Category Archives: Condomania

Issues and aggravation in our buildings, from decisions on renovations to the antics of owners.

Sunpass on the Venetian Causeway: transition happens Aug. 29

What Miami-Dade’s causeway folks have been saying would happen for more more than two years is about to become reality: the Venetian Causeway will convert to SunPass for tolls and annual pass use starting Friday, Aug. 29.

That means no one will need to stop at the toll Plaza on Biscayne Island; instead, SunPass will either register their car transponder or bill them toll-by-plate. The county predicts it will reduce the backups at the plaza during busy times.

Even though the county plans to close the easternmost span between Biscayne Island and Miami in the fall for a reconstruction that will take six to nine months, the SunPass conversion is moving forward.

If you are a Venetian annual pass holder (either an island resident or employed on the island) you’ll be getting a form in the mail that will enable you to register your SunPass so you won’t be billed.

You’ll need to provide your transponder number and plate number to link your plan account for the Venetian with your transponder to avoid per-trip fees.

Here’s the notification the county sent to Belle Isle condo managers:

From: Tolls (PWWM) [mailto:TOLLS@miamidade.gov]
Sent: Friday, July 18, 2014 3:03 PM
Cc: Bauman, Mike (PWWM)
Subject: SunPass Update

Dear Venetian Causeway Neighbors,

We are pleased to announce that the transition to SunPass is tentatively scheduled for Friday, August 29, 2014. When the conversion is complete, drivers will have improved travel time and traffic flow across the Causeway. Please be advised that in order to avoid per trip or Toll-By-Plate charges, each motorist must have a SunPass transponder. For annual plan holders, their account will be linked to their SunPass account so that they will not incur any additional charges.

In an effort to keep you informed of the progress:

– A letter has been sent to all current annual plan holders to obtain their SunPass transponder numbers

– All plan holder accounts will be updated with the SunPass transponder data

– Flyers and other informational material will be distributed in the lanes and available at the Venetian Customer Service Center

– Signage announcing the change will be in place–

E-mail address tolls@miamidade.gov has been established to address questions and concerns

We will provide additional updates as needed.

Thank you,

Causeways Division

Water restored, 3 Belle Isle buildings face boil water order during weekend

The "geyser" on Belle Isle. (photo by Fane Lozman).

The “geyser” on Belle Isle. (photo by Fane Lozman).

Today’s water main break was quickly contained, but three buildings on Belle Isle will have a boil water order for the next two days: 3 Island Avenue, 5 Island Avenue and 9 Island….

Belle Isle springs another leak; water is out….and back on

The "geyser" on Belle Isle. (photo by Fane Lozman).

The “geyser” on Belle Isle. (photo by Fane Lozman).

For the third time in the last two years, we’ve got a big water main break on Belle Isle.

This one is a geyser. At 9 Island Avenue, building management used the building communication system to tell all residents at 10:15 a.m. that the water  main on Belle Isle had ruptured, and all units would be without water for an undetermined period.

Update at 11:07 a.m.: The “geyser” has been capped and city workers are on the scene. 9 Island residents have been told to turn off their air conditioning units because the water is off.

Update at 11:30 a.m.: Water leak capped, service to be restored shortly, boil 48-hour water order expected.

12:55 p.m. update: Power service is returning, but a boil water order will be in effect for 3 Island Avenue, Island Terrace and 9 Island Avenue condos for 48 hours, according to Miami Beach spokeswoman Nannette Rodriguez.

 

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Smoky Belle Isle Monday morning

Smoky South Florida morning.

Smoky South Florida morning.

A brush fire in West Broward and South Florida fog gave us a nearly zero visibility morning on Monday.

The view of smoky Belle Isle from the Flamingo.

The view of smoky Belle Isle from the Flamingo.

Still no water on Belle Isle; boil water order will be in effect when service is restored

Miami Beach public works crews continue their work on the damaged water main on Belle Isle, and island residents remain without water — and air conditioning, if their building has a cooling tower.

Nine Island Avenue residents were advised by property manager Scott Parker that when water service is restored, the island will be under a boil water order for 48 hours. That is, water will need to be boiled before use in cooking or for drinking.

Towering highrise proposed for West Avenue

Rendering of proposed rental/retail at South Shore.

Rendering of earlier proposed rental/retail at South Shore.

Remember developer Russell Galbut’s plans for 600 Alton Road?

In early 2013, the developer had a series of community meetings for a proposal to use the property — between West Avenue and Alton Road and Fifth and Seventh streets including the old (and abandoned) South Shore Hospital building — as a large rental-retail commercial project.

He got some neighborhood buy in.

In summary, the project called for 60,000 square feet of retail and restaurant uses on the ground floor, 444 apartments, 1,073 parking spaces below ground. A new seven-story building was to be built on the 500 block of Alton Road, and a five-story building on the 600 block. The South Shore Hospital building, 10 stories, would be rehabbed and included.

That was the tallest part of the project.

Fast-forward a year. Tonight, Galbut’s Crescent Heights company is teaming with Jorge Perez’s Related Companies to pitch the neighborhood on a 50-story tower on the site.

Belle Isle Blog believes it would be the tallest building on Miami Beach — or at least the one with the most floors (Green and Blue Diamond have those triangles on top of their 44 floors, rising to 559 feet).

The meeting happens at 6:30 p.m. at the Related South Beach Sales Center, 91 Collins Avenue.

There is a a model of the tower on display from all day today at that center.

Palau project to move forward

A rendering of Palau at Sunset Harbour.

A rendering of Palau at Sunset Harbour.

The developers of the Palau condo — the condo-retailed project that includes the old Mark’s Cleaners site — have made peace with their Sunset Harbour neighbors, The Miami Herald is reporting.

According to an agreement provided last week to the city of Miami Beach, the developers of Palau — which include the Disney family — will position the  project further back from the bridge to Sunset Islands 3 and 4, provide greater setbacks of the retail space. There will be a public plaza near the bridge as well.

Sunset Island residents in March persuaded the Miami Beach Planning Board to reconsider an approval its approval of the project.

The project, designed by Kobi Karp, includes 50 condo units in addition to 11,000 square feet of retail space.