Belle Isle gets glimpse of proposed 17th Street hotel

Rendering includes proposed West Ave. bridge.

Rendering includes proposed West Ave. bridge.

The developer of the proposed Marriott Residence Inn on 17th Street and West Avenue gave Belle Isle residents a presentation of plans for the 116-room hotel on Thursday.

The project is scheduled for a Planning Board review on April 30.

Here are the vital statistics:

Rendering of the hotel from the Collins Canal.

Rendering of the hotel from the Collins Canal.

— It’s a five-story building, the same height as the retail apartment building immediately to the east that houses the Vespa store on the corner of 17th Street and Alton Road. It would have 66 parking spaces in a mechanical lot.

— The development site is tiny, about 25,000 square feet north of 17th Street, east of the planned West Avenue Bridge, and south of the Collins Canal, which parallels Dade Boulevard.

— Residence Inns feature studios and suites with small kitchens tailored toward business travelers and families. It will have a ground floor restaurant for guests only (these hotels provide free breakfasts), a small conference room and a rooftop pool to serve hotel guests only (11 p.m. close). There will be no outdoor bar counter on the roof, and the owner has proposed to agree not to hold any events on the rooftop.

— The developer is the Finvarb Group, headed by Robert Finvarb. The company has a number of Marriott properties in Florida and elsewhere, including the Courtyard Inn on Washington Avenue at 16th Street.  The architect is renowned Kobi Karp.

Belle Isle Residents Association members at Thursday night’s meeting at the Belle Plaza condo had lots of questions about how the hotel would accommodate deliveries, the expected traffic impact, and when employees would come and go.

Traffic planner Richard Garcia said his impact study showed the hotel would generate less than half the traffic of some other uses that could be allowed on the property, such as a pharmacy, dry cleaner or fast food restaurant. He projected the busiest hour for traffic to be 5-6 p.m., when about 33 trips would be made in and out of the property.

The project’s land-use lawyer, Michael Larkin, projected that no more than 12 employees would be working at the hotel at any given time, but that did not include parking valets.

So, what do you think?


6 responses to “Belle Isle gets glimpse of proposed 17th Street hotel

  1. robert carson

    The scruffy vacant lot is an eyesore – the hotel might be a good use of the site.

  2. Rosemary Ravinal

    The Finvarbs are sensitive to the neighboring residents. The plan is sound, given the location’s limitations.

  3. Ed Fisher / Paul Petrella

    As neighborhood residents, we are completely in support of the project.
    After seeing presentations of the proposal, it is clearly an architectural and practical enhancement. The Finvarb Group have been thoughtful in their concept and responsive to community concerns.

  4. Brendan Calder

    makes sense.

  5. Excuse the delay in replying to ur blog about the hotel. In my opinion the meeting in the 4th was an exercise in deception and misleading in several regards. Among them are: 1. The continual mention of the “green space or park” to the west of the West Ave bridge. In fact it’s a tiny area which slopes down to the canal and in effect is worthless. The developers finally admitted it would be the city’s responsibility, but they threw it out like it was part of the development. Everybody is in favor of green space, so it sounded good, but not anything to do with the hotel. 2. The developer said would only have 8 employees, then the attorney raised to 12, which still sounds too low for a 116 room hotel, but didn’t count valet parkers. Technically maybe not employees, but they work there, so it sounds deceptive to me. 3. The attorney said deliveries would be made by van to the interior. But, when called on that admitted for example beverage trucks and other large ones would have to park on the north side of 17th St, where there are meters but are always empty. What a joke, check out how often they’re empty. So, these trucks would have to be blocking traffic at the busiest intersection in MB. 4. The developer said rates would start at $175. That’s probably during hurricane season. I bet during the winter season will be twice as high, so not really a reasonable option for visitors to residents of the neighborhood during the most desirable time as was suggested. 5. The traffic engineer was hired by the developer, so of course he came up with favorable info. Even if there are fewer cars parked there, there will surely be plenty of taxis, etc going in and out. Why didn’t they submit this to the city’s Transportation committee? The usual inside game of “schmoozing” insiders as the attorney seems to be very adept at as was shown at the last Commission meeting when the new parking regs were adopted basically for this development only. Plus, the “red herring” scare tactic thrown out of the possibility of a fast food or drug store there. If Burger King didn’t make it in the corner and most of the other possibilities are nearby why would any retailer want to be there with such bad ingress and egress and poor visibility. I would like to point out as a board member of the Belle Isle Residents Association that we are strongly and almost unanimously opposed. Plus, most of the other nearby groups are opposed to this to my knowledge. But we don’t have high priced attorneys playing the inside game to the detriment of the residents. I’ve probably left out some other relevant points, so I would appreciate it if u contact our President Scott Diffenderfer to express our concerns in a better and fuller manner and u blog from our point of view, as info only. In closing want to thank u as always for the service and help ur blog provides to all ur subscribers. Best regards and thanks in advance for ur consideration. David Leeds. Sent from my iPhone

  6. After reviewing this project both at city hall meetings and at the Belle Island meeting last week, I find it to be one of the best options compared to what else could have potentially been built on the site. This has the least amount of vehicle impact. As in any project there are always opinions and concerns but I was quite pleased with the outcome. There was confusion about larger trucks making deliveries which was remedied, as the current meter spots in front of the subject lot would be removed and would become a no parking area. This will accommodate the larger trucks and not interfere with the current two lanes heading west. Having even a sliver of green space is better than nothing at all, so I’m sure with all the voices of concern, we will be on the city to make the piece of green space special.

    Looking forward to seeing the dump disappear and a very cool urban building erected!

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