By Jai-Leen James, Contributing Reporter
MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA – On Wednesday, July 31st, the Miami Beach City Commission unanimously gave final approval to the Ocean Terrace Streetscape Plan. The development agreement that will bring a new oceanfront public space along the two-block stretch of Ocean Terrace along 73rd Street to 75th Street.
The initial plan had been regarded by the City of Miami Beach as part of its North Beach Master Plan. 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.
“This is really going to be something special to a place that deserves something special,” said Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber.
The estimated $15 million, five-acre public space will be orchestrated through a public-private partnership between developer Ocean Terrace Holdings and the City of Miami Beach. The deal will not use any taxpayer dollars.
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.
As per the development agreement, the public will receive the promised park within four years or less. It will also allow Ocean Terrace Holdings to incorporate the development rights from a small portion of the land adjacent to its property between 74th and 75th streets.
Ocean Terrace Holdings will also utilize portions of 74th and 75th streets between Collins and Ocean Terrace and refigure the land as part of its Ocean Terrace Redevelopment Project.
“This approval is a win-win; the community is on its way to the long desired and sought-after revitalization of North Beach,” said Sandor Scher, principal of Ocean Terrace Holdings, LLC.
“We are once again grateful to the Commission and residents. We look forward to creating a world-class oceanfront promenade that residents can enjoy and be proud to have in their neighborhood.”
The developer will add an estimated 50 new hotel rooms to its redevelopment plan. The additional rooms were deemed necessary to attract the type of established, high caliber hotel brand the project warrants.
Miami Beach residents voted no on increasing the allowable maximum square footage of buildings within the historic district where Ocean Terrace sits in 2015. Scher came back with a revised plan that focuses more on preservation and resident input.
“Admittedly in the past, we did not go about things the right way,” Scher said to the Miami Herald. “This is a very different project than it was five years ago.”
Miami Beach will provide an additional 60 parking spots on weekends and holidays by operating valet parking services within their 75th Street and 80th Street parking lots. This added measure is to ensure the community maintains access to adequate parking during high-volume hours.
“This has been an excellent and very involved community process,” said Miami Beach Commissioner Mark Samuelian. “Folks have been involved throughout.”
Ocean Terrace Holdings’ planned mixed-use development will incorporate a boutique residential building, an upscale hotel and retail. Ultimately, the plan will preserve eleven historic buildings within the block while bringing new retail, residential and hotel options to the area.
The agreement also allows Ocean Terrace Holdings to court a high-quality hotel flag to North Beach by using development rights from a street vacation to add hotel rooms to its planned mixed-use development.