By Jai-Leen James, Contributing Reporter
MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA – The Miami Beach Commission gave first-reading approval to a plan that will help revitalize North Beach’s Ocean Terrace with a new, privately-funded yet public, waterfront park. Commissioners voted unanimously Wednesday, June 26th to move forward with the Ocean Terrace Streetscape plan.
The park will be funded and created by Miami Beach real estate developer Ocean Terrace Holdings, LLC. Per the terms of the agreement, Ocean Terrace Holdings will use development rights from a street vacation to add build additional hotel rooms.
The new rooms will be made within the previously-approved height will help Ocean Terrace Holdings enlist a top tier hotel flag to the North Beach area.
“We are grateful for the commission’s approval as it allows us to continue to work with the City to implement its vision for the Ocean Terrace Streetscape at no cost to the community, while also updating our hotel plan to ensure it is economically feasible,” said Sandor Scher, principal of Ocean Terrace Holdings, LLC.
The terms of the agreement allow Ocean Terrace Holdings to incorporate the development rights from land adjacent to its property, between 74th and 75th streets and portions of 74th and 75th streets between Collins and Ocean Terrace, into its Ocean Terrace Redevelopment project.
Although the city would maintain control of all of the land, it permits the developer to add approximately fifty new hotel rooms to its re-development plan. The development’s current zoning will remain the same.
The streetscape plan will feature water features, premiere landscaping, seating areas and more. What’s currently an asphalt street will be transformed into an activated pedestrian-focused green space with native trees that will provide shade and walking promenades. The park will be controlled and managed by the city.
The design was developed by landscape architecture firm Raymond Jungles, Inc. Raymond Jungles also notably designed the Miami Beach Botanical Gardens and the promenade in front of 1111 Lincoln Road. The design plan follows the vision laid out by Miami Beach that integrated public commentary obtained via several design charrettes and meetings.
“We heard first-hand the community’s desire to make Ocean Terrace more pedestrian friendly and accessible, and our design helps realize the public’s vision to revitalize this oceanfront promenade,” said Raymond Jungles, founding principal, Raymond Jungles, Inc.
The initial plan had been regarded by the City of Miami Beach as part of its North Beach Master Plan. 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.
With this public-private partnership, the plan has the ability to be brought to fruition quicker without the reliance of any taxpayer dollars in order to be completed.
Once ultimately passed, Ocean Terrace Holdings must receive approval from the Historic Preservation Board for the greenspace project within one year and complete construction within four years.
The proposal will be re-addressed during a city commission meeting for a second reading and final approval on Wednesday, July 31.