The Real Deal Miami

Lincoln Road property owners to vote on business improvement district

Ballots will be mailed to property owners from June 29 to July 24

May 22, 2015 05:15PM
By Ina Cordle

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Lincoln road

Lincoln Road in Miami Beach

Lincoln Road property owners will vote this summer to create a business improvement district for the bustling pedestrian promenade.

The Miami Beach City Commission this week agreed to allow a vote of property owners to create the special assessment district. The vote will cover the creation of the Lincoln Road Business Improvement District for 10 years, with a goal of promoting, managing and marketing the popular tourist destination.

Ballots will be mailed to affected owners from June 29 to July 24. Fifty percent plus one vote is required for approval, according to city documents.

Stephen Bittel, chairman of Terranova Corp., which with its investment partners is the largest property owner on the street, told The Real Deal that he is “a strong proponent” of the BID.

Terranova Corp. is developing two new three-story buildings near Meridian Avenue in Miami Beach, bringing additional retail stores and a rooftop restaurant. The rumor within the industry is that Marshall’s will be a tenant. The new sites, at 723 Lincoln Lane and 801 Lincoln Road, are geared to expand the Lincoln Road shopping district from the pedestrian promenade to 17th Street.

As rents reach as high as $400 a square foot, the retail area is continuing to pour over onto the side streets.

Meanwhile, Lincoln Road has drawn the attention of New York investors like Thor Equities and David Edelstein’s TriStar Capital. Thor owns 663-667 Lincoln Road and 605 Lincoln Road. And Edelstein is pursuing plans to build a contemporary 15,789-square-foot, two-story tall retail building on land his company leases from the Miami Beach Community Church at the corner of Drexel Avenue and Lincoln Road.

National and international retail tenants are also increasing their presence. New stores for Gap, Intermix, Athleta and Apple have all opened in recent months, developed by commercial real estate developer and broker Michael Comras.

Nike is next. In April, Nike won approval from the Miami Beach Historic Preservation Board to demolish the building that straddles the corner of Lenox and Lincoln Road and develop it into a 30,000-square-foot multistory building. Touzet Studio is designing the Nike store, which will incorporate design elements inspired by Morris Lapidus, including a facade that changes colors depending on sunlight.

Comras, who is developing the Nike store, said he is strongly in favor of the business improvement district.

“Every great city in the country has a BID, and every great city that doesn’t have one should have one,” Comras told TRD. “It’s a way to bring together property owners, tenants and the community to provide a unified product.”

The BID, Comras said, will allow the street to create an overall maintenance and management program. “Here we have an organized community of diverse property owners, in a world class location, one of the top High Streets of the world,” he said. “To be able to bring all that together with a common vision and operate Lincoln Road in a comprehensive way — it’s an amazing thing.”

Robert Quittner, whose grandfather first bought property on Lincoln Road in the late 1940s, and who now owns 532 Lincoln Road to 560 Lincoln Road, along with his children, said he is also backing the BID. He said the improvements, structure and organization will be an advantage.

“I don’t know how Lincoln Road is going to hold up to the competition,” Quittner told TRD.  “I’m concerned about Saks going in at Brickell City Centre, and the Miami Worldcenter, where Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s will be, and the Design District. I’m concerned about the competition.”