Doral, considered one of the fastest-growing cities in Florida, is having a massive growth spurt that is expected to boost the population by about 10,000 people within two years.
“To me, it’s a sign of progress and growth management,” said Julian Perez, Doral’s Planning & Zoning director. “We’re building a city that is … resilient and provides opportunities.”
The city has signed off on about a half-dozen projects that include a mix of rental apartments, townhomes, condos for age 55 and older, single-family homes and an assisted living facility, plus large swaths of office, retail and restaurant space.
The projects “really meet current needs [and] the future needs of our city,” Perez said.
Among them are:
Downtown Doral South, which is under construction on the site of a former golf course known as the “White Course,” calls for 2,702 new homes. These will include condos for age 55 and older, single-family homes, rental apartments, townhouses, and an assisted living facility. “It’s a very, very beautiful development,” said Perez.
Downtown Doral also is under construction. Two residential towers have been completed, and residents have started moving in. When it’s all completed in 2022, there will be 3,340 townhomes, condos, rental apartments, hotel condos — “a whole mix,” Perez said. There also will be almost 214,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space and 1.8 million square feet of office space. That portion is “just about done, in six to eight months we’ll see some of the new tenants coming in,” Perez said.
Landmark at Doral includes two communities: Landmark North and Landmark South.
Landmark North is under construction, with plans for 479 townhouses and 480 rental apartments. The community clubhouse will have an amphitheater, children’s water play area, rooftop bar and fitness center.
Landmark South, which is in the permitting phase, would have 631 rental apartments and 36,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space.
Avalon Doral is expected to have an eight-story, 350-unit rental apartment project, 80,000 square feet of retail space and restaurants, as well as a passive park and a dog park. Construction is anticipated to start in 2019. The project is at the corner of Northwest 79th Avenue and Northwest 36th Street, one of the main gateways to the city. Avalon Doral is “going to change the entrance to our city,” Perez said. “It’s a very beautiful project.”
Sanctuary at Doral will have 226 rental apartments, of which 44 homes will be reserved for work force housing “for young professionals” that will be rented at market value. Construction has not started, but the land has been cleared.
Grand at Doral is under construction. The 8-acre project of 195 rental apartments and more than 13,000 square feet of retail is expected to be complete in 2021. The project is next to Doral Legacy Park.
With all of these construction projects, Perez said the city’s population of 68,000 is expected to grow to 75,000 to 80,000 people in about two years.
“I’m very excited about the future of Doral,” Perez said.
Of course, the construction also means Doral is swiftly running out of land: “We’re just about done,” Perez said.
Two main parcels of land are left, including nearly 176 acres owned by one family. A second spot of almost 161 acres, near the U.S. Southern Command installations, is owned by the federal government.
Doral is a hot spot for activity, according to Steve Patterson, CEO and president of Related Development, which in 2017 completed the massive CityPlace Doral project.
The 50-acre CityPlace Doral has 250,000 square feet of dining, shopping and entertainment options and 700 luxury rental apartments. By December, it is expected to add two new restaurants: Novecento, with Argentine, Mediterranean and Pan-Latin cuisine; and SuViche, with Peruvian and Japanese flavors.
Next up for Patterson is another housing project in Doral. One parcel of land — a 2.5 acre spot — is left at CityPlace, and Patterson said he envisions a seven- or eight-story, 300-unit rental apartment project adjacent to what is there now.
He plans to pitch the new development to City Hall early next year.
“We still believe” in Doral, he said. “We knew Doral was going to continue to grow. It’s right in the middle of South Florida with good access to everywhere. We knew Doral was going to continue to be a good destination and seems to be getting better…
“It’s exciting to see what’s going on.”