By Jai-Leen James, Contributing Reporter
MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA – Wynwood Yard founder Della Heiman announced Friday, August 9th that the North Beach Yard project has been called off. Miami Beach City Manager Jimmy Morales terminated the lease agreement.
“After months of analysis and many discussions with our core team and advisors, Yard Hospitality has made the difficult decision to pivot away from The North Beach Yard project,” Heiman said in a statement.
Heiman and her North Beach Yard co-founder Ken Lyon were trying to re-create Heiman’s successful Wynwood Yard. Wynwood Yard was a popular venue with food trucks and live music. It closed earlier this year after Lennar Corp bought the site for $17 million with the intention of building an eleven-story, 189-unit apartment building.
A five-year lease for the North Beach Yard was approved by the Miami Beach City Commission in July of 2017 to develop a public lot at 81st Street and Collins Avenue. Heiman’s vision was to create an outdoor social scene with a stage for live performance, shipping containers and a pavilion.
According to plans submitted to the city, North Beach Yard was anticipated to have twenty retailers and up to two dozen food and beverage operators. Heiman also had plans to renovate a city-owned building into a community center.
In her statement, Heiman said that after trying for two years, she could not find partners to help her raise the money necessary for her business venture. On top of all of that, she split with her business partner, Ken Lyon.
“Despite hundreds of hours spent pitching to over 45 entities, including banks, non-profit foundations, individual investors, and corporate sponsors, we were unable to engage the financial partnerships needed to bring the project to life,” Heiman wrote.
In June, Morales sent a letter to commissioners, stating that Heiman had not complied with several terms of the lease. She missed the deadline to submit a $17,914 security deposit.
After signing the city’s lease, one year later, Heiman did not submit written proof of several factors including: “(1) equipment leases/financing for container structures; (2) secured financing for tenant’s work; (3) the availability of liquid assets, (4) a general contractor contract; and (5) a performance bond and payment bond covering the full amount of tenant’s work (in the amount of $1,750,000).”
“We’re sorry we couldn’t successfully partner with Della to see this project through to completion, but the door is always open for future projects,” said Miami Beach commissioner Ricky Arriola.
“In the meantime, a number of groups have expressed interest in picking up where the North Beach Yard Project left off. Hopefully soon we will be able to bring something exciting to the North Beach community — which has been very supportive of a project of this nature.”
Despite the failure of North Beach Yard, Heiman is opening a new Yard concept in Doral in the fall or early winter. The new location is a 6,000-square-foot indoor space where professionals can network but also relax, enjoy adult beverages and listen to music.