No November vote on Miami Beach Marina at 300 Alton Road

Commissioners say South-of-Fifth neighborhood needs more time to consider project

Jun.June 16, 2016 09:45 AM

One of the largest development projects in the exclusive South-of-Fifth, or SoFi, neighborhood of Miami Beach in years will not be going before voters this November.

Miami Beach Marina at 300 Alton Road, an ambitious mixed-use project proposed by Fort Partners, needs voter approval to be built. But on Wednesday, Miami Beach commissioner Michael Grieco said residents like him who live in the South-of-Fifth neighborhood “have both construction and traffic fatigue,” and he “will not be supporting this project for the 2016 ballot cycle.”

As proposed, the developers want to build two 400-foot, Richard Meir-designed towers holding 250 residential luxury residential units.

Grieco’s comments came in the form of a letter sent to his constituents as the city’s land use and development committee met to discuss the project. Voters must approve the project because it will be built using air rights above a city-owned marina, and require a change in floor area ratio, and voter approval of the terms of a ground lease.

Fort Partners had proposed paying the city $100 million to buy the air rights, which would be put into a transportation fund for the city to help toward the construction of a light rail system on Miami Beach. The developer has also proposed making extensive physical improvements to South Pointe Elementary School and building a large underground parking garage with hundreds of spaces, which it says would open visual corridors and “eliminate the eyesore of another concrete pedestal along Alton Road, without limiting the number of parking spaces available for residents and visitors.”

Fort Partners has been holding a “listening tour” over the past several weeks, meeting with condominium boards of buildings near the marina, and with city commissioners and staffers. A representative of the adjacent Murano Grande at Portofino condominium board told the Land Use committee on Wednesday that residents of the exclusive building, which sits adjacent to the marina, feel that “traffic is the main issue” when it comes to project.

While Fort Partners said it will not “seek to be on the ballot for the November 2016 general election,” a statement from Michael Conaghan of Fort Partners issued late Wednesday said the developer will “continue to be excited about the opportunity to redevelop the Miami Beach Marina.”

“We remain fully committed to moving forward with this project in 2017 or early 2018 and look forward to seeing the Marina redevelopment fully realized,” he said.

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