Tag Archives: The Standard

Setting the Standard: another Belle Isle sunset

IMAG0896Our friend Herb Frank shared this weekend shot of sunset from paradise, in this case the deck over at The Standard.

 

Belle Isle boil water advisory still in place, could end today

Venetian Way still must be repaired at site of water main break.

Venetian Way still must be repaired at site of water main break.

There is still a boil water advisory in effect for some 2000 Belle Isle households Thursday morning, resulting from the water main break that happened Monday around noon.

And Venetian Way still has a gaping hole in front of The Standard, where workers excavated to get to the pipes and make the fix.

The boil water advisory will be lifted once water bacteria tests are clear; that typically takes at least 48 hours after water service is restored. Service was restored at about 9:45 p.m. Monday.

Belle Isle Blog will update as soon as we get the word.

 

Get ready for continuing construction at Belle Isle’s doorstep

Rendering of proposed Marriott hotel

Rendering of proposed Marriott hotel

A Marriott Residence Inn on 17th Street. A West Avenue bridge over the Collins Canal. A streetscape project in Sunset Harbour.

If you think the maze of detours and clamor of construction equipment just east of Belle Isle will end with the completion of the Alton Road project  (and the Venetian Isles streetscape), think again.

There’s a series of new projects in the queue, Belle Isle residents learned  Wednesday night at a meeting at the Belle Plaza condominium.  Belle Isle Residents Association President Scott Diffenderfer gave this overview:

residence-inn-site

The lot is the triangle shape northwest of the A

The Marriott Residence Inn the city approved last spring for the pie-shaped property at West Avenue between 17th Street and the Collins Canal is in the process of being permitted by the city, and work could begin in a month or two. The city approved a 116-room hotel designed by architect Kobi Karp for the site.

Commissioners chose this configuration for the bridge.

The city chose this configuration for the bridge.

– Design work on the proposed West Avenue Bridge, which would cross the Collins Canal and link Sunset Harbour with the West Avenue area near Epicure, is moving forward, though construction won’t begin until the Alton Road project is complete.

The city commission approved construction of the bridge in April 2012. The bridge will include one northbound lane and two southbound lanes, one of them for cars turning left on to 17th Street from Sunset Harbour. There will be a sidewalk and bike path in each direction.

– The city is preparing documents to enable bidding for a streetscape  project in Sunset Harbour that will include solving the flooding problem and installing new sidewalks, lighting and landscaping. Bids will be sought this summer.

Belle Isle residents received updates on a variety of other issues:

– Alton Road reconstruction. The city and the Florida Department of Transportation are trying to get the project finished by December 2014, seven months earlier than projected, by working longer hours Belle Isle residents will get updates on a variety of public and private construction projects on and around our island when the Residents Association meets Tuesday night.
Among the items on the agenda:
— We’ll learn the latest timetable for switching the toll collection on the Veneitan Causeway to Sunpass, and how that may affect annual pass renewals, which happen each May.
— The Florida Department of Transportation will provide an update on the Alton Road construction project, which has disrupted traffic throught the east side of Miami Beach.
— The city will report on the sulphur odor on Belle Isle and around the park, as well as the park landscaping.
— The city will explain the delays on the Collins Canal bikepath, a partially completed project that was due to be complete last year. The pathway is mostly done, but lighting and landscaping are not.
— We’re get a report on the Sunset Harbour pumping station project, designed to reduce flooding in that neighborhood.
— The Belle Isle Residents Association will update several development projects near us — the 17th Street Marriott Residence Inn, proposed apartment on Belle Isle at the Belle Isle Key apartment location and a proposed parking expansion and renovation at The Standard.

The meeting happens at Belle Plaza, 20 Island Ave. There is a meet and greet at 6 p.m. and the meeting is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.

Sent from my iPad on construction. FDOT representative Enrique Tamayo told homeowners that FDOT will try to minimize the impact on neighborhoods, but a major project like this is very disruptive.

Venetian Causeway conversion to SunPass. This is expected to happen in late summer. Venetian Island property owners with C-Pass transponders will be contacted so they can register their SunPass devices to work properly on at the toll plaza. We’ll still pay an annual $24 fee; other causeway users will be charged a toll each time on their SunPass. There will no longer be toll takers at the plaza.

