Belle Isle gets Convention Center hotel pitch today; the argument against it hits our mailboxes

Jack Portman, whose Atlanta-based development firm is seeking voter approval for a major hotel next to the Miami Beach Convention Center, will discuss his plans tonight with Belle Isle residents at Costa Brava, 11 Island Ave.

IMG_5582Meanwhile, former Miami Beach Commissioner Jonah Wolfson sent a mailer that hit our mailbox Monday urging a no vote on the hotel on March 15. It says the 30-story hotel will generate too much traffic.

IMG_5580Tuesday’s presentation happens at 6 p.m. in the Costa Brava card room, on the mezzanine level.

To move forward, the project needs a 60 percent majority vote on March 15 — Florida Presidential Primary day — because it involves the use of city land.

While some have criticized the project because of its potential impact on traffic, the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau supports it as a necessary complement to the renovation of the Miami Beach Convention Center. The city broke ground in December on a $600 million renovation of the convention center.

2 responses to “Belle Isle gets Convention Center hotel pitch today; the argument against it hits our mailboxes

  1. What came first? The chicken or the egg? We were sold a bag of goods that we “need” a competitive convention center & voted accordingly. Now we’re being told we need a oversized hotel to accamodate the renovated center. Didn’t anybody see this coming?

  2. Hi Portman presented to Sunset Harbour last night, showing only the hotel view from the slenderest side. I asked what the full width of the building was, from the side where it joins the convention center south to 17 Street, and he could not answer exactly, but guessed 300 feet. It is 26 stories and 288 feet high, far bigger than the deco hotels behind it, The center may well need a hotel catering to high end conventions. The visitors to these conventions may not bring in cars, and may not increase traffic. But, be aware, in their lease negotiations the city reserved the right two build two more hotels, one on the 17th St garage, and one on the Collins Ave lot between the W Hotel and the Setai. They never broadcast this. We all thought the noncompete clauses would prevent more hotels on city land nearby.
    The additional construction of these other hotels will cause traffic and chaos. Voting this hotel referendum down won’t stop the city from trying this, but you should be warned of what may be coming down the road. Why Portman allowed this gutting of the non-compete clause is a mystery.
    Personally, I think the hotel is massive and unappealing. I would rather see 2 15 story hotels. But there are financial considerations favorable to the city in this deal worth consideration.
    Bruce Backman

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