Tag Archives: Belle Isle

The Standard plans renovation, construction of robotic parking structure

The Standard on Belle Isle is valet only -- today.

The Standard on Belle Isle is valet only — today.

The Standard, the hip hotel and spa in the renovated Lido Spa on Belle Isle, is planning an ambitious reconstruction that includes rebuilding a wing of rooms and constructing a mechanical on-site parking structure.

“The Standard is looking at an expansion,” Belle Isle Residents Association president Scott Diffenderfer told island residents at a community meeting Wednesday night.

The Standard has scheduled a meeting to give Belle Isle residents an overview of the plans at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 23 at the hotel, 40 Island Ave.

Diffenderfer said The Standard has said the project will add only a few rooms to the property. It involves knocking down the one-story eastern wing of rooms. The garage would go behind the main, three-story lobby and spa structure. A new, two-story east wing of rooms would be built — with larger rooms and interior hallways.

Cars entering the robartic garage on Collins Avenue.

Cars entering the robotic garage on Collins Avenue.

The parking structure would work like an automated garage that opened earlier this year at 1826 Collins Ave, billed as he first of its kind in South Florida.  Built by Stellar Construction, the Collins garage looks like a retail space, with a wide entrance where cars drive in. Once inside, robotic platforms slide underneath, lift them up and put them in a parking spot.

The old Lido Spa was renovated and reopened by hotelier Andre Balazs in 2005. Parking always posed a problem, with a valet-only policy and a rented lot in Sunset Harbour.

In renovating the Lido — a 1950s vintage hotel that was renovated in 1960 with the MIMO Three-story lobby and spa building in the early 1960s– Balazs brought quiet hip to sleepy Belle Isle. Neighbors always worried the party might get too wild.

Restrictions on the property due to its residential surroundings — they can’t serve liquor after midnight and music can’t be so loud that it will disturb neighboring properties — were in place before the 2005 renovation.

Diffenderfer said the Belle Isle association has not taken a position on the proposal — and don’t until they see it in its final form and get neighborhood feedback. “We need to see what shape it will ultimately take.”

Another Halloween on South Beach



You really do have to love our neighborhood.

Boil water advisory ends Wednesday afternoon

The precautionary boil water advisory for Belle Isle, the result of a water main break on Saturday as Tropical Storm Isaac approached, officially lifts at 2 p.m. today.

Meanwhile, the water line break, one of four that occurred Saturday (two 20-inch mains in Sunset Harbour, one on Rivo Alto and one on Belle Isle) apparently left some debris in water lines that on Tuesday forced Nine Island Avenue to partially curtail some of its water service and building-wide air conditioning for several hours.

In a Tuesday afternoon note to condo owners, Nine Island management said “debris from the main water line has caused a blockage in both our domestic water pump system and the pump system that controls our air conditioning for the hallways.

“We will need to shut down the air conditioning in the hallways for two hours this afternoon so we may remove the debris from the pump system. We may also experience low pressure in the apartments due to our pumps being worked on for the domestic water system.”

The lifting of boil water advisory ends another inconvenience for Belle Isle residents. But the experience of the weekend is a cautionary tale of Miami Beach’s aging infrastructure.

The water main breaks weren’t caused by an oncoming storm. They were the result of an aging system. In the last year, Miami Beach has had a series of water main failures, including several in North and Middle Beach.

Belle Isle residents should boil water until Wednesday afternoon

The broken Belle Isle water line that left island residents without water much of Sunday is fixed and the Venetian Way near the  Island Terrace condo is patched. So how long should we be boiling water?

The city of Miami Beach is advising that you boil water as a precaution until Wednesday afternoon on Belle Isle.

The same goes for the buildings that lost water during the first water main break in Sunset Harbour. Those addresses are 1701 Purdy Ave., 1771  West Ave., 1333 Dade Blvd, 1800 Alton Rd, 1828 Alton Rd., 1840 Alton Rd. and 1850 Alton Rd.

