Miami Beach pushes to invigorate Washington Avenue

Miami /
May.May 28, 2015 03:45 PM

The Miami Beach Land Use and Development Committee gave approval on Wednesday to a series of wide proposals designed to breathe new life into Washington Avenue — a street that has lagged far behind it’s more famous neighbors like Lincoln Road, Collins Avenue and Ocean Drive in attracting quality retail, restaurant and hotel development.

The proposals, which will be forwarded to the Miami Beach Planning Board for its June 23rd meeting, include raising height limits for buildings on Washington Avenue from 50 feet to 55 feet, widening sidewalks, adding bike lanes and even closing down one lane of traffic along much of the avenue to allow parklets — parking spaces converted to temporary patios for outdoor dining.

The proposals come out of the so-called Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Panel for Washington Avenue, chaired by former commissioner Saul Gross, president of Streamline Properties, and a longtime business owner on Washington Avenue. Gross says no real capital improvements are required to make the changes, and they should help businesses whose rents have skyrocketed recently.

“We think there is an opportunity to rent to restaurants that are being priced off Lincoln Road, and we want to make Washington Avenue attractive to them,” said Gross. He says outdoor spaces drive the success of restaurants on Miami Beach and the proposed parklets will be “a positive game changer that will change people’s perception of what is going on, on Washington Avenue, very quickly.”

Gross is also proposing a five-year waiver of hotel and parking impact fees which he says adversely affect the types of small businesses and hotels needed to revitalize Washington Avenue. And he says he supports a slight reduction in retail parking requirements.

Preservationists largely support the measures, but have expressed concerns about a proposal to build a 75-foot high parking garage on the corner of Drexel Avenue and 13th Street. The new proposals would allow a 75-foot height limit for some buildings, but only for those that occupy lots larger than 200 feet, and any such building would be required to include a 40-foot setback to minimize any street impact.


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Miami-Dade condo sales map and Apogee at 800 South Pointe Drive, Miami Beach (Google Maps)
Miami-Dade condo sales and dollar volume surge at end of February
Miami-Dade condo sales and dollar volume surge at end of February
Marc Gardner with his new Miami waterfront house. (Bancard, One Sotheby's)
Putting it on a credit card? North American Bancard CEO buying Miami Beach mansion for $37M: sources
Putting it on a credit card? North American Bancard CEO buying Miami Beach mansion for $37M: sources
Steven and Farrel Starker with 114 West San Marino Drive, Miami Beach (Getty, Google Maps)
Investment banker buys waterfront Venetian Islands teardown for nearly $10M
Investment banker buys waterfront Venetian Islands teardown for nearly $10M
A rendering of the Byron Carlyle Cultural Center, Jared Galbut and Keith Menin (Miami Beach City Commission, Google Maps)
It’s curtains for Galbut family-led proposal to redevelop Byron Carlyle Theater
It’s curtains for Galbut family-led proposal to redevelop Byron Carlyle Theater
James Star and The Caribbean at 3737 Collins Avenue in Miami Beach (Photos via Google Maps; Chewy)
Finance mogul linked to Crown family buys Miami Beach penthouse and cabana for $13M
Finance mogul linked to Crown family buys Miami Beach penthouse and cabana for $13M
 Matthew Whitman Lazenby with 7825 Atlantic Way (Blue Ocean Photography, iStock)
Bal Harbour Shops owner upgrades to oceanfront estate in Miami Beach
Bal Harbour Shops owner upgrades to oceanfront estate in Miami Beach
46 Star Island Drive (Google Maps)
Iacovelli finds a buyer for his Star Island mansion once asking $65M
Iacovelli finds a buyer for his Star Island mansion once asking $65M
Westime owner Jean Simonian and Washington Park Hotel. (Facebook via Westime and Washington Park Hotel)
Ladder Capital sells Witkoff’s Miami Beach hotel for $44M
Ladder Capital sells Witkoff’s Miami Beach hotel for $44M
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...