The Miami Beach Design Review Board on Tuesday approved the Related Group’s plans for its One Island Park mixed-use office project on Terminal Island.
Designed by Arquitectonica, One Island Park will consist of two, five-story, 75-foot-tall Class A office buildings as well as a four-story parking garage, a ground level café, a rooftop restaurant on the west building, outdoor rooftop seating on the east building, 315 spaces for bicycles, and a private bay walk.
The project, at 120 MacArthur Causeway, is 300 feet away from the United States Coast Guard Station and will share Terminal Island with the Fisher Island Ferry, which transports residents and guests to and from the luxury island. The site has seven slips for mega yachts to dock.
Tracy Slavens, Related’s attorney, said the project has been five years in the making, and will provide an amenity that is scarce in Miami Beach: Class A office space.
“The reality is that Miami Beach has a deficit of Class A office supply, and the demand is very strong,” Slavens told board members.
But longtime South Beach activist Frank Del Vecchio, the Fisher Island Club, and the Palm Hibiscus Star Islands Association were apprehensive about the noise that may come out of a rooftop restaurant, as well as the traffic from a project that can accommodate 325 cars.
City planner Michael Belushi insisted that city regulations do not allow entertainment on Terminal Island. Also, Slavens pointed out that Related President Jon Paul Pérez, son of Chairman and CEO Jorge Pérez, has promised that only ambient noise will be allowed on the rooftop, and that noise of any kind will be cut off after midnight.
Related is supposed to provide an updated traffic plan prior to the construction of One Island Park, as per instructions of the city’s planning board, which approved a conditional use permit for the office project last week. Slavens pointed out that when the parcel was used as a terminal by PortMiami — an operation that ended five years ago — hundreds of trucks traveled to the island.
Such arguments did little to placate Bob Hyman, president of the Fisher Island Club, who claimed that traffic tie-ups are already common at Terminal Island. “It will be a disaster,” he said. “We have to resolve this issue before anything can move forward.” Hyman argued that the planning board approved the conditional use permit for One Island Park “in error.”
Captain Harry Mautti, command cadre of the Coast Guard’s Base Miami Beach, also had worries about the amount of traffic generated by One Island Park. “The access road is a shared road by Fisher Island, FPL, and the Coast Guard, and we are already experiencing frequent backups,” Mautti told board members. Bad traffic can cause both safety and security concerns since the Coast Guard frequently medivacs ill individuals rescued at sea from the base as well as prisoners and seized drugs, he explained.
However, Belushi, the city planner, pointed out that traffic and noise were issues of the planning board, and that the project can only concern itself with the design.
Sarah Giller Nelson, vice chair of the board, said she loved the design.
“This has been my favorite since I’ve been on this board,” Nelson said. “I do have reservations about the traffic issue. I’ve been caught in a little bit of traffic from the Fisher Island Ferry. But, overall, I think this is an exciting project.”
Newly installed board member Christina Miller had a list of issues, including that the city would allow the last remaining light-industrial zoned properties within Miami Beach to be turned into an office with few concessions.
Last month, the Miami Beach City Commission approved an ordinance increasing the allowed height of office buildings constructed on Terminal Island to be 75 feet instead of 40 feet, allowing Related to pursue its Class A office project.
Related purchased the 3-acre parcel where it intends to build One Island Park for $10 million in 2013.