Category Archives: Development

Projects proposed on Belle Isle and nearby, including buildings and roads.

Another detour to begin in West Avenue road construction

Starting Monday, a two-block stretch of West Avenue will be closed while paving work takes place — if all goes well and the sun still shines.

RoadclosedThe work happens between 17th Street and Lincoln Road, and for Venetian Island residents it means that easy right turn south on West toward the MacArthur will have to happen on Alton Road, and your return from South Beach will need to be from Alton as well.

According to the city’s formal notice: One southbound lane is expected to reopen on the west side of the street by Wednesday, July 8. Northbound lanes will remain closed during this time and motorists wishing to travel north will be directed to use Alton Court. The contractor will complete a drainage crossing and begin to prepare the east side of the road for work.

The city says condominiums on the west side of the street will need to exit onto Bay Road. If you want to park  in the lots behind Epicure or Ace or Crunch, you’ll need to use Alton Court, but the lots will remain open.  Drivers traveling north on Alton Court will be able to access 17 Street.
Have a happy holiday weekend.

Two new restaurants coming to Sunset Harbour

La Moderna is opening soon

La Moderna is opening soon

NaiYaRa will be an Asian street food concept restaurant.

NaiYaRa will be an Asian street food concept restaurant.

Belle Isle neighbor David Leeds wanted an update on the two largest remaining spaces in the Sunset Harbour Shoppes, which will be filled in the next couple of months with restaurants.

The first is La Moderna, and Wendy Chernin of the Scott Robins Companies tells us it’s expected to open by the end of June along the breezeway facing east behind Panther Coffee. It’s a sibling of Fratelli la Bufala at 437 Washington Ave.

The  second space is behind Ice Box, and Chernin says it will be called NaiYaRa, an Asian street food concept from chef Piyarat Arreeratn, aka Chef Bee, of Oishi Thai in North Miami, and formerly of Khong River House in Miami Beach.

That space is supposed to open at the end of the summer. As always, this being Miami Beach, timetables can slip.

The road gods giveth, the road gods taketh away

Okey dokey. The good road construction news first:

By Monday, the of Miami Beach says it will reopen one east and one west lane on 17th street between the 17th Street Bridge and Alton Road. So we’ll no longer have to detour to Dade Boulevard to make our east.

But…..starting Monday night, the repaving of West Avenue between  Lincoln Road and Fifth Street begins. According to the Florida Department of Transportation, this work will be done mostly at night. We’ll see what impact this has as the work moves forward.

Tough choices ahead for the Venetian bridges

Now that the Biscayne Island to mainland Miami span of Venetian Way is closed until 2016, it’s not too early to face up to the work ahead on the other Venetian bridges.

The Miami Herald’s Andres Viglucci does just that in a piece this morning, which examines the condition of the other bridges and the choices FDOT, Miami-Dade County and Venetian Isle residents face.

Here is the key paragraph imn the story — and the biggest issues ahead:

…Preservationists and Venetian Islands residents who have weighed in on the question overwhelmingly agree on one thing: Whether they are refurbished or rebuilt, the bridges should remain much as they are now: intimate and charming, low in scale and slow in speed, a popular draw for pedestrians, joggers and cyclists, tourists and locals alike, and affording unmatched, close-to-the-water vistas of Biscayne Bay.

The Venetian Causeway is closed

IMG_4647We walked the length of Venetian Way and back from Belle Isle between 6 and 7 a.m.

IMG_4645IMG_4648It’s never seemed quieter. For residents, detour aside, enjoy the tranquility. The bridges belong to biker, runners, walkers and residents now — as long as you don’t want to cross to Miami.

Update: 17th Street – West Avenue connection is open

IMG_4641While construction on the 17th Street bridge continues on Sunday, workers have opened lanes enabling Venetian Island residents to turn right on to West Avenue south.

You can return to Belle Isle and the other Venetian Islands directly from West Avenue and 17th Street as well.

The Florida Department of Transportation had pledged the intersection would reopen by the time the Venetian Causeway access to downtown Miami is shut down — which happens at midnight tonight.

Drivers still cannot go east-west on 17th Street between West Avenue and Alton Road.


Venetian Causeway closes at midnight; nine months of detours to begin

Workers race to open 17th Street to West Avenue lanes on Saturday

Workers race to open 17th Street to West Avenue lanes on Saturday.

After more than a year of dread and delay, the Venetian Causeway link between the Venetian Islands and downtown Miami closes tonight — for at least nine months.

The $12.4 million job means no Miami Beach to Miami access for Art Basel (December) and the Miami Marathon (February), Art Deco Weekend (January), the Boat Show (February), South Beach Food and Wine (February) and possibly Winter Music Conference and Ultra (March).

It’s inconvenient for drivers, and a nightmare for bikes and scooterswho know the Venetian to be the quickest and safest path for them across Biscayne Bay.

March 15, 2014. That’s the day when a chunk of the westernmost Venetian Causeway bridge gave way under the tire of Miami-Dade Transit bus.

A month later, Miami-Dade County announced the structural deficiencies in the bridge were so severe that the span would have to be closed and rebuilt. At the time, Miami-Dade said the closure would begin in four to six months, and work would take nine months.

Could some of the event impact have been avoided if the county moved closer to its original timetable? Maybe.  But with nine months of construction, it’s hard not to impact a major attraction in an event-laden area like ours.

There’s an interesting story by the Miami Herald’s Joey Flechas today that reveals that the contractor could get the work done before Art Basel — for $4.7 million more than the $12.4 million construction contract. It’s money Miami-Dade says it’s not willing to pay.

Meanwhile, island residents prepared Sunday for their longer commutes, contractors worked all weekend on the 17th Street connectiion to West Avenue, trying to get it ready so drivers heading south to the MacArthur Causeway could avoid the detour to Alton Road.