Dezer Development’s plans to build a $1.5 billion mixed-use project called Uptown Harbour where Intracoastal Mall now stands.
In December, The Estate Companies paid $13.1 million for a 1.8-acre site at 16395 Biscayne Boulevard, where a 23-story apartment tower can be constructed.
Also last year, Bizzi & Partners won commission approval to construct a 33-story mixed-use tower with 456 units at 2151 Northeast 163rd Street.