The Real Deal Miami

1212 Lincoln breezes through Design Review Board vote

Crescent Heights can begin demolishing four buildings at Alton and Lincoln roads

October 08, 2014 09:45AM
By Erik Bojnansky

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1212 Lincoln rendering (inset: Jose Gelabert-Navia)

1212 Lincoln rendering (inset: Jose Gelabert-Navia)

The Miami Beach Design Review Board unanimously approved Crescent Heights’ plan to build a “transparent” five-story retail complex on the corner of South Beach’s Alton and Lincoln roads.

Tuesday’s decision enables Crescent to proceed with the demolition of four retail buildings between 1608 and 1624 Alton Road within the next 18 months and replace them with the first phase of 1212 Lincoln Road, a complex designed by the Coral Gables office of Perkins + Will. The buildings, which were constructed during the 1920s and 1930s, are now home to several businesses such as Gun Depot, Mattress City, furniture store Spiaggia and Taco Rico. Companies tied to Crescent bought the buildings for $19.3 million between August 2013 and June 2014.

Within six months of receiving a temporary certificate of occupancy for the first phase, the developer will commence the second phase of 1212 Lincoln by knocking down a two-story Wells Fargo bank branch just north of the retail buildings at 1630 Alton Road. The Wells Fargo-owned building was constructed in 1940 and features a mosaic mural created by prominent local artist Enzo Gallo in 1971.

Jose Gelabert-Navia, a principal at Perkins + Will and the project’s lead architect, said the old bank building, which once housed a high-end men’s clothing store and a savings & loan, will hardly be missed.

“It’s not a very notable building,” he said.

The project is designed to mesh with the Bernard Zyscovich-designed Regal Cinemas and Robert Wennett’s Herzog & de Meuron-designed 1111 Lincoln Road building across the street on the east side of Alton Road, Gelabert-Navia said.

“The [1212 Lincoln Road] building is going to be very, very transparent,” Gelabert-Navia said. “It’s going to be two stories of retail and it’s going to be high-end stores, thus continuing the high-end stores that are on Lincoln Road.”

High-end stores pay as much as $300 per square foot for the right to operate on Lincoln Road. But other than Wells Fargo, which will move into 1212 Lincoln Road as soon as the first phase is complete, there aren’t any confirmed tenants for the complex, according to Gelabert-Navia.

Once complete, 1212 Lincoln Road will include 83,484 square feet of commercial space and 297 parking spaces.

The board also unanimously approved real estate investor Michael Simkins’ request to replicate a two-story, 1925-era single family home at 5869 Pinetree Drive. The home, which included additions designed by architect Russell Pancoast in 1935, was deemed structurally unsound.

Developer Todd Glaser also got the board’s approval to build five new homes in the city. One of the homes, at 5010 Lakeview Court, will be constructed for art collector Jason Rubell and his wife Michelle, who is Simkins’ sister.

  • Dick Richards

    As a resident of the neighborhood I have no complaints about the building design. It looks interesting and unique. But there is a big issue worth noting:

    This very upscale-looking building is not going to be built cheaply, and whoever is paying for it is hoping to recoup their investment by leasing to high-end stores, “thus continuing the high-end stores that are on Lincoln Road,” as it says in the article.

    Well don’t look now, but that trend might not have a whole lot of staying power. Notwithstanding the ever-increasing rental rates on Lincoln Road and the influx of deep-pocketed national retailers and high-end fashion boutiques, I’ve noticed that the size of the shopping crowd has been steadily dwindling.

    The funky, eclectic vibe that gave Lincoln Road its appeal is all but gone, and now it’s just a plain old outdoor shopping mall, albeit with a leasing clientele that trends more Bal Harbour than Dadeland or The Falls. Which is all fine and good, because there is a market for that sort of thing.

    But here’s the problem: “The market for that sort of thing” is not nearly as substantial as the (mostly) New York-based investors seem to believe. It’s pretty apparent that in a pattern as old as Miami Beach, naive Northern buyers are once again being suckered by Miami real estate hustlers.

    AND to the extent that the market does exist, it is soon going to be fragmented by the “retailtainmentcenter” megaplexes being built just across the Bay at Brickell CityCenter and Miami WorldCenter. So where will that leave Lincoln Road, and this futuristic 1212 building that will be trying to charge top-dollar rent to “high end stores”?

    Time will tell, but my prediction — and as a neighborhood resident, my hope — is that the bottom will drop out of the Lincoln Road retail market and the national brands will bail out…at which time locally-owned businesses will be able to move back in, and some of the essence that made Lincoln Road what it is (or rather, what it was) will be recaptured.

    Of course in that circumstance the latecomers to the party — like the developers of 1212 who are trying to catch the back side of a wave — will most likely lose their shirts and end up wishing they never took their talents to South Beach. Sucks to be them I guess, but they should have done their due diligence. All they had to do was ask Dick Richards.

  • BeachLocal

    I don’t expect you to save every building on Miami Beach but what about the amazing murals on the wells fargo building?! Are they going to be saved and relocated to another prominent location?! They are beautiful depictions of great moments in US History: Iwa Jima, Moon Landing, Abe Licoln, Betsy Ross, US Capital Building.

  • Arthur Eraz

    Gelabert-Navia, a principal at Perkins + Will and the project’s lead
    architect, said the old bank building, which once housed a high-end
    men’s clothing store and a savings & loan, will hardly be missed.

    “It’s not a very notable building,” he said. – See more at:

  • Minty

    I will miss those pretty murals and the quaint row of pioneer buildings. For what? Another garage disguised by empty store fronts, like on Drexel? It’s certainly not designed for the residents, but this design is too generic. The tourists want to see “a historic district”, not this. So who is it for exactly?

    BYT, besides being a beloved landmark, the building is also NOTABLE for being developed by Shepard Broad.

  • Gun blog is good.