Water service restored on Belle Isle; residents advised to boil water as precaution

City workers repairing water main break on Belle Isle early Sunday.

Miami Beach Public Works employees battled wind and rain from Tropical Storm Isaac to patch the last of four broken water mains and restored water service to Belle Isle at roughly 2:50 p.m.

The final fix was made in an 8-inch pipe under Venetian Way just east of the bridge to Rivo Alto Isle.

Miami Beach is advising Belle Isle resident to boil water as a precaution until the water can be tested to determine it is safe. That is likely to take two days.

The same is true for residents of Sunset Harbour and Alton Road and West Avenue who received a similar advisory on Saturday.

The fix in the Belle Isle main marked the end of a 36-hour period when four city water lines failed – two 20-inch mains in Sunset Harbour, a smaller line on Rivo Alto and the Belle Isle water line.

Rivo Alto water restored, Belle Isle still dry

Miami Beach says it restored water service to Rivo Alto Island this morning, and hopes to have Belle Isle water back in service by 6 p.m.

Once service is restored, Belle Isle will be under a boil water advisory. There is more information here.

Water service still out on Belle Isle; boil water advisory in place

City workers repairing small water main break on Belle Isle

Miami Beach public works crews continue to try and restore water service to Belle Isle  on Sunday.

In an update from the city at 11:37 a.m., spokeswoman Nannette Rodriguez said “crews continue to work on repairs to the water break on Belle Isle… Water service has been shut off to all customers on the island. Service is expected to the restored by 6 p.m. today.

Residents on Belle Isle have been issued precautionary boil water advisories.”

Service to Rivo Alto was restored about 6:30 a.m. Sunday.

Some Belle Isle residents reported having water service briefly — between 7:30 and 8:30 a.m. on Sunday, long enough to shower and flush toilets. But it was gone soon after.

Cleaning up after the 20-inch main break at Purdy and Venetian Way.

For now, the tap is dry and the boil water order will be in effect once water returns.

In several buildings, residents are being advised to turn off their air conditioning because the building cooling towers must be shut down due to the lack of water.

There also is a boil water advisory for six buildings in the Sunset Harbour/Alton Road corridor, in addition to all of the condo towers on Belle Isle and single-family homes on Rivo Alto.

The water problem started with a main break at Sunset Harbour on Saturday morning. Saturday afternoon, a small main ruptured on Rivo Alto. Later Saturday evening, a small main burst on Belle Isle, and another section of water main — a large one — failed Maurice Gibb Park in Sunset Harbour.

Here is the latest news release from the city of Miami Beach:

Miami Beach Water Break Update

Sunday, August 26, 10:00 a.m.

Currently, crews are still working on making repairs on the 8-inch water line on Belle Isle.

At 3:30 a.m., the Purdy Avenue 20-inch water main break was fixed and back in service (a 2-inch hole and crack was found).

At 6:30 a.m., Rivo Alto 6-inch water line leak was repaired.

Street restoration in the work areas is scheduled after the storm clears on Monday.

There are no mandatory boil water advisories, only the precautionary advisory issued yesterday to the following addresses: 1701 Purdy Avenue, 1771  West Avenue, 1333 Dade Blvd, 1800 Alton Rd, 1828 Alton Road, 1840 Alton Road and 1850 Alton Road.

Public works crews in Sunset Harbour

We’ll post more updates as we get them.

New water main breaks cut water pressure to Belle Isle, Rivo Alto — and here comes Isaac

If you don’t have water in your home this morning, here’s why:

Saturday morning’s water main break in Sunset Harbour triggered additional nearby breaks in the water line — first in a small line on Rivo Alto, and then in one on Belle Isle.

Then, late Saturday, the city discovered another leak in a major water main in Sunset Harbour.

Miami Beach public works crews spent Saturday night and early Sunday morning trying to repair the breaks in the midst of the oncoming Tropical Storm Isaac. But as of early Sunday, most if not all homeowners on Belle Isle and Rivo Alto have no water.