The city has switched from iPark devices to a PaybyPhone, a smartphone app to allows you to charge metered parking to a credit card. The new app will be in service in a month or so.

– Proposed Standard Hotel renovation and new parking structure. This idea, floated by the hotel in January 2013, isn’t being pushed by the owners. They received a lukewarm reception from the neighborhood last year, and haven’t submitted a formal proposal to the city.

Another Belle Isle post card memory: The Lido Spa

Touting the Lido as "Miami Beach's only spa."

Touting the Lido as “Miami Beach’s only spa.”

As we wait for updates on the next step for The Standard’s proposed renovation, our crack research team cranked up the Wayback Machine for a look at the Lido Spa in its second coming.

A new way to vacation...

A new way to vacation…

Remember, the Belle Isle motel/spa/hotel launched in 1953 as the Monterrey Hotel, designed by noted Miami Modern architect Norman Giller. Second Gen was the Lido Spa, in 1960, when the new owner added the three-story lobby and spa building with the classic sign and gold grille panels.

Out latest postcard find dates back to the early 1960s. The only high-rises visible on Belle Isle in the postcard are Belle Tower, the island’s first high-rise (1958) at 16 Island Ave., and behind it, Belle Plaza, at 20 Island Ave., Belle Plaza was completed in 1962.

Architects behind The Standard Hotel and Lido Spa were stellar, but perhaps not who you think

A 1959 postcard from the Monterey Motel on Belle Isle.

A 1959 postcard from the Monterey Motel on Belle Isle.

As The Standard (formerly Lido Spa) unveils plans for its third major renovation, it’s a good opportunity to review the architectural lineage of a property that includes work by luminaries in South Florida design history.

Most folks who consider themselves Miami Beach old timers associate The Standard with the Lido Spa — for years a destination for a certain generation, more blue hair than purple streaks, less hip than hip replacement.

Ah, uncongested Belle Isle.

Ah, uncongested Belle Isle.

But the Lido was the second incarnation of  hotel/motel at 40 Island Ave.

It started in 1953, and was known as the Monterrey Motel. Architect Norman Giller originally designed the Monterrey with a glass gable facade. It had two wings of rooms, two floors on the west and one floor on the east.

Giller’s hotel designs are considered groundbreaking works of Miami Modern architecture. His other work includes the Ocean Palm and Thunderbird Motels in Sunny Isles Beach, and the Carillon Hotel and the North Shore Bandshell in North Beach.

monterey brochureThe original Monterrey became the Lido Spa in 1960. The new owner added the three-story lobby and spa building with the classic sign and gold grille panels. Here’s where the architectural history becomes more murky.

Many publications have attributed that work  to architectural legend Morris Lapidus.

Among them: Travel and Leisure magazine in a much repeated piece from 2005, and the city of Miami Beach in it’s own MiMoTutorial

But the authoritative book MIMO: Miami Modern Revealed, by Eric Nash and Randall Robinson, credits  A. Herbert Mathes  for the entry building design. So does Miami Architecture, an American Institute of Architects guide to South Florida’s design treasures.

The Lapidus anthology Morris Lapidus: The Architecture of Joy, which lists all of Lapidus buildings, does not mention the Lido at all.

Tom Mooney, the city of Miami Beach preservation officer and planner, says the city of Miami Beach building card for 40 Island Ave. does not name Lapidus, though it does name Norman Giller for the original design. It’s worth a look, to see that the original Monterrey building cost was estimated at $200,000. You can see renovation details from air conditioning upgrades to pool construction.

3 Island Ave.

3 Island Ave.

5 Island Ave.

5 Island Ave.

(It’s worth mentioning that Lapidus did make his mark on Belle Isle. Two other Belle Isle buildings are Lapidus designs: Terrace Tower (1962) at 3 Island Ave. and Island Terrace (1967), 5 Island Ave.)

The 2005 renovation of The Standard was done by Alison Spear, one of the founders of the groundbreaking Miami architectural firm Arquitectonica.

In 1962, Belle Isle with Monterey/Lido in the foreground.

In 1962, Belle Isle with Monterrey/Lido in the foreground, slightly left.

