A Montreal-based company has until July 13, 2017 to obtain the necessary permits it needs to knock down artist Romero Britto’s old gallery space at 818 Lincoln Road and replace it with a three-story Sephora beauty supply store.
Otherwise, the variances obtained by 818 Lincoln Investments from the Miami Beach Historic Preservation Board back in January 2015 may disappear. Those variances enable 818 Lincoln Investments, headed by Canadian businessman Danny Lavy, to demolish the 81-year-old, 8,375-square-foot Britto Gallery and replace it with a new 16,875-square-foot facility.
Those variances originally expired in July 13, 2016. Greg Fontela, 818 Lincoln Investments’ attorney, told the historic preservation board on Tuesday that his client was still trying to obtain the necessary permits from the city and needed a one-year extension of time. That extension was granted unanimously.
At about $325 a square foot, Lincoln Road has the 10th most expensive retail rents in the United States, according to a Cushman & Wakefield report released in November 2015. Those rents, along with the South Beach pedestrian mall’s popularity with tourists, have attracted big pocketed investors.
Lavy’s company agreed to pay $34.5 million for the Britto Gallery in May 2014 from 818 Lincoln Corp., a company controlled by the family of the late I. Stanley Levine, an attorney who spearheaded efforts to revitalize Lincoln Road in the 1990s. Levine bought the property at 818 Lincoln Road for $335,000 in 1993.
The former Britto Gallery is adjacent to the former 81-year-old Burdines building at 800 Lincoln Road. In 1984, the ArtCenter/South Florida turned the Burdines into a studio and exhibition space for 40 selected artists. TriStar Capital bought the 17,642-square-foot 800 Lincoln Road building from ArtCenter/South Florida for $88.2 million in October 2014. Seven months later the ArtCenter left 800 Lincoln Road. (ArtCenter/South Florida still operates a block away at 924 Lincoln Road.) TriStar plans to redevelop the former ArtCenter into a three-story, 33,192-square-foot retail building.