Master plan for Miami Beach’s North Beach to be unveiled this week

A bird's-eye view of North Beach, taken from the Akoya Condominiums in 2008 (Credit: Marc Averette)
A bird's-eye view of North Beach, taken from the Akoya Condominiums in 2008 (Credit: Marc Averette)

A much-anticipated first draft of a master plan for Miami Beach’s North Beach neighborhood gets its first public hearing this week. The plan, prepared by urban planners Dover, Kohl & Partners will be unveiled before the city commission and the public at two separate meetings on Tuesday.   

The plan takes a comprehensive look at North Beach, which stretches from 63rd Street to 87th Street and between the Atlantic Ocean and Biscayne Bay. The area has been largely stagnant in terms of development in recent years, especially when compared with booming South Beach and Mid-Beach, where buyers have been paying as much as $3,000 per square foot for new luxury condominiums.

Last month, the Miami Beach City Commission agreed to create a new overlay district for the Ocean Terrace historic district in North Beach that could allow developer Sandor Scher of Claro Development to build a new 235-foot condominium on Ocean Terrace between 73rd Street and 75th Street  — the latest sign that new development is coming quickly to North Beach.

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Last year, Miami Beach voters rejected a FAR (floor area ratio) increase for Ocean Terrace in a bitter fight that prompted city officials to re-examine how to revitalize the area. Earlier this year, the city tasked Dover, Kohl & Partners to carry out a weeklong design charrette that brought together city officials, residents, developers and planners in a bid to get public support for a comprehensive plan for the area.  

The new master plan is expected to address a number of issues, including the creation of local historic districts, which would largely prevent the demolition of many aging MiMo buildings in the area that preservationists say should be saved but that many developers say are economically unviable. Other issues include proposals for the development of the so-called West Lots, city owned vacant parcels along Collins Avenue and parking and zoning modifications along 71st Street that would allow developers to build a town center for the area. The master plan is also expected to examine long-term issues related to sustainability and sea-level rise, including reinforcing beachfront dune areas and sea walls that line the western edge of North Beach along Biscayne Bay.     

The first draft of the plan will be presented at a public workshop at 10 a.m. Tuesday at Miami Beach City Hall and at a public meeting at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the North Shore Youth Center, located at 501 72nd Street. City commissioners are expected to vote on adopting the plan’s guidelines later this year.