Here’s a reminder: You can meet your neighbors and learn about key issues facing the neighborhood when the Belle Isle residents Association holds its annual meeting, tonight in the card room at Belle Plaza, 20 Island Ave.
The gathering starts with a wine and cheese reception at 6 p.m., followed by a business meeting at 7 p.m.
We’ll get an update on ongoing and future road projects (get ready for bridge construction at West Avenue), the proposal for an five-story apartment complex on the Belle Isle Key site, progress on the Venetian Causeway and more.
The association will also elect new officers and hear from you about your concerns.
The Belle Isle Residents Association meets on Thursday, Jan. 21, and island residents can expect updates on a list of challenges:
— We’ll get a look at what’s planned to replace the apartment complex called Belle Isle Key, 31 Venetian Way, on the northeast quadrant of Belle Isle. If you remember, residents in 2010 successfully fought to scale back a previous proposal for the site, which now accommodates 120 rental apartments on 3.5 acres. But the developer decided it wasn’t worth building, and five years later has come back with a new plan.
— We’ll learn about other projects planned at our doorstep: in Sunset Harbour, and on West Avenue and Alton Road. Did you know the old Boston Market site is being planned as a hotel by the same developer that shoe-horned the Marriott Residence Inn on the sliver of land north of 17th Street at West Avenue? More proposals are in the works for the land south of 17th Street between West and Alton and other sites.
— We’ll hear a road construction and elevation update. The only truly good news — at least for most — is that the westernmost Venetian bridge is projected to reopen at the end of February. But more Venetian bridge work will follow. And the elevation work in Sunset Harbour will continue, and then comes more work on West Avenue and the construction of a new West Avenue bridge that links Sunset Harbour with the corridor to the south.
The meeting, at Belle Plaza, 20 Island Ave., begins with a social at 6 p.m. Serious business starts at 7 p.m., and also includes election of association officers.
Here’s the full agenda:
ALL RESIDENTS ARE WELCOME TO ATTEND
Thursday, January 21, 2016
Join us for Wine at 6:00PM
Annual Meeting at 7:00PM
20 Island Avenue Meeting Room (Belle Plaza)
- Welcome & Introductions of BIRA Board and City Officials present, Scott Diffenderfer
- Annual Meeting Business
- Approval of minutes from 2015 Annual Meeting
- Treasurers report, Herb Frank
- Election of board members and officers for 2016 Nominating Committee
- Introduction of Commissioners and Elected officials present
- Caroline DeFreze, City of Miami Beach Community Resource Coordinator (confirmed) will introduce will introduce police and transportation officials
- Update on area projects, Lynn Bernstein/Bruce Mowry, Ph.D., P.E., City of Miami Beach Engineer (both confirmed)
- West Avenue Bridge Design and Construction Timeline
- Sunset Harbour Streets and pumps
- Update on West Avenue and other city streets; upcoming projects
- Open questions from residents
- Update on reopening of Venetian causeway bridge as well as long range rehabilitation from FDOT/Miami-Dade County (not confirmed yet)
- Miami Beach Police (not confirmed yet)
- Update on Watson Island Project and Lawsuit, Roger Craver, Coalition for Causeway Chaos (Scott meeting with him on Wednesday to confirm)
- Park Update, Garry Korr
- Belle isle Residents Association Goals for 2016
- Other Business, Open Forum and questions from residents
Posted in City Issues, Condomania, Development, Events, Traffic, Venetian Causeway
Tagged Belle Isle Key, Belle Isle Residents Association, Boston Market, Finvarb, Mariott, sea-level rise, West Avenue bridge
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.
The 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.
La Moderna is opening soon
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.
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.
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.
We walked the length of Venetian Way and back from Belle Isle between 6 and 7 a.m.
It’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.