By Jai-Leen James, Contributing Reporter
MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA – This week, Miami Beach City Commissioners are expected to consider a proposal from Ocean Terrace Holdings requesting to build an addition to the historic Broadmoor and Ocean Surf hotels. The developers are promising to build an oceanfront park if their plan is approved.
Alex Blavatnik and Sandor Scher, Ocean Terrace Holdings partners, are proffering an oceanfront park and streetscape improvements between 73rd and 75th streets. They are requesting the “vacation” portion of Ocean Terrace and 74th and 75th streets.
With that 45,920 square feet, Ocean Terrace Holdings would then use the floor area ratio from the newly acquired streets within their jurisdiction to build the hotel addition.
In January of 2018, the Historic Preservation Board gave its approval regarding Ocean Terrace Holdings’s proposal for revitalized mixed-use development. The plan integrates partial reservation of the buildings along Ocean Terrace with new construction to build hotel rooms, multi-family dwelling units and ground floor restaurants and retail. The expansion is estimated to involve all of Collins Avenue to the ocean between 74th and 75th streets.
As of now, the property has 16 apartment units and 240 hotel rooms. The proposed project will have 58 multi-family dwelling units and 78 hotel rooms. Additionally, it will feature 18,060 square feet of ground floor retail, 5,728 square feet of restaurant space and 2,030 square feet of meeting rooms.
The city of Miami Beach has been searching for means to fund park improvements and public streetscape in the Ocean Terrace Neighborhood Urban Design Plan. Earlier this year, the city commission’s finance committee recommended considering a public-private partnership to fund the estimated $15 million needed to make that plausible.
Commissioner Michael Góngora raised the issue of parking. Ocean Terrace Holdings’s plan includes reconfiguring a 62-space parking lot to design the proposed oceanfront park. Finance Committee Chair Ricky Arriola disagreed with Góngora’s parking concerns.
“We’re taking an asphalt parking lot for cars, it’s going to be turned into a park at zero cost to the City, so we’re taking a space for cars and turning it into a space for people,” Ricky Arriola said. “And we’re taking something that’s asphalt, gray concrete, and turning it into greenspace. Why wouldn’t we do that?”
“Do we all agree on the big picture or do we want to fight for this asphalt parking lot that we have because there’s some folks that are saying this is a giveaway and I don’t understand what the giveaway is when we’re taking asphalt and turning it into greenspace,” Arriola added.
In the Ocean Terrace Overlay District, the maximum height for residential buildings is 235 feet and 125 feet for hotels. Without the requested vacation and floor area ratio, voter approval would be required for the site.
“Honestly, it’s not just to have a beautiful beachfront. So many of our issues in this city are captured by our failure to create inviting town centers close to our residents,” said Miami Beach mayor Dan Gelber.
“Our transportation issues, our housing issues, all of them, so the idea that we can create something that’s dynamic, that’s beautiful, that’s inviting, that’s embracing, that’s walkable, that’s commercially viable, is transformational to a third of our city. So, I don’t want to lose this. I don’t want to give away the farm, but I don’t think we are.”
The city commission will address the plan Wednesday, June 26th in a first reading, second reading and public hearing.