Miami Beach commissioners move to create new overlay district for Ocean Terrace

Miami /
May.May 11, 2016 04:30 PM

The Miami Beach City Commission on Wednesday agreed to create a new overlay district for the Ocean Terrace historic district that will allow developer Sandor Scher of Claro Development to build a new 235-foot condominium on Ocean Terrace between 73rd and 75th Street.

The vote was 6-1 on a first reading of the ordinance, with commissioner Kristen Rosen Gonzalez voting ‘no.’  

The proposed ordinance would also allow Scher to build a 125-foot hotel on Ocean Terrace, but both buildings cannot be built simultaneously to those maximum heights because of current restrictions on FAR, or floor area ratio for Ocean Terrace, which is capped at 2.0.

The vote was the culmination of nearly two years of efforts by Scher, and his main investor Alex Blavatnik, of Access Industries who have spent about $65 million buying up most of the buildings on Ocean Terrace, and who last year lost a citywide vote on increasing FAR in the area from 2.0 to 3.0.  

Scher’s earlier proposal had called for a 250-foot condominium and a hotel on Ocean Terrace, which required a FAR increase to be completed. His earlier proposal also would have led to several architecturally significant buildings being demolished. Voter approval is required on Miami Beach for any FAR increase.   

Currently building height on Ocean Terrace is limited to 75 feet, although there is a 28-story condominium that was built in 1999 after being grandfathered into the historic district when it was created in 1996.  

The overlay district was proposed by commissioner Joy Malakoff who said something needed to be done to revitalize Ocean Terrace, which for years has been the site of several abandoned buildings and budget hotels, just steps from the ocean. “What you see are dilapidated buildings and no life on the street,” Malakoff told her fellow commissioners.

Malakoff said she was encouraged by new plans that Scher has put forward that preserve many of the old buildings’ facades but she said his team needs to meet with the city’s planning department before a second and final reading of the ordinance in June to make sure that historic properties are preserved as much as possible — and that the project enhances pedestrian traffic in the area.   

Earlier this year Scher brought in architect Richard Heisenbottle, who specializes in historic preservation and urban planner Cesar Garcia-Pons, an associate principal at Perkins+Will Miami, to draw up new plans for the area that would also address the concerns of neighbors and preservationists.

On Wednesday Scher told reporters that the reduced square footage “is a constraining factor, but it’s clearly the right approach and the right solution for this particular area.”

He said he has been meeting regularly with North Beach residents and preservationists. Kirk Paskal, who led neighborhood opposition to last year’s ballot measure to increase FAR, told commissioners while he still has reservations about building a 235-foot tall condominium in the area, he “appreciates” that Scher plans preserve much of the MiMo, or Miami Modern architecture on Ocean Terrace.    

While Scher has managed to gain broad support for his new Ocean Terrace proposal, some preservationists are still opposed. The Miami Design Preservation League issued a statement prior to Wednesday’s meeting that criticized the height increase proposal.

“We do not support increases in height within historic districts, because of conflicts with compatibility with existing historic structures,” said group said in a statement, which also called on commissioners to defer their vote until the city’s historic preservation board can study the proposal.  

Speaking following the vote, Scher said he will have to submit his plans to the Miami Beach Historic Preservation Board before anything new on Ocean Terrace can be built — something he said he intends to do later this year.  


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Stephen Ross, Mayor Dan Gelber and Frank Gehry with rendering of redevelop oceanfront Deauville project (Getty, Dan Gelber)
Steve Ross’ plan to redevelop oceanfront Deauville into Frank Gehry-designed project heads to Miami Beach voters
Steve Ross’ plan to redevelop oceanfront Deauville into Frank Gehry-designed project heads to Miami Beach voters
Rockpoint's Bill Walton and Keith Gelb with the Shops at Mary Brickell Village (left), 1221 Brickell (middle), and 911 Southwest First Avenue (right) (Rockpoint, Google Maps, Twitter)
Rockpoint’s Brickell bonanza: Firm reaps riches in booming neighborhood
Rockpoint’s Brickell bonanza: Firm reaps riches in booming neighborhood
A rendering of 7140 Collins Avenue (Revuelta Architecture International)
Northlink scores approval for condo project on Denny’s site in North Beach
Northlink scores approval for condo project on Denny’s site in North Beach
rendering of the Nautilus 220 condo project with Developers Daniel Kodsi of Royal Palm Companies and Peter Baytarian, managing partner at Forest Development (LinkedIn, Forest Development, VS Studios)
Forest Development, Royal Palm nab $269M condo construction loan
Forest Development, Royal Palm nab $269M condo construction loan
From left: Oak Row Equities' David Weitz and Erik Rutter with Edgewater
Oak Row Equities plans 400-unit apartment, office tower in Edgewater
Oak Row Equities plans 400-unit apartment, office tower in Edgewater
Hollywood Locations' Christopher Ursitti and 1400 Northwest 31st Avenue (Hollywood Locations, Google Maps)
Movie studio complex may rise on former incinerator site in Fort Lauderdale
Movie studio complex may rise on former incinerator site in Fort Lauderdale
LCOR's Anthony Barsanti and Anthony Tortora with 1775 Biscayne Boulevard (LCOR, Zillow) Arts & Entertainment District
Developer pays $49M for Arts & Entertainment District dev site with plans for 540-unit rental tower
Developer pays $49M for Arts & Entertainment District dev site with plans for 540-unit rental tower
Stephen Ross, Miami Beach Commissioner Kristen Rosen Gonzalez, Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber and Frank Gehry with the Deauville Beach Resort (Wikipedia, Getty, Visit Florida, Related, Rosen Gonzalez)
“Terrible precedent:” Commissioner leads fight over Steve Ross’ plan to buy and redevelop the historic Deauville
“Terrible precedent:” Commissioner leads fight over Steve Ross’ plan to buy and redevelop the historic Deauville
arrow_forward_ios

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

Loading...