Galbut wants to trade land with Miami Beach for taller development heights

The site at 500 Alton Road and Russell Galbut
The site at 500 Alton Road and Russell Galbut

Russell Galbut is floating a possible deal with city officials that would give Miami Beach land to build a transit hub in exchange for looser height restrictions on his residential project.

The Crescent Heights co-founder is seeking approvals for a transit hub at his 500 Alton Road development site next to the MacArthur Causeway.

According to the South Florida Business Journal, Galbut would give Miami Beach 20,000 square feet of the 73,890-square-foot site in exchange for increased heights for residential development he’s planning. The site is currently entitled for seven stories, but he hopes to build a 25-story tower instead.

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The city recently approved a $400 million light-rail project that would create a transit loop around much of South Beach. Galbut told the South Florida Business Journal that building the loop’s transit hub at 500 Alton Road would allow the city to keep Alton Road open while it was under construction, while sites on the eastern side of the street would require closures.

However, Winsome Bowen, Miami Beach’s deputy director of transportation, told the Business Journal that Galbut’s site would make turning left onto Alton Road difficult because of the MacArthur Causeway’s flyover to the street.

Nearby at 700 Alton Road, Crescent Heights is building a 122,000-square-foot commercial building leased to Baptist Health. [South Florida Business Journal]Sean Stewart-Muniz