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Miami Beach Seeks Development Partner For Art Deco Apartment Building

Miami Beach officials are contemplating partnering with a developer to renovate a city-owned Art Deco apartment building.

The Miami Beach City Commission on Wednesday authorized staff to move forward with crafting a request for proposals to partner with a developer that can fix up the Barclay Plaza Apartments at 1940 Park Avenue. Bidders can also include possible additions to the 1935-era building in their proposals.

Miami Beach commissioner David Richardson told his colleagues that allowing interested developers to build on the vacant area behind the three-story, L-shaped structure would make the project financially viable.

Miami Beach officials would enter into a private-public partnership and sign a 99-year ground lease with the winning bidder, according to a memo from City Manager Alina Hudak. A developer can also choose to maintain the Barclay as an apartment building with some workforce units, or reposition the property as an office project.

The project does not require a voter referendum, but any proposal would need approval from the Miami Beach Historic Preservation Board because the Barclay is considered a “contributing” building in the city’s Art Deco Historic District.

In 2014, the Barclay was condemned by the city, which then purchased the property a year later. The city paid the Miami Beach Community Development Corporation $5.4 million for the former affordable housing building. Since then, it has remained vacant.

Miami Beach also briefly listed Barclay for sale last year. Commissioner Kristen Rosen Gonzalez, the lone no vote on the RFP, said the better option is for Miami Beach to pursue funding from the Florida Legislature to renovate the apartment building.

“I don’t like this RFP at all,” she said. “I do feel strongly we can get the [state funds] to renovate the Barclay. Why give it away when we can do workforce housing ourselves.”

 

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Miami Beach Votes Down Big Real Estate Projects

Miami Beach voters on Tuesday nixed three major real estate projects proposed by industry heavyweights Stephen RossBarry Sternlicht, and Don Peebles.

Some 53.4 percent of voters rejectedRoss bid to exceed the current building-size regulations, effectively halting his plans to redevelop the historic Deauville Beach Resort, a MiMo-style property.

The New York-based developer wanted to increase the floor-area ratio, a method of regulating a building’s size, for the Deauville lot at 6701 Collins Avenue and two adjacent parcels. Had the ballot measure passed, Related would have developed an Equinox-branded complex with two luxury towers, featuring 125 condos and 175 hotel rooms. (Related owns Equinox.)

The development seemed like a passion project for Ross, who partly grew up in town.

“As a native of Miami Beach, this project is personal to me. I know what this site means to the people of Miami Beach,” Ross said when announcing his purchase bid in May. 

The billionaire developer enlisted world-renowned architect Frank Gehry to design the new complex. In July, Ross also spoke at a Miami Beach city commission meeting, where he mapped out his plans for “a world-class project.” Yes For A Safe and Strong Future, a political action committee tied to Related Companies, spent over $1 million in favor of the referendum.

Ross’ plans for the Deauville site are unclear following the defeat. The sale was contingent on voters approving the height increase. When reached for comment, Ross and Related representatives provided a statement from Yes For A Safe and Strong Future.

“While we are disappointed with the outcome, we know North Beach deserves an economic engine, not an eyesore. We appreciate the tremendous support we received from thousands who backed a real vision for a better North Beach and still believe there’s a brighter future ahead,” the statement reads. 

Regardless of Tuesday’s vote, the Deauville property will be demolished. The resort has been closed since 2017, following an electrical fire. It fell into such disrepair that a Miami Beach official deemed the resort structurally unsafe and ordered it to be knocked down last January. A Miami-Dade circuit judge later upheld the order. The demolition is scheduled for this Sunday.

No More Offices on Lincoln Road

Ross wasn’t the only developer to lose in Miami Beach.

Ventures led by Sternlicht’s Starwood Capital and Peebles’ Peebles Corporation both sought 99-year leases to build competing office-heavy, mixed-use projects on city-owned land near Lincoln Road, a pedestrian shopping street in Miami Beach. As with Ross, voters rejected each of the proposed leases by 53 percent.

Had they been approved, the leases together would have generated $355 million for the city over 99 years, as stated on ballots. Developers saw an opportunity to build boutique offices in Miami Beach in part to serve billionaires, who relocated to the island town during the pandemic and now seek offices near their residences.

At 1688 Lenox Avenue and 1080 Lincoln Lane North, Starwood’s plans with partners Integra Investments and The Comras Company called for a 100-foot-tall structure that would feature office space, ground-floor retail (including 1,000 square feet leased to a nonprofit rent-free) and a public parking lot to replace the existing surface lot.

