Category Archives: Condomania

Issues and aggravation in our buildings, from decisions on renovations to the antics of owners.

Belle Isle’s buzzing as helicopters deliver to Island Terrace rooftop

A helicopter delivers mechanical equipment on Belle Isle (Scott Diffenderfer).

A helicopter delivers mechanical equipment on Belle Isle (Scott Diffenderfer).

The installation of new air conditioning equipment on top of the Island Terrace  condo, 5 Island Avenue, created quite a stir on Belle Isle this morning.

From Grand Venetian, delivering the goods to Island Terrace (Herb Frank)

From Grand Venetian, delivering the goods to Island Terrace (Herb Frank)

A helicopter lifted the huge units off trucks and softly placed them 16 stories high on the roof of the Morris Lapidus-designed building, built in 1967.

The spectacle drew the attention of Belle Isle Residents Association president Scott Diffenderfer and board member Herb Frank, who photographed the event from their condos on the east side ofthe island.

Photo by Scott Diffenderfer

Photo by Scott Diffenderfer

Meeting alert: Get updates on construction in Sunset Harbour, West Avenue and more

We face an onslaught of construction projects and development in the Venetian Isles, Sunset Harbour and West Avenue neighborhoods. There are several community meetings happening soon that provide an opportunity to learn more and give some input:

— On Tuesday, Feb. 17 at 6 p.m.,  the civic organization Miami Beach United is holding a discussion of how pedestrians, bikes and vehicles mesh (or don’t) on our roads and sidewalks — and how it could be better.

The discussion, which happens at the Miami Beach Golf Club, 2301 Alton Rd., includes representatives from the city of Miami Beach, the transportation planning firm Gannett Fleming, and the street plans collaborative.

— On Feb. 18 at 6:30 p.m., the city of Miami Beach is holding a session in Sunset Harbour to get neighborhood input on streetscape improvements in that torn-up area.

As you know, most streets in Sunset Harbour are a mess, part of $5 million in improvements to replace underground pipes and utilities.

The city engineer, Bruce Mowry, last week said the utility work should be finished by the end of summer, and then work will begin on the sidewalks, landscaping and road resurfacing.

The neighborhood meeting, to be held at 1800 Purdy Ave., will give an overview and seek feedback on those improvements.

— On Monday, Feb. 23, the city of Miami Beach and the Florida Department of Transportation will meet with West Avenue neighborhood residents to explain the major road project that will begin this week on West Avenue and 17th Street.

The project, which ultimately will impact all of West Avenue from Fifth to 17 streets and includes putting in new pumping stations at Fifth, Seventh, 10th, 14th and 17th streets, involves raising the street as much as three feet.

The meeting will start at 6 p.m., but the location has not been determined. We’ll update.  WAVNA, the West Avenue Neighborhood Association, is coordinating with the city of Miami Beach.

 

Belle Isle residents meet tonight

The annual Belle Isle Residents Association meeting happens tonight at Belle Plaza, 20 Island Avenue, with a social hour starting at 6 p.m. and the meeting at 7.

As previously reported, there’s lots to learn about, from the impact of the Venetian Causeway west bridge closure and reconstruction, to updates on planned West Avenue roadwork.

Here’s the full agenda:

Belle Isle Residents Association Annual Meeting

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

 

Join us for wine at 6:00PM – Meeting at 7:00PM

20 Island Avenue Card Room (Belle Plaza)

ALL RESIDENTS ARE WELCOME TO ATTEND

 

City officials will be present to discuss ongoing and upcoming construction projects, answer your questions and hear your comments on issues that will affect our neighborhood in 2015 and beyond.  Important items that will be addressed include:

  • Police Chief and neighborhood officers will be available to answer your questions
  • Information for upcoming repair of bridges & closure of Venetian Way
  • Update on Alton Road & upcoming West Avenue Construction
  • Update on pump installation and infrastructure upgrades in Sunset Harbour
  • Presentation on proposed Watson Island development and traffic impact it will have on MacArthur, Venetian and Julia Tuttle Causeways
  • Construction schedule of hotel at 17th Street and West Avenue
  • Belle Isle Residents Association neighborhood goals for 2015

Belle Isle residents meeting to focus on upcoming projects — from Watson Island to West Avenue

If you feel like that the construction projects around our island paradise never end, that’s because….they never end.