Many condo residents are waking up with blue notices hanging from their doorknobs informing them of a boil water order –  once water service is restored. It advises a minute of “roiling boil” before using water for cooking or drinking.

The city imposed boil water orders to six residential buildings in the Sunset Harbour-Alton Road corridor Saturday as a result of the first water line break.

Here is a news release from the city late last night:

Miami Beach Public Works crews are working overnight to repair a 20-inch water main transmission break just east of the repaired line at Purdy Avenue and Dade Boulevard and two smaller leaks on Venetian Islands (east of Belle Isle and West Rivo Alto).

The closure of water valves connecting other lines to the 20-inch water transmission main may reduce water pressure to South Beach area customers while repairs are made.

The smaller leaks (8” and 6” pipes) on Venetian Island may have been a direct result of the earlier 20-inch break on Purdy Avenue, which was repaired around 8:00 p.m. tonight.

No cause of the new 20-inch break has been determined.

Water main break causes flooding of Sunset Harbour, Belle Isle bridge

Pre-Isaac flooding Saturday morning in Sunset Harbour.

It’s going to be tough to get across the bridge to Sunset Harbour and the rest of Miami Beach for Belle Isle and Venetians Isles residents.

The city of Miami Beach says it is the result of a water main break in Sunset Harbour at about 9 a.m. (Update: Miami Beach now says repairs should be done by 3 p.m.).

The bridge is almost knee deep in sea water, and Sunset Harbour is badly flooded.

Here is the press release from Miami Beach:

Miami Beach Public Works responded to a water main break at Purdy Avenue, near Dade Boulevard, in the Sunset Harbour neighborhood at around 9AM. Repairs are expected to take approximately four to six hours.

Residents in the general area may experience low water pressure during this time. We’re asking area residents to please be patient as we work on the repairs.

A precautionary boil water advisory will be issued to affected area residents and businesses.

A video visit to the Al Capone house on Palm Island, across from Belle Isle

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/47783209″>The 1922 Al Capone Mansion</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/chuckfarris”>Chuck Farris | VisualSOLUTIONS</a> on <a href=”http://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Belle Isle Blog knows this is a little outside our neighborhood, and the connection is a tiny reach — but it’s too interesting to resist.

There is a legend we’ve previously reported — unproven, but in the history books — that when Herbert Hoover was president, he pointed the Internal Revenue Service at gangster Al Capone because Capone upstaged him when Hoover visited Belle Isle in 1929.

There are two different versions of the story, neither confirmed, both delicious:

From the Mafia Encyclopedia:

It was now a matter of folklore inside the underworld that the president railroaded Scarface Al to prison because of a personal vendetta. One allegedly dates to shortly after Hoover won the 1928 contest against Al Smith and vacationed at the J.C. Penney estate on Belle Isle in Florida, not far from the Capone compound on Palm Island. The tale goes that there was so much shouting, females crying, and shooting during the night from the Capone retreat that Hoover could not sleep. His puritanical ire aroused, Hoover decided then and there to destroy the famous gangster when he took office.

And there is this account on About. com:

Herbert Hoover vacationed at the J.C. Penney estate on Belle Isle in 1928. It is rumored that Hoover’s grudge with Al Capone started in Florida. There are two versions of the story circulating. First, the Capone compound was not far away from the Penney estate and the tale goes that there was so much shouting and shooting during the night from the Capone retreat that Hoover couldn’t sleep. His ire aroused, Hoover decided then and there to destroy the famous gangster when he took office. The second tale describes an enraged Herbert Hoover. The president-elect watched in dismay as a drove of reporters suddenly abandoned him in a Miami lobby when a more important person strolled in. That person? Al Capone.

All of that is an excuse to share this video by Chuck Farris, which takes you inside the Capone compound as it looks today. Awesome.

Oh, and the house is for sale for $9.95 million.