Category Archives: Traffic

Roadwork, causeway construction, commentary on the comings and goings along the causeway and Venetian Way.

Miami Beach approves West Avenue bridge; work could begin in 60-90 days

The Miami Beach City Commission On Wednesday approved a $9.9 million contract for construction of new bridge extending West Avenue across the Collins Canal and Dade Boulevard,  linking Sunset Harbour to the West Avenue corridor.The bridge will connect West Aenue over the Collins Canal.

Work could begin in two the three months. The project — and its attendant disruption between the Venetian Isles and the main part of Miami Beach — is projected to take about 10 months. The Miami Herald’s Joey Flechas has more.

The vote was unanimous. In addition to the bridge, the project includes raising part of Dade Boulevard — where the bridge will slope down to Sunset Harbour — as much as six feet above its current elevation.

Venetian Way Neighborhood Association holds annual meeting April 12

The Venetian Way Neighborhood Association, which looks out for the interests of all five Venetian Islands, holds its annual meeting next month.

Among the topics the group will discuss: The reopening of the Venetian, future plans to rehab or rebuild other Venetian Way bridges, and the rush of development at both ends of the historic pathway between Miami and Miami Beach.

We’ve documented the many projects proposed or under way on thee Miami Beach end of the roadway; plans for the former Miami Herald properties now controlled by Genting remain unclear.

The meeting happens Tuesday, April 12, at 7 p.m. in the community room at 1000 Venetian Way. That’s on Biscayne Island, the westernmost Venetian Isle.

More details emerge on mixed use project near Epicure

Rending view shows project from corner of Alton Road and 17th Street on the right

Rendering view shows project from corner of Alton Road and 17th Street

There are more details on the mixed-use project proposed for the properties on 17th Street between Alton Road and West Avenue, including the Shell gas station site.

Shuttered Shell station at Alton Road and 17th St.

Shuttered Shell station at Alton Road and 17th St.

As Belle Isle Blog reported previously, a development group including members of the Soffer family (think Turnberry) want to build a five-story structure featuring restaurants, retail, parking and high-end rental apartments on the two properties, which would be linked over the Alton Court alley by an overhead ramp connecting the parking garagess.

According to the Real Deal, plans call for a 30,699 square foot ground floor with a “prominent” supermarket and the upper levels would include 221 parking spaces, along with 29 residential units.

It’s supposed to go before the Miami Beach Planning Board next month, Next Miami reports.

Don’t forget — Critical Mass rides tonight and traffic snarls expected

6db2b906-7b08-4e3b-823f-49cef9f16c0fJust a reminder that the monthly Critical Mass Miami bike ride starts at 7:15 p.m., and should be working its way through Miami Beach after after 8 p.m.

The last last leg of the ride goes west down Dade Boulevard and across Venetian Way and our islands to mainland Miami.

Get ready: Critical Mass bike ride will cross Venetian Causeway Friday night

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It’s been almost a year since Miami Critical Mass staged its monthly bike ride through the Venetian Islands.

Friday evening, it’s back. and Miami Beach police warn of the usual traffic snarls.

The ride starts at 7:15 p.m. at Government Center downtown, through Northeast Miami to the 79th Street Causeway, then across Normandy Isle to Collins Avenue.

The last leg of the ride will take riders west on Dade Boulevard to Venetian Way and through the Venetian Islands — likely some time after 8 p.m.

So plan to avoid the traffic if you can. If you get caught in it, be patient.

(NOTE: This is a corrected version of this post — an earlier version had the route reversed).

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Belle Isle loading zone spaces cut back, time limits extended

Last week, Miami Beach began enforcing 30-minute time limits on 18 parking spaces around the Belle Isle that were designated as loading zones during the day for workers.

The Belle Isle Residents Association had asked for the loading zone spaces to try to eliminate the gridlock around Island Avenue caused by workers unable to properly park vehicles during weekdays

After a week of enforcing the new rules, a couple of things became clear. Many spaces weren’t being used, in part because the 30-minute time period appeared to not be long enough, said Belle Isle Residents Association President Scott Diffenderfer.

Even though the enforcement began after a significant warning period, some people were surprised when they were ticketed and towed.

At the end of last week, Diffenderfer said, BIRA asked the parking department to trim the number of designated spaces and increase the maximum parking time allowed.

Earlier this week, Miami Beach cut the number of loading zone spaces from 18 to 9, and doubled the time allowed, from 30 minutes to an hour.

“The city is being very cooperative with us,” he said. “We are responding to people. We are listening.”

Here’s your development scorecard for Sunset Harbour, Dade Boulevard and upper West Ave

Proposed mixed use project at 17 between Alton and West, with new Residence Inn and proposed hotel renovation site in the background.

