Category Archives: Condomania

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

Belle Isle Key owners are planning another project

It’s been five years since Belle Isle residents successfully fought a proposal from the owners of the apartment complex Belle Isle Key to knock the low-rise complex down and replace it with a shiny five-story conplex.

The owners of the property at 31 Venetian Way, the EuroAmerican Group, have hired a new architect and have a new design.

They will be giving Belle Isle residents a look on Tuesday, Belle Isle Residents Association president Scott Diffenderfer says.

The preview will happen at 7 p.m. at Belle Plaza, 20 Island Ave., in the card room.

The existing apartment complex on the site has 120 units. The previous proposal called for 181 apartments in two five-story buildings, including a 315-space parking garage topped by two tennis courts.

The Miami Beach Design Review Board approved the project in July 2010

Rendering of previous plan

Rendering of previous plan

, but only if one of the two five-story buildings proposed for the site was scaled back by one floor. The developer appealed to the Miami Beach City Commission, and when that failed, went to court. They were unsuccessful there as well.

Boil water order lifted for Belle Isle

The city of Miami Beach has informed building managers that the boil water advisory is lifted for Belle Isle and the water is safe to drink, wash dishes with, etc…..

Update: Belle Isle water shutdown moves to Wednesday midnight

The city of Miami Beach is postponing water main work affecting Belle Isle until midnight on Wednesday, continuing through Thursday morning.

The work will leave the island without water for about 6 hours, the city estimates, ending at about 6 a.m. on Thursday. A boil water advisory will follow for Belle Isle residents for the following 72 hours.

We’ll let you know if the schedule changes again.

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)



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.