There's something about the barrel tile roofs, colonnades, and grandeur of Mediterranean Revival architecture that makes good, high density urbanism less threatening to suburbanites. Queue Merrick Manor, which claims to be the first luxury development to be built in Coral Gables in five years, or since the real estate crash. Breaking ground in August, the ten story, 180 unit building has many of the hallmarks of excellent urbanism. It's a few easily walkable blocks from the Village of Merrick Park, and a few more (less easily walkable, grungier) blocks to the Metrorail Station. It's built up to the property lines, preserving the street wall. The building extends out over the sidewalk, creating a shaded arcade with ground floor retail for pedestrians. And instead of turning its back on the street, like some other projects out there, balconies and windows look straight at it, making the public realm the center of attention. Oh, and you can see the Biltmore Hotel's tower from the pool deck. All in all, Jane Jacobs would be very proud.
· Merrick Manor [merrick-manor.com]
· Merrick Manor breaks ground in August [Ocean Drive]
· Merrick Manor coverage [Curbed Miami]