Proposed mixed use project at 17 between Alton Road and West, with new Residence Inn and proposed hotel renovation site in the background.

Two months ago, your Belle Isle Blog recapped the proposed onslaught of intensified development facing the neighborhoods of the Venetian Islands, Sunset Harbout and upper West Avenue.

And now we’re back with a report card that shows much of it is moving forward. So make notes, be vigilant, and take whatever actions you deem appropriate.

BELLE ISLE

— The owners of the Belle Isle Key Apartments, 31 Venetian Way, are moving forward with plans to replace the apartments originally built in 1931 with shiny new apartments.

The existing complex is 120 units in three-story buildings on 3.5 acres, and inadequate parking. The new plans, we hear, call for 172 units in two buildings with a view corridor in between and enough parking to serve all the tenants.

We’re told the owners, the EuroAmerican Group, plan to present their latest designs to Belle Isle residents before going before the city for approval, so stay tuned.

–The Standard hotel and spa is planning to ask for the city’s okay for a renovation plan that would to bring more parking to the site, but no plans have been submitted to the city yet. In January 2013, The Standard pitched an ambitious reconstruction that included rebuilding a wing of rooms and construction of a 45-foot high robotic parking structure. The hotel never moved forward with that plan. The new plan is expected to be  less dramatic, but still significant if you live in the bungalows to the east on Farrey Lane: Knocking down the existing one floor east wing of rooms, and replace it with a two-story wing — with parking on the first floor. It would not add any units to the hotel, and would resolve their parking shortage.–

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THE HOTEL PROJECTS

— The proposal to renovate/restore the adjacent apartment and retail building at 1700 Alton Rd. has cleared an important hurdle and next must be considered by the Miami Beach City Commission.

The owners of the five-story retail/apartment building at 1700 Alton Rd. want to renovate the Mediterrenian Revival building as a hotel with first floor retail.

To move forward with those plans, the owners want the 94-year-old property designated as historic. Last week, the Miami Beach Historic Preservation Board voted to recommend that designation to the Miami Beach City Commission.

Currently, that building houses first floor businesses including the Vespa store, an eye doctor, Masters Pizza, a beauty salon and other restaurants. The balance of the building since 1992 has been studio apartments.

The renovated project will house retail and 72 hotel rooms.  The restoration will include eliminating changes in the building made in the 1950s and restoring the original lobby to what is looked like back in the day.

It also means that the building can move forward with no more parking than currently on the site — 25 spaces.

Old Boston Market, site of proposed boutique hotel.

Old Boston Market, site of proposed boutique hotel.

— The proposal to turn old Boston.Market property — the last slice of what is becoming a big pie of hotels between 17th Street and the Collins Canal — is still in the works.

Developer Robert Finvarb is proposing a 96-room “boutique” hotel with a 100-plus seat restaurant. The structure would be five stories tall. It would include a bay walk to West Avenue, and construction could start as soon as the fourth quarter of this year if it gets city approval. Finvarb is the developer of the five-story Residence Inn by Marriott on 17th Street at West Avenue, which opened two weeks ago.

SUNSET HARBOUR

Proposed mixed use development on Purdy.

Proposed mixed use development on Purdy.

— The proposed retail-parking and luxury condo project on Purdy Avenue, the one seeking a variance from a 50-foot height limit to allow a structure 90 feet high, will go before the Miami Beach City Commission for a final vote on May 11.

The project is across from Maurice Gibb Park, between the Loft condominium and the kayak rental bungalow. Developer Bradley Colmer calls the project the Residences at Sunset Harbour, with 15,000 square feet of retail at street level, topped by two floors of parking and 15 large, luxury condos priced at roughly $3 million each. The condos would face the bay.

City Commissioners on March 9 deferred a decision on the project.

Rendering of Kobi Karp design for 1824 Alton Rd.

Rendering of Kobi Karp design for 1824 Alton Rd.

On March 1, the city Design Review Board approved a four-story restaurant retail and parking complex at the corner of Alton Road  and Dade Boulevard, site of an old Larry’s Chevron at 1824 Alton Rd.  The project’s largest tenant is expected to be a Michael’s craft store on the second floor. It’s also expected to house a 160-seat restaurant.

UPPER WEST AVENUE

Shuttered Shell station at Alton Road and 17th St.

Shuttered Shell station at Alton Road and 17th St.

— Also pending is the Soffer family’s proposal to build a restaurant/retail/apartment project on the site of the former Shell station at Alton Road and 17th Street and the private pay parking lot across the alley at 17th Street and West Avenue. The project would include restaurants, retail, parking and 32 high-end rental apartments in a five -story building. It would include a ramp for cars over the alley.