Under Miami 21, the City’s zoning code, analysis of a property is more involved than just maximum density and square footage. It is important to know the fine points of potential incentives and benefits available to maximize a real estate development and make it more successful than just the sum of its base entitlements. One such opportunity exists with the City of Miami’s public benefits program. The intent of Miami’s public benefits program is to allow bonus building capacity in the form of height and square footage in exchange for contributions to specific programs that provide benefits to the public.

The public benefits program permits real estate developers in T6 zones to increase building capacity by adding bonus stories or bonus square footage (floor lot ratio or “FLR”) to a project. The following chart below provides an outline of the bonus opportunities in the various T6 zones of the City of Miami:

For example, in a T6-12 zoning designation, a 30% increase in total floor area and eight (8) additional stories in height are permitted where a project contributes a public benefit. Public benefits include affordable/workforce housing units, public parks or additional open space, meeting certain LEED sustainability qualifications, or the redevelopment of a brownfield site. In lieu of providing one of the prescribed public benefits, a payment may be made into the Public Benefits Trust Fund in an amount identified on the City’s Market Area Development Fees Map, which varies depending on the location of the property.