Standard Hotel expansion gets mixed reception from Belle Isle residents

The Standard wants to demolish the east wing (on right), to make way for parking, 2-story wing.

Plans involve removing the east wing (on right), to make way for parking, 2-story wing.

Belle Isle residents gave a The Standard hotel an uneven reception to its proposal to tear down its east wing to make room for a 160-space mechanical parking structure and a new, two- story building.

Attorney Monica Entin and architect Arthur Marcus at The Standard.

Attorney Monica Entin and architect Arthur Marcus at The Standard.

In a presentation Wednesday night at the hotel, 40 Island Ave., the lawyer for The Standard’s development team,  Monica Entin, said the expansion “will benefit the neighborhood.”

She said it would  reduce traffic, won’t add any hotel rooms, and will enclose the kitchen for the hotel and therefore reduce noise.

“We aren’t seeking any additional uses or hours of operations,” she told residents.

But residents who attended the meeting from the north side of Belle Isle — where The Standard is located — expressed concern that the increased scale from the expansion would have a negative impact on their quality of life.

The Standard team, which included architect Arnold Marcus and specialists in traffic, acoustics and landscaping, outlined a construction plan that begins with demolishing the one-story wing of rooms at the hotel.

A robotic parking structure would rise just behind the three story lobby/spa building that would be roughly 45 feet high — about the same height at the building in front of it.

Behind the parking structure, The Standard would build a two-story wing of rooms.

If the project moves forward,  it would take about eight months to a year to get city approval for the changes design, and the demolition and construction process would take more than a year, after that developer representatives said.

But nothing happens unless the Miami Beach City Commission okays the demolition of the original wing. If that is approved, the city planning and design boards would be next in the process to evaluate the garage design and the new two-story wing.

The Standard team emphasized how aspects of their plan could lessen impact on Belle Isle residents.

– While the 160-space garage would mean cars could park on site, they said it would actually decrease Belle Isle traffic. Because the hotel and spa has no on-site parking, each visitor to the hotel, spa or restaurant who arrives in their own car generates multiple trips at the hotel, traffic engineer Joaquin Vargas said — one into the hotel, then two more as a valet and trailing shuttle bus drive to a rented parking lot in Sunset Harbour, and then a trip back.

The process of parking that single car takes time, and as a result, cars often back up at the porte-cochère at The Standard front door — and so taxis sometimes stop on Island Avenue to drop off hotel guests.

“If we have a garage on site, it will alleviate” much of the traffic and congestion, Vargas said.

– The parking garage walls would be clad with landscaping — “a living wall of plants,” the landscape architect said — to lessen its visual impact.

– The new two-story wing of rooms will have interior hallways, and all the balconies would face the hotel’s center courtyard, rather than the bungalows on Farrey Lane. That will decrease noise affecting residents east of the hotel, they said.

– The Standard will install acoustical panels on the east side of the complex, and well as panels around the air conditioning chillers, said Don Washburn, a sound expert hired by The Standard.

But residents — especially those on Farrey Lane — were not pleased. They said the new garage will tower over their small homes, and change their quality of life.

Farrey Lane resident Frank Scottoline said he now looks out from his kitchen to trees and blue skies. If the garage is built, he said, all he will see is a big wall, blocking any view and light.

The shift of auto activity from the front of the hotel on Island Avenue to the east side of the property also will impact the Farrey Lane residents, they said. At one point, the homeowners were asked if they would prefer if the traffic would stay as it is.

“Yes,” they answered emphatically.

Standard Hotel hosts Belle Isle residents tonight for expansion overview

The management of The Standard, the boutique hotel on Belle Isle in the old Lido Spa, meets with residents tonight at 6 p.m. to present plans for renovating part of the hotel and adding a mechanized parking structure.

Belle Isle residents learned of the proposal last week  during the Belle Isle Residents Association meeting.

According to BIRA President Scott Diffenderfer, The Standard plans to raze the one-story east wing of the hotel. In its place it would build a robotic parking garage no taller than the three-story spa and lobby building that provides entry to the hotel. Behind that, plans include a new, two-story wing with interior hallways.

We’ll share more details — and hopefully some renderings — after tonight’s meeting at the hotel, 40 Island Ave.