The Real Deal Miami

Ocean Terrace developer closes $15M construction loan

Developer Sandor Scher is proposing an overlay district for the historic area

May 09, 2016 11:15AM
By Katherine Kallergis

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North Beach in Miami Beach

North Beach neighborhood

Affiliates of Claro Development closed on a $15 million construction loan for its mixed-use project in the Ocean Terrace Historic District of North Beach, records show. 

City National Bank of Florida is the lender for the mortgage. Claro Development, led by developer Sandor Scher, is seeking a new overlay district for the neighborhood, which would allow for Scher to to build a taller condominium and a taller hotel.

Scher owns the properties on Ocean Terrace between 73rd and 75th streets. The proposed ordinance, which the Miami Beach City Commission will consider on Wednesday, would allow Claro to build a condo tower up to 235 feet tall and a 125-foot hotel. Both buildings could not be built to those maximum heights given current restrictions on FAR, or floor area ratio for Ocean Terrace, which is capped at 2.0.

Last year, Miami Beach voters rejected a 50 percent increase in FAR for the area from 2.0 to 3.0. Scher had proposed building a condo tower and a hotel after he and his main investor Alex Blavatnik of Access Industries spent about $65 million buying most of the buildings on Ocean Terrace over a two-year period. Miami Beach voters have to approve any FAR increase.

Heights are currently limited to 75 feet on Ocean Terrace, but a 28-story condo tower built in 1999 was grandfathered into the historic district.

Scher’s earlier renovation projects include the Raleigh Hotel, the Standard, Faena Hotel & Residences and the Essex Hotel.