Joseph A. Ruiz


F: (305) 351 8301
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Joseph "Joe" Ruiz represents clients on matters involving land use, zoning and local government affairs. He assists both landowners and developers navigating the local and state regulatory framework to support their real estate development and neighborhood revitalization goals. Joe represents landowners and developers at almost every stage of the development lifecycle, from pre-acquisition due diligence to entitlements, obtaining necessary development approvals for new construction or the adaptive-reuse of existing structures. Clients seek Joe out for his extensive experience handling matters, such as platting, special permits, temporary permits, alcohol, modifications to ordinances, historic preservation, rezoning and comprehensive plan amendments, and resolution of complex building and code compliance.

Joe has worked with local and national developers on entitlements for prominent mixed-use projects slated for completion in the near future, including Related’s Nomad Residences Wynwood, LYNQ Wynwood, The Wynwood Plaza, Mohawk at Wynwood, The Rider, and La Maré Bay Harbor Islands. Joe also has significant experience at the state, county, and municipal levels of government. Prior to joining the firm, he served as the City of Miami Zoning Administrator/Director for the Office of Zoning. As the Zoning Administrator, Joe was responsible for the administration and enforcement of the Miami 21 Zoning Code; appearing before the Planning Zoning and Appeals Board and City Commission; and overseeing zoning approvals ranging from Temporary Use Permits, and alcohol licensing and permitting, to large scale development projects throughout the City of Miami.

Joe previously served as the Chief of Staff to Mayor Francis X. Suarez, where he coordinated the execution of the Mayor’s strategic initiatives and handled the day-to-day management of the office. He joined the Office of the Mayor after several years as an Assistant City Attorney for the City of Miami, assigned to the Land Use/Transactional Division, where he practiced public finance, taxation, land use and zoning, and general municipal law.

In his role as Assistant City Attorney, Joe served as legal counsel to the Urban Development Review Board, Coconut Grove Business Improvement District, Wynwood Business Improvement District, and the Wynwood Design Review Committee in its role in reviewing new development and signage pursuant to the Wynwood Neighborhood Revitalization District (NRD-1), following its adoption in 2015.

Prior to joining the City of Miami, Joe served as the General Counsel to the Miami-Dade County Property Appraiser and as a legislative aide to a member of the Florida House of Representatives.


Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

Representing Town of Bay Harbor Islands, East Island, including regular appearances before the Design Review Board and Town Council on projects under development on the East Island and applications for Transfer of Development Rights (TDRs), and obtaining site plan approval for two boutique multi-family residential projects known as La Maré Bay Harbor Islands

Represented local and national developers from acquisition to financing to securing administrative and public hearing approvals for projects in the City of Miami, ranging from adaptive reuse restaurants to multi-phase construction projects, including multi-family, hotel and office space. Projects include:

  • Wynwood Plaza, a 1-million square foot mixed-use development, including 200,000+ square feet of Class A office space, and 500+ residential units, anchored by a grand courtyard connecting Wynwood Norte and the Wynwood Arts District
  • Nomad Residences Wynwood, an 8-story apartment/hotel building located in the heart of Wynwood which includes 325+ apartment/hotel units, complemented by ground floor retail and a rooftop bar and amenity space
  • Mohawk at Wynwood, a 12-story, 483,000+ square foot market rate multi-family residential development, including 275+ residential units
  • The Ridera 12-story apartment/hotel building located in the NE corner of the Wynwood Arts District, adjacent to the future Wynwood/Edgewater commuter rail station, which includes 135+ apartment/hotel units, complemented by ground floor retail, amenity space, and a rooftop bar
  • Metro Viscaya, an 8-story hotel located in The Roads neighborhood which includes 85+ lodging units, complemented by ground floor retail and amenity space
  • LYNQ Wynwood, a working campus consisting of two 8-story buildings with over 290,000+ square feet of Class A office space, ground floor retail, and an activated rooftop
  • Pastis Miami, on the adaptive reuse of a former industrial warehouse and asphalt lot into one of Miami’s premier restaurants that includes both indoor and outdoor dining
  • 1041 & 1045 N Venetian Drive, with waterfront single family homes constructed on Miami’s exclusive Venetian Islands



Education and Credentials

Florida International University College of Law, J.D.
Florida State University, B.A.
State of Florida
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida
Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative, Graduate, 2018-2019
The Florida Bar, City, County and Local Government Law Section - Sponsorship Committee, Environmental & Land Use Law Section, Government Lawyer Section

Recognition and Community


Miami-Dade County Transportation Planning Organization, Citizens' Transportation Advisory Committee, Member, 2021-Present, Chairperson, January 2023-Present

Builders Association of South Florida, Miami-Dade Legislative Committee

Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce, Business and Government Affairs Committee, Public Policy Subcommittee