Glaser and partners propose 15-acre “West of West” district in South Beach
Overlay district is bordered by Bay and Alton roads and 13th and 16th streets
Developer Todd Michael Glaser and a group of partners are proposing a massive mixed-use project with pocket parks, elevated courtyards, residential and commercial space in the heart of South Beach.
Glaser, Jarrett and Sean Posner, Fred Karlton and Charlie Ratner are the developers behind the West of West overlay district. Domo Architecture + Design presented it Wednesday to the Miami Beach commission, which sent the project to the city’s Land Use boards as early as March. The proposal covers more than 15 acres bordered by Bay and Alton roads and 13th and 16th streets.
Along with his partners, Glaser has spent about $10 million acquiring nine properties in the district. In all, he estimates there are 140 properties. The area is zoned for buildings as tall as 50 feet, and the West of West district would not exceed that, but the proposal does seek reduced or eliminated setbacks.
Glaser said sea level rise and the increasing cost of flood insurance could drive property owners to sell to him, his partners or other developers. Glaser said that on the homes he owns in the area, flood insurance has gone up from $1,200 to $5,000 a year over the past two years.
At the commission meeting, Domo principals Robert Moehring said “soon these owners will not be able to afford the flood insurance.”
The elevated project calls for live/work lofts, restaurants, retailers, green and blue roofs and more, taking in climate change recommendations from organizations like the Urban Land Institute.
Commissioners encouraged the group to work with residents and neighboring areas before the district goes to Land Use.
Glaser called the project “an opportunity to bring back Miami Beach,” which he said has lost visitors and retailers to trendy neighborhoods like Wynwood and the Miami Design District, both on the mainland.
“It’s 15-and-a-half acres of non-historic properties, which is going to be under water in the next 10 years,” Glaser said, later adding that “this is the first time that Miami Beach can have a cohesive area.”