Redevelopment plan for Miami Jewish Health System campus wins planning board approval

Plan includes special area plan, 140-key hotel and conference center

Rendering of Miami Jewish Health System's campus (Credit: Miami Jewish Health Systems)
Rendering of Miami Jewish Health System's campus (Credit: Miami Jewish Health Systems)

Holding a community meeting with its neighbors proved beneficial for Miami Jewish Health Systems. The Miami Planning and Zoning Board unanimously voted on Tuesday to give the non-profit organization a favorable recommendation for its $200 million plan to redevelop its Buena Vista campus.

Iris Escarra, an attorney representing Miami Jewish Health System, told board members the development team and nursing home officials met with 27 residents on Oct. 7 to address their concerns and agreed to 13 conditions, including increasing the number of times trash is picked up around the property and minimizing the impact of construction dust into nearby homes. Three days earlier, the planning board had delayed its vote after several neighbors complained that Jewish Health System had not done enough to explain its plans.

This time around, no neighbors spoke out against the project. “They were satisfied with the items we provided,” Escarra said. “we are putting it in writing with regard to our commitments.”

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The board approved Miami Jewish Health System’s application to rezone its property at 5200 Northwest Second Avenue from “low-density multifamily residential” to “major institutional public facilities.” The nonprofit also won approval for a special area plan, a mechanism allowing property owners of nine or more abutting acres to develop a master plan that includes rezoning that allows for taller structures in exchange for improvements to public and private infrastructure, including quality streetscape designs.

Miami Jewish Health Systems intends to revamp its elderly care campus, which covers more than 20 acres, by tearing down six of the 10 existing buildings and adding new structures, including a three-story complex for housing Alzheimer’s and dementia patients and accompanying garage. The four phase project also calls for a five-story, 140-key hotel and conference center.

Miami Jewish Health Systems officials have previously stated the new three-story building will also include amenities such as a hair salon and a theater that will allow patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia the freedom to move around in a controlled, safe environment.