Former Kushner Exec Proposes Micro Rentals in Miami

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Clearline Real Estate, led by a former Kushner Companies executive, has proposed a pair of residential developments, totaling 737 units, in Miami’s Arts & Entertainment District. 

The first project, set to rise 26 stories, would include 427 apartments, according to a filing made to the city’s Urban Development Review Board

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Just over half of the residences, 216, would be developed as micro-units, ranging between 275 and 400 square feet. If approved, the one-bedroom units would be 10 percent smaller than allowed by city regulations. “By decreasing unit sizes, units can be offered at a lower rate which will help alleviate Miami’s affordability crisis,” the filing states. 

Clearline is also seeking a 50 percent reduction in the number of parking spots required to build, leaving only two stories to function as a garage. 

The New York-based developer paid $19.8 million for the 0.8-acre site, located at 1550 NE Miami Place, within the same block as Melo Group’s 37-story Miami Plaza apartment tower. 

Clearline filed a proposal for another project only half a mile north at 2035 NW Miami Court, just south of Wynwood. The 11-story development is set to include 310 units. The ground floor will likely include a retail portion. 

The developer wants to increase the project’s density by 50 percent by paying into Miami’s affordable housing trust fund, per the filing. Clearline paid $19.1 million last year for the 1.3-acre parcel.

The Urban Development Review Board is set to review the projects, both designed by Arquitectonica, in a March 15 hearing. 

Clearline’s founder and CEO, Jenny Bernell, worked for Kushner Companies, a major multifamily developer, for nearly seven years, last serving as its executive vice president of development, before striking out on her own in 2021. A representative for Clearline declined to comment.

Kushner has also been active in the area, having completed the mixed-use WYND 27 + 28 development in Wynwood late last year. In nearby Edgewater, it’s building a 1,300-unit development called 1900 Biscayne.  

(Disclosure: Nicole Kushner Meyer, president of Kushner Companies, is married to Joseph Meyer, chairman of Commercial Observer owner Observer Media.)

Julia Echikson can be reached at jechikson@commercialobserver.com