Voters reject easing height restrictions for Bal Harbour Shops

Village charter change would have allowed Bal Harbour Shops to apply for height increases above five stories.

Miami /
Jan.January 27, 2021 01:30 PM
Matthew Whitman Lazenby and Bal Harbour Shops (iStock)

Matthew Whitman Lazenby and Bal Harbour Shops (iStock)

Bal Harbour Shops lost big at the ballot box, as voters on Tuesday overwhelmingly rejected a proposed village charter amendment that would have allowed the luxury shopping center’s owners to apply for a height increase above five stories.

The landslide loss means Whitman Family Development won’t be able to submit any proposals to add a mid-rise or high-rise building to its 11-acre property that includes Bal Harbour Shops, which is currently undergoing a nearly half-billion dollar renovation.

In a statement, Matthew Whitman Lazenby, owner and manager general of Whitman Family Development, said the company remains hopeful that it can work with Bal Harbour Village officials and residents on “a path forward.”

In 2006, Bal Harbour voters approved a referendum that capped commercial building heights at five stories throughout the village. Whitman Family Development sought a charter amendment that would have allowed the company to apply for a height increase above five stories in the village’s special business improvement area, which encompasses Bal Harbour Shops at 9700 Collins Avenue.

“We are grateful to all the Bal Harbour residents who have supported this referendum from the beginning, realizing it could have given them a stronger voice and the Village Council a vote on any development plans in the special business improvement area that are outside the current height limit,” Lazenby said. “The village’s current height restriction prohibits the Shops from responding to the rapidly changing needs of consumers and residents.”

The Bal Harbour Civic Association and former and current village council members, including Mayor Gabriel Groisman, opposed the Bal Harbour Shops’ referendum. In a Jan. 13 mass email to voters, the association warned voters that the referendum would give the power to grant height increases to elected officials rather than residents, and claimed Whitman Family Development is looking to develop a 27-story hotel or office building. Lazenby denied his company was planning to submit a proposal for a 27-story building had the referendum passed.

Whitman Family Development collected 195 signatures of the 1,855 registered voters in Bal Harbour over the summer to hold the special election. However, only 82 residents voted in favor of the amendment while 702 people voted against it.


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
 Matthew Whitman Lazenby with 7825 Atlantic Way (Blue Ocean Photography, iStock)
Bal Harbour Shops owner upgrades to oceanfront estate in Miami Beach
Bal Harbour Shops owner upgrades to oceanfront estate in Miami Beach
Matthew Whitman Lazenby and Bal Harbour Shops
Special election could pave way for height increase at Bal Harbour Shops
Special election could pave way for height increase at Bal Harbour Shops
Matthew Whitman Lazenby, Grant Cardone, Phil Collins, Orianne Bates, Russell Galbut, Natalie Brabner, Craig Studnicky and Masoud Shojaee (Lazenby by Sonya Revell; Getty, iStock)
South Florida’s juiciest real estate lawsuits of 2020
South Florida’s juiciest real estate lawsuits of 2020
Simon and David Reuben with St. Regis Bal Harbour (Getty, Google Maps)
Reuben Brothers takes over $132M loan backing St. Regis Bal Harbour
Reuben Brothers takes over $132M loan backing St. Regis Bal Harbour
Diego Lowenstein, Dayssi Olarte de Kanavos, Paul Kanavos, and Ronny Ben Josef, with The The Sagamore (Credit: The Sagamore Hotel)
Owners of Ritz-Carlton South Beach and Bal Harbour hotels merge with Sagamore
Owners of Ritz-Carlton South Beach and Bal Harbour hotels merge with Sagamore
Dina Goldentayer, Ryan Cohen and the Bal Bay Drive home (Credit: Kris Tamburello/Douglas Elliman)
Lawsuit alleges Harding Realty cut out of $24M Bal Harbour sale, reveals Chewy founder as alleged buyer
Lawsuit alleges Harding Realty cut out of $24M Bal Harbour sale, reveals Chewy founder as alleged buyer
A renderings of the Shops at Sunset Place project and a rendering of the Surfside Town Center project
Voters decide South Miami, Surfside and Bal Harbour real estate referendums
Voters decide South Miami, Surfside and Bal Harbour real estate referendums
Laurent Ouazana and 224 Bal Bay Drive (Linkedin, Douglas Elliman)
French insurance firm CEO sells Bal Harbour mansion for $24M
French insurance firm CEO sells Bal Harbour mansion for $24M
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...