The Belle Isle Residents Association meets on Tuesday. The agenda is packed with presentations that affect Belle Isle, Sunset Harbour and the other Venetian Islands.  A sampling:

— A report from the city of Miami Beach on the construction timeline and design for the West Avenue bridge, which will extend West Avenue over the Collins Canal to connect Sunset Harbour with the area south of 17th Street.

— An overview of the upcoming reconstruction of West Avenue south to Fifth Street, including the plan to raise the roadway as much as three feet to combat flooding.

–An update on the closure and rebuilding of the westernmost span of the Venetian Causeway, which will disrupt traffic throughout the Venetian Islands

— A presentation from the organization that is fighting the proposed mega-marina project on Watson Island, which is expected to affect traffic on the MacArthur, Tuttle and Venetian causeways.

And that’s just a start. The meeting begins with a social hour at 6 p.m., and important information at 7 p.m. It happens in the card room at Belle Plaza, 20 Island Avenue.

 

Venetian bridge repair tops agenda for Feb. 10 Belle Isle annual meeting

The closing of the Venetian Causeway west bridge for reconstruction. Changing traffic patterns since the switch to SunPass. What’s next for Alton Road and West Avenue roadwork. Fixing the flooding in Sunset Harbour.

If any of those issues affect or interest you, mark your calendar for Feb. 10. That’s when the Belle isle Residents Association will hold its annual meeting,

Expect those topics and others to be discussed, with representatives from Miami Beach city government, the Florida Department of Transportation and Miami-Dade County on hand to explain what Belle Isle residents can expect in the coming year.

The meeting starts with a social hour at 6 p.m. in the card room at Belle Plaza, 20 Island Avenue.

If there is a topic you’d like to see discussed, email the association at  bira@belleisleresidents.org or call association president Scott Diffenderfer at 305-458-3334.

Sunpass on the Venetian Causeway: transition happens Aug. 29

What Miami-Dade’s causeway folks have been saying would happen for more more than two years is about to become reality: the Venetian Causeway will convert to SunPass for tolls and annual pass use starting Friday, Aug. 29.

That means no one will need to stop at the toll Plaza on Biscayne Island; instead, SunPass will either register their car transponder or bill them toll-by-plate. The county predicts it will reduce the backups at the plaza during busy times.

Even though the county plans to close the easternmost span between Biscayne Island and Miami in the fall for a reconstruction that will take six to nine months, the SunPass conversion is moving forward.

If you are a Venetian annual pass holder (either an island resident or employed on the island) you’ll be getting a form in the mail that will enable you to register your SunPass so you won’t be billed.

You’ll need to provide your transponder number and plate number to link your plan account for the Venetian with your transponder to avoid per-trip fees.

Here’s the notification the county sent to Belle Isle condo managers:

From: Tolls (PWWM) [mailto:TOLLS@miamidade.gov]
Sent: Friday, July 18, 2014 3:03 PM
Cc: Bauman, Mike (PWWM)
Subject: SunPass Update

Dear Venetian Causeway Neighbors,

We are pleased to announce that the transition to SunPass is tentatively scheduled for Friday, August 29, 2014. When the conversion is complete, drivers will have improved travel time and traffic flow across the Causeway. Please be advised that in order to avoid per trip or Toll-By-Plate charges, each motorist must have a SunPass transponder. For annual plan holders, their account will be linked to their SunPass account so that they will not incur any additional charges.

In an effort to keep you informed of the progress:

— A letter has been sent to all current annual plan holders to obtain their SunPass transponder numbers

— All plan holder accounts will be updated with the SunPass transponder data

— Flyers and other informational material will be distributed in the lanes and available at the Venetian Customer Service Center

— Signage announcing the change will be in place–

E-mail address tolls@miamidade.gov has been established to address questions and concerns

We will provide additional updates as needed.

Thank you,

Causeways Division

Water restored, 3 Belle Isle buildings face boil water order during weekend

The "geyser" on Belle Isle. (photo by Fane Lozman).

The “geyser” on Belle Isle. (photo by Fane Lozman).

Today’s water main break was quickly contained, but three buildings on Belle Isle will have a boil water order for the next two days: 3 Island Avenue, 5 Island Avenue and 9 Island….