Miami Beach leaders want to kickstart redevelopment along the city’s 41st Street commercial corridor by asking developers to propose mixed-use projects on six city-owned parking lots.
The Miami Beach City Commission, in a 6-1 vote on Wednesday, authorized Miami Beach staff to seek letters of intent from developers interested in redeveloping parking lots at 4049 Royal Palm Avenue, 4166 Royal Palm Avenue, 525 West 40 Street, 4000 Chase Avenue, 4141 Alton Road and 836 West 42nd Street. 41st Street, in Mid-Miami Beach, is also called Arthur Godfrey Road.
A combination of increasing demand for office space in Miami Beach, recent deals involving prominent 41st Street buildings, a national grocer looking at sites on 41st Street for a store, and interest by the owner of the Roosevelt Theater at 770 West 41st Street to redevelop one of the parking lots prompted city officials to consider hitting up developers, according to a memo by City Manager Alina Hudak.
In April, hospitality mogul David Grutman took over the lease for The Forge restaurant at 432 West 41st Street, previously operated by the Malnik family. Nine months later, commercial real estate firm Terranova sold its longtime headquarters building at 801 Arthur Godfrey Road for $22 million to Miami-based Fifteen Group. The new owner plans to renovate the building and lease it to family offices, and wealth management and financial firms.
Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber said seeking letters of intent is a preliminary step, geared to finding out what developers think can be built on the parking lots. “This says if you have a great idea, we are open to considering it,” Gelber said. “Let’s not prejudge it.”
However, commissioner Kristen Rosen Gonzalez said she does not support giving up the parking lots, and cast the sole vote against seeking developer proposals. She said Mid-Beach residents would be losing places to park their cars when they visit 41st Street businesses.
Rosen Gonzalez also noted that 41st Street is heavily congested with cars and trucks entering and leaving the city via the Julia Tuttle Causeway. Commissioner Alex Fernandez also said that sometimes it takes him more than 30 minutes to drive through 41st Street from Miami Beach City Hall, but he still voted in favor of seeking development proposals.
“Why does economic development mean giving away public land?” Rosen Gonzalez said. “I say bring on the incentives. You want added height or a little more [Floor Area Ratio]? Fine. But buy your own land. Don’t take ours.”
According to Hudak’s memo, the owner of the Roosevelt Theater expressed interest in redeveloping the property, in conjunction with the adjacent city-owned parking lot at 4000 Chase Avenue, into a mixed-use project with residential and restaurant components. The theater is owned by an entity managed by health care magnate Abraham Shaulson.
An unidentified major national grocer is also “evaluating the potential for a grocery store” at the parking lot at 4166 Royal Palm Avenue, Hudak’s memo states.