Miami Beach board approves 1824 Alton Road project on former gas station site

A rendering of 1824 Alton Road courtesy of Kobi Karp
A rendering of 1824 Alton Road courtesy of Kobi Karp

The Miami Beach Design Review Board gave its unanimous approval on Tuesday for the construction of a new four-story commercial building at 1824 Alton Road.

The site at the corner of Alton Road and 18th Street was purchased by an affiliate of Saber Real Estate Advisors last year for $7.3 million. A Chevron gas station built in 1963 had occupied the half-acre lot and has since been torn down.

Saber 1800 LLC plans to build a Kobi Karp-designed commercial building with a 160-seat restaurant, 11,561 square feet of ground floor retail space, 15,400 square feet of second floor retail space and 130 parking spaces on two upper levels. The gross square footage of the project is 109,368 square feet. Michaels Craft Stores is expected to occupy the entire second floor and a portion of the ground floor of the building.

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The Miami Beach Planning Board issued a conditional use permit for the project in January and with Tuesday’s DRB approval, permitting for the project is expected to begin shortly. Architect Karp said pedestrian access along the sidewalk will be at seven feet with an eight foot landscaped berm between the street and the sidewalk to “pull the building back. We want the berm down to the street,” Karp said.

“By creating a broader sidewalk you’ll have a landscaped buffer and physical separation from the street,” he told the Miami Beach Design Review Board.

Traffic concerns were a major focus of the approval process. A traffic study commissioned by the developer indicated that “traffic stops” will more than triple at peak hours from what is current at the site. A garage entrance to the building will be on 18th Street and there will be no vehicular access to the building from traffic-clogged Alton Road.

As a condition for their approval, DRB members did ask the developer to agree to some interior setbacks, to install a natural stone and not a porcelain façade along a portion of the building and install 12 outdoor bike racks, to augment 40 indoor bike racks that will be placed at different locations in parking areas of the building.