Just three blocks east, at 1664 Meridian Avenue, Peebles — along with two partners, local developer Scott Robins and former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine — wanted to develop a six-story building with Class A office space, 43 market-rate residential apartments, ground-floor retail space, and public parking to replace the existing 151 spots.

“We will consider working with the city to make some adjustments to our proposal and consider presenting it to the voters again without such a crowded and controversial group of ballot questions. That would give the voters the opportunity to focus on the many public benefits from our proposal,” Peebles said in a statement.

The Ones That Passed 

Miami Beach residents did approve some referendums related to real estate — those which weren’t directly tied to developers.

Voters agreed to boost the floor-area ratio for oceanfront hotels in the South of Fifth neighborhood that want to convert to residential buildings. Residents also greenlighted a floor-area ratio hike for certain office and residential properties east of Washington Avenue between First and Second streets if the owner agrees to prohibit hotels and short-term rentals on the property.

Residents also passed a ballot initiative that asked voters whether the municipality should seek voter approval before selling or leasing city-owned properties for over 10 years. The measure affects properties between West 43rd Street and West 40th Street, and from Pine Tree Drive on the east to Alton Road on the west.

Unlike in Miami Beach, Developers Win in Miami

Across the bay in Miami, developers had better luck Tuesday. Sixty-four percent of voters approved a 99-year lease extension for a waterfront site in Downtown Miami, paving the way for a $1.5 billion development.

Hyatt Hotels and Miami-based developer Gencom plan to tear down the James L. Knight Center and build three skyscrapers. Called Miami Riverbridge, the development would include 1,542 rental apartments in total, along with 615 hotel rooms and 264 serviced apartments. The annual rent will jump from $250,000 to at least $2.5 million. The joint venture has also vowed to make a $25 million contribution to affordable housing initiatives, the details of which have not yet been released.

“Miami Riverbridge will improve access to and from the Hyatt Regency Miami site, activate the Miami riverfront, and meet growing demand for housing, hotel rooms and more meeting space in our downtown,” James Francque, global head of transactions for Hyatt, and Phil Keb, executive vice president of development for Gencom, said in a joint statement.

 

Source:  Commercial Observer

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Shvo Wants To Redevelop Aging Lincoln Clock Tower Building

Shvo is betting big on Miami Beach.

Michael Shvo’s firm is seeking to redevelop a 13-story office tower at 407 Lincoln Road, according to plans filed with the city.

The aging tower is one of the tallest office buildings in Miami Beach and is known for its clock display on the top. It sits directly in front of SoundScape Park.

The tower would mark Shvo’s third office project in the city.

But first Shvo’s firm has to acquire the property. An entity called EuroAmerican Group owns the building, which is split into 12 office condos, according to property records. Shvo’s filing with the city likely means a sale will soon be finalized. Shvo declined to comment and Michael Shvo could not be reached for comment.

Shvo tapped Foster + Partners and Kobi Karp as architects. Shvo will seek to completely renovate the exterior of the building and renovate the lobby, elevators and clock display, plans show. The renderings of the building look unrecognizable from the building’s current design.

Wealthy people have long flocked to Miami Beach, but mostly to live, not work. In recent years, developers have sought to capitalize on the wealth migration by building more office space for family offices and headquarters, as well as for the influx of tech and financial firms to the Miami area.

In addition to the Lincoln Road project, Shvo is building a six-story office building on Washington Avenue, and a 250,000-square-foot office building on Alton Road, both in Miami Beach. Shvo’s plans follow two major, controversial Miami Beach office proposals, one by Don Peebles, former Miami Beach mayor Philip Levine and Scott Robins, and another by Integra Investments, Barry Sternlicht’s Starwood and Michael Comras’ The Comras Company. The proposals, to be built on city-owned parking lots under 99-year leases, are heading to a referendum on Nov. 8.

An entity tied to Key International founder Jose Ardid bought the Lincoln Road office tower from the Financial Federal Savings & Loan Association in 1982, records show. In 2003, Key International sold the property to EuroAmerican Group, which lists Ivan Gonzalez Ruiz as president.

Shvo’s other major project in Miami Beach is the redevelopment of the oceanfront Raleigh and two other neighboring hotels. Shvo is planning to redevelop the historic Raleigh and build a 44-unit luxury condo tower. Rosewood Hotels & Resorts was tapped as the branding partner for the hotel.

 

Source:  The Real Deal

 

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