The Residence Inn by Marriott that Miami Beach commissioners allowed to be wedged on to a sliver of city land at the corner of West Avenue and 17th Street is supposed to open next week.
Neighborhood activists fought the 116-room extended stay hotel, built by developer Ronny Finvarb on city Housing Authority property that was sold to allow construction. They argued the lot was too small and the hotel would add traffic to an already congested intersection.
But they lost the argument, and the project was approved in spring 2013.
Three years later, it’s about to open, and the pie-shaped property north of 17th Street and south of the Collins Canal/Dade Boulevard from West Avenue to Alton Road is becoming a triangle of hotel activity.
The old Boston Market property, also owned by Finvarb, is being planned for a five-story, 96-room boutique hotel with a 100-plus seat restaurant.
Next to the Residence Inn on 17th (to the east), the old Mayflower building (think, Vespa store) is seeking historic designation before a full-scale renovation that would turn the apartment building into a 72-room hotel. The historic designation would allow the renovation without providing any additional parking; the property, which already has stores and restaurants at street-level, has less than a dozen parking spaces.
And west of the Residence Inn, the city and the Florida Department of Transportation plan to build a bridge that will extend West Avenue across the Collins Canal into Sunset Harbour.
That project is in the bidding/procurement phase, which should be completed very soon. If all goes as expected, the city could be voting to green-light construction next month. According to project plans, the actual work would take 270 days — nine months.
Meanwhile, the Residence Inn will be the closest hotel to Belle Isle, Sunset Harbour and upper West Avenue. As a place to put up relatives who otherwise might overstay at your apartment, consider this: Rates next week start at $224 a night (for a studio apartment with a kitchen), according to Marriott’s website. It’s pet-friendly, and breakfast is free.