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A skyscraper may rise 40 stories at a Metrorail station. Why did no one know about it?

Miamiherald.com | By Andres Viglucci

A bulked-up plan for redevelopment of the Douglas Road Metrorail station would pack five towers — including a previously undisclosed 40-story skyscraper — into the transit stop off South Dixie Highway.

The Link at Douglas blueprint, drawn up by developers who two years ago won a bid to build a mixed-use urban hub around the station’s elevated train platform, represents a substantial increase in height and density over the group’s original proposal, and a dramatic contrast to the low- and mid-rise development that surrounds it. The plan boosts the planned number of apartments at the hub from just under 1,000 to 1,500, a 50 percent jump, and adds a 22-story office building comprising 280,000 square feet of floor space.

The most salient new element of the expanded plan is a residential high-rise that, at about 450 feet in height, would be far taller and bulkier than anything for miles around. It would be twice as tall as new high-rise condos two miles away on the Coconut Grove waterfront, and tower over its surroundings at the border between the City of Miami and suburban Coral Gables, which caps buildings at under 20 stories. The closest comparable tower sits six miles away on Brickell Avenue in Miami’s downtown.

Because of a peculiar zoning wrinkle, though, the public won’t have a chance to weigh in on the new plan’s potential impact on the traffic-plagued South Dixie corridor or on adjacent neighborhoods, which include a mix of commercial and mixed-use buildings, most of modest height and scale, as well as duplexes and single-family homes. Nor will city of Miami or Coral Gables elected officials.