Melo Group tops off construction on its Downtown 5th development

Just when you thought Miami couldn’t get any bigger, a developer proves you wrong.

Melo Group, known for developing high-end residential towers, recently topped off the 52-story East Tower, part of Downtown 5th, the largest multifamily development ever built in Downtown Miami’s Central Business District. The project will also include a 52-story West Tower, which is scheduled to top off next month.

It took just 37 weeks from Downtown 5th’s foundation pour in February to complete vertical construction of the first tower—a record pace averaging about one floor every three days. The development at 55 NE Fifth St. will have 1,042 rental apartments and approximately 12,500 square feet of ground floor retail when it’s completed in summer 2021.

“We’re bullish on the long-term future of Downtown Miami. Despite a global pandemic, we never stopped building for locals who want to live and work in the urban core,” said developer Carlos Melo, Principal of the Melo Group. “Our strategy has always been to build for what the market demands—and we’re seeing a continued need from the community for good quality, attainably-priced apartments in a convenient, walkable location with access to public transit and nearby amenities.”

With pre-leasing expected to begin in Spring 2021, Downtown 5th will offer apartments ranging from studio to three-bedrooms layouts. Units will feature expansive balconies with bay and city views, floor-to-ceiling sliding doors, energy-efficient tinted glass, European-style kitchen and bathroom cabinetry, granite countertops, double door refrigerators, stainless steel appliances, spacious living and dining rooms, ceramic tile and laminated wood flooring, and full-size washer and dryers. Building amenities will include three swimming pools, a state-of-the-art fitness center, social room, game room and café. Residents will also enjoy being within blocks of Miami attractions like Bayside Marketplace, the Adrienne Arsht Center, the Frost Museum of Science and the Perez Art Museum Miami.

The completion of Downtown 5th is Melo’s latest investment in Downtown Miami. The firm has a portfolio of more than 6,000 total condo and rental units completed throughout the Greater Downtown Miami area and another 2,000 units currently in the works. Among these projects is Melo’s sixth tower in Downtown’s Arts & Entertainment District, the 425-unit Miami Plaza, which marked the final phase of the firm’s plan to activate the once-blighted neighborhood with over 2,300 transit-oriented residential units in just under four years. The firm’s previously competed buildings in the area – all of which are near full occupancy – include the twin tower 667-unit Art Plaza, which delivered in 2019; the twin tower 710-unit Square Station, which delivered in 2018; and the 479-unit Melody Tower, which delivered in 2016.

“Downtown Miami has evolved into a global destination for business and lifestyle. We’re seeing people moving and opening up companies here from major cities across the U.S. and abroad in search of lower taxes, improved quality of life, and reduced expenses,” said developer Martin Melo, Principal of the Melo Group. “As more and more businesses look to relocate or expand to Downtown Miami, we’re building housing for the thousands of employees that will come with them and need a place to live.”

Up next for Melo: residential project Downtown 1st. Located at 22 SW First St. the 57-story tower will include 570 market-rate rental apartments with 10,000 square feet of office and ground-floor retail space. Construction is expected to launch in late 2021.

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Drew Limsky

Drew Limsky



Drew Limsky joined Lifestyle Media Group in August 2020 as Editor-in-Chief of South Florida Business & Wealth. His first issue of SFBW, October 2020, heralded a reimagined structure, with new content categories and a slew of fresh visual themes. “As sort of a cross between Forbes and Robb Report, with a dash of GQ and Vogue,” Limsky says, “SFBW reflects South Florida’s increasingly sophisticated and dynamic business and cultural landscape.”

Limsky, an avid traveler, swimmer and film buff who holds a law degree and Ph.D. from New York University, likes to say, “I’m a doctor, but I can’t operate—except on your brand.” He wrote his dissertation on the nonfiction work of Joan Didion. Prior to that, Limsky received his B.A. in English, summa cum laude, from Emory University and earned his M.A. in literature at American University in connection with a Masters Scholar Award fellowship.

Limsky came to SFBW at the apex of a storied career in journalism and publishing that includes six previous lead editorial roles, including for some of the world’s best-known brands. He served as global editor-in-chief of Lexus magazine, founding editor-in-chief of custom lifestyle magazines for Cadillac and Holland America Line, and was the founding editor-in-chief of Modern Luxury Interiors South Florida. He also was the executive editor for B2B magazines for Acura and Honda Financial Services, and he served as travel editor for Conde Nast. Magazines under Limsky’s editorship have garnered more than 75 industry awards.

He has also written for many of the country’s top newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Boston Globe, USA Today, Worth, Robb Report, Afar, Time Out New York, National Geographic Traveler, Men’s Journal, Ritz-Carlton, Elite Traveler, Florida Design, Metropolis and Architectural Digest Mexico. His other clients have included Four Seasons, Acqualina Resort & Residences, Yahoo!, American Airlines, Wynn, Douglas Elliman and Corcoran. As an adjunct assistant professor, Limsky has taught journalism, film and creative writing at the City University of New York, Pace University, American University and other colleges.