Imagine this: a public parking garage behind Epicure topped with apartments

It’s no secret that the South Beach boom of the last 30 years — from new luxury high=rises to retro apartment renovations — has pushed housing costs beyond the reach of many people who work in the shops and restaurants in our neighborhoods.

The issue became even more apparent earlier this year when Boardwalk Properties Inc bought a portfolio of 15 older Art Deco buildings and announced plans to renovate them an market them are much higher rent.

It’s a concern at City Hall, and the city earlier this month began seeking proposals from consultants to help the city develop “workforce / affordable housing.”

As part of that effort, consultants are being invited to investigate seven city-owned parking lots  that could possibly be developed with city parking garages and apartments on top.

Two potential parking garage/workplace housing sites are on West Avenue.

Two potential parking garage/workplace housing sites are on West Avenue.

Two are on West Avenue, just south of 17th Street: the public lot just north of the U.S. Post Office behind Epicure and Ave Hardware, and the circular lot at 1625 West Ave. behind Taco Rico.

Other lots mentioned in the initiative are at Collins Avenue and 13th Street, Washington Avenue and Ninth Street and 10th Street, 2660 Collins Ave., and 830 W. 42nd St.

Consultant proposals wouldn’t come back to the city until mid-summer, and no decisions have been made on whether to actually do this or where to do it, so action is a ways off.

There is commission interest in this matter, though. After the Boardwalk properties purchase, Miami Beach Commissioner Michael Grieco wrote a letter to the editor in the Miami Herald in which he said:

“Our tourism and retail employees need affordable housing, and the city needs them to stay. The irony of the recent apartment purchases, and subsequent articles about the gentrification in South Beach, lands squarely at City Hall, where Commissioner Joy Malakoff and I have been pushing for an increase in workforce-housing inventory. Now, instead of increasing available housing for those who work in the city, we’re playing catch up.”

2 responses to “Imagine this: a public parking garage behind Epicure topped with apartments

  1. Donna Nortell

    Totally against more apartments. The beauty of South Beach is lots
    of open spaces. We need whatever parking we have . the Developers
    are only concerned with making money at the expense of people who
    already live here.

  2. How do they propose to ensure that higher net worth people don’t snap up those “affordable” apartments in such a central location? Will there be some type of means test? Will new residents be required to prove that they work for a town-serving retail establishment?

    If the city is willing to permit residential development on top of land that is currently used for public parking, wouldn’t it be smarter and more realistic for the city to sell the land to private developers for a great deal of money due to the excellent locations, require that the developers construct comparable public parking garages below their new residential developments, and then use the proceeds of the transactions to build even more extensive “affordable” housing in less competitive locations?

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