Related withdraws proposed theater renovation and redevelopment

A unit of the Miami-based development company proposed renovating the Olympia Theater and redeveloping the property's residential component

A unit of Miami-based Related Group withdrew an unsolicited proposal to renovate the historic Olympia Theater in downtown Miami and convert 80 apartments above the theater to affordable housing units.

Related Urban Development Group proposed the theater renovation and the residential project in a May 9 offer sheet, the Miami Herald reported. The proposal included turning the 80 apartments above the theater into as many as 300 affordable housing units.

But Albert Milo, a principal of Related Urban, this week delivered a letter to the City of Miami withdrawing the proposed renovation and redevelopment of the theater property at 174 East Flagler Street. The 1,567-seat theater opened in 1926 as a Paramount movie theater.

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Milo said in an Oct. 24 letter that Related Urban wanted additional time to communicate with historic preservationists, theater patrons and residents of downtown Miami and to respond to criticism of the company’s proposed renovation and redevelopment project.

Robert Geitner, the executive director of the theater, called the Related Urban’s proposed project unacceptable and said the community should drive the future of the theater property, not a developer.

The Miami City Commission voted 4-0 Thursday to arrange a study of the needs of the Olympia Theater and to solicit input from the community on a course of action. [Miami Herald] Mike Seemuth