The Real Deal Miami

Crescent Heights gets planning OK for new Whole Foods in South Beach

Latest plan includes building a roundabout to ease traffic concerns
By James Teeple | May 26, 2015 05:30PM

New rendering of the Whole Foods on Alton Road, left, and a rendering of the rejected plans, right (Credit: The Next Miami)

Developer Crescent Heights was given the go-ahead on Tuesday by the Miami Beach Planning Board to build a new 50,000-square-foot project that will include a new Whole Foods Market at 1901 Alton Road in South Beach.  

The board gave approval to a new design submitted by Crescent Heights with conditions that will limit deliveries and trash pickups to early mornings and late evenings, during a hearing dominated by traffic concerns in super-congested South Beach. An earlier design was rejected at a hearing in January.

The new design, submitted by architect Chad Oppenheim, will feature a screened front that will cover vegetation, which Oppenheim described as “softening the building.”

As part of its traffic mediation plans, Crescent Heights will build a roundabout at Dade Boulevard and 19th Street. Marisa Galbut, retail development manager for Crescent Heights, described Whole Foods as an “excellent neighbor,” and said she had held discussions with the nearby Sunset Islands homeowners association about plans for the new store.

Whole Foods will have about 40,000 square feet of retail space, 272 parking spaces and a 198-seat café.  Kelly Mills, a project manager at Whole Foods who has designed all of the company’s Florida stores, said it’s not unusual for individual stores to place restrictions on the time that deliveries can take place. He said a smaller existing 18,000-square-foot store at Alton Road and 10th Street will remain open after the new store begins operating.

The site is owned by Wells Fargo Bank, which has a branch there. A new branch will open inside the new building.

The Miami Beach Design Review Board will review the project at a hearing next week. Galbut told The Real Deal that she expects a two-year time frame to completion once final approval is granted.

Whole Foods has been aggressively expanding in South Florida, including launching new stores in Pompano Beach and downtown Miami.