Miami Beach pushes to invigorate Washington Avenue

Plan includes raising height limits, adding parklets to promote outdoor eating

TRD 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
4424 North Bay Road, Karen Stauber (right) and Neil and Jennifer Sazant (Credit: Getty Images)

Waterfront lot on North Bay Road sells for $7M

Michael Comras and 1500 Washington Avenue (Credit: Google Maps)

Comras looks to sell Five Guys property on Washington Ave

Jeffrey Dagowitz, Ophir Sternberg and 100 21st Street (Credit: Getty Images, Google Maps)

Lionheart and Jeffrey Dagowitz sell Seagull Hotel Miami Beach for $120M

Multiplan launches sales of boutique luxury condo project on Ocean Drive

Multiplan launches sales of boutique luxury condo project on Ocean Drive

Continuum South Beach unit 606 and Dan Buettner (Credit: Douglas Elliman)

Is it the water? Longevity expert buys Continuum South Beach condo

Moshe Popack and his Flamingo Drive home

Private equity firm exec sells Miami Beach mansion to Moshe Popack

Rendering of hotel addition at Sterling Building (Credit: Kobi Karp Architecture & Interior Design)

Sterling Building on Lincoln Road scores hotel approval

From left: Jill Hertzberg and 1633 North View Drive, and Dr. Arthur Agatston and Sari Agatston (Credit: Getty Images)

South Beach Diet founder sheds Sunset Island home

arrow_forward_ios
Loading...