Tag Archives: 31 Venetian Way

Court upholds Miami Beach height limit on Belle Isle Key apartment proposal

Proposed Belle Isle apartment complex

A three-judge Miami-Dade Circuit Court panel has upheld the city of Miami Beach’s decision to limit the height of a proposed Belle Isle apartment complex, rejecting a lawsuit filed by the owner of the Belle Isle Key Apartments.

In a decision released last week, the panel said Miami Beach had the right to tell the developer, EuroAmerican Group, Inc., that it could not exceed four stories one of the two buildings it proposed at 31 Venetian Way.

EuroAmerican wanted to replace the current complex — 120 units in four, three-story buildings — with a complex that would include 181 apartments in two five-story buildings,  including a 315-space parking garage topped by two tennis courts. Eliminating one floor from the smaller of the two buildings would have trimmed eight units from the project.

The city commission in November 2010 upheld an earlier recomendation from the Miami Beach Design Review board, based on advice from city staff.

The developer’s lawyer, Neisen Kasden, first challenged that decision to the city commission. The city attorney’s office and the city planning staff recommended the commission reject EuroAmerican’s appeal.

They commission did, and the developer sued, saying the design board didn’t have the authority to condition approval of a design based on reducing its height.

In their decision, the judges — Marcia Caballero, Orlando Prescott and Rosa Figarola — said the Design Review Board staff recommendations were consistent with how the design board and the city commission voted.

“Since both the Design Review Board and the City Commission relied upon those recommendations to make their decisions, those decisions are supported by competent substantial evidence,” the judges concluded.

Developer wants City Commission to reconsider Belle Isle apartment project

The latest rendering of the apartment complex at 31 Venetian Way.

The owner of the Belle Isle Key Apartments has appealed Miami Beach’s Design Review Board’s requirement to reduce the height of one of his two proposed apartment buildings from five to four stories.

It comes before the Miami Beach City Commission on Wednesday.

The design board voted 4-1 on July 6 to approve the proposed project at 31 Venetian Way, but only if one of the two five-story buildings proposed for the site is scaled back by one floor.

During debate, project attorney Neisen Kasdin and architect Luis Revuelta said the owner of the project would agree to almost any change in the plan design — except for eliminating one floor from the eastern-most building in the project.

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Architect to present another new design for proposed Belle Isle apartments

The project would replace Belle Isle Key Apartments.

There are new plans for the proposed apartment complex at 31 Venetian Way, currently Belle Isle Key Apartments, and architect Luis Revuelta will present them to Belle Isle residents and the Belle Isle Residents Association on Wednesday.

The owner of the complex plans to demolish the existing three-story buildings and build a five-story complex of apartments and a parking garage, topped with tennis courts and pool.

Revuelta and partner Barbara Pederzoli presented a version of the plans to Belle Isle residents on May 18, after a Miami Beach staff review declared the project out of scale and character with the neighborhood. At that meeting, Revuelta promised to work with University of Miami architecture Professor Jean-Francois Lejeune, dean of UM’s architecture graduate school and a Belle Plaza resident, on showing what impact the project will have on bay views on the island.

Since originally proposed, the architects have created a wider view corridor from the building to Biscayne Bay, and residents at the last meeting said it had improved, even though they still had issues with the design.

You can read a report on that meeting and the last iteration of the design here.

Resident association president Scott Diffenderfer said the plans that will be presented Wednesday are “significantly revised.” Wednesday’s meeting starts at 7 p.m. at Belle Plaza, 20 Island Ave.

The city of Miami Beach Design Review Board is scheduled to vote the design on July 6.

Architects make progress with Belle Isle residents; big test is Design Review vote on July 6

The latest rendering of the apartment complex has a clear view between buildings.

The designers of the proposed apartment complex on the northwest corner of Belle Isle made their case to the island residents association Monday night — and made a little a little headway, too.

The project goes before the Miami Beach Design Review Board on July 6. City staff earlier this month deemed it out of character with the island neighborhood. You can read a previous post about that here, and the City report here.

Monday night, Belle Isle residents, who have been critical of the project in the past, reviewed it with architects Luis Revuelta and Barbara Pederzoli. They didn’t embrace it, but several said it was improved from previous versions.

The project at 31 Venetian Way would replace the Belle Isle Key Apartments, a three-story complex that includes 120 apartments. The new design proposes 181 apartments in two five-story buildings, as well as a five-floor, 315-space parking garage. Two tennis courts top the garage. While the buildings are 54 feet high, the top of the elevator mechanical structures is 68 feet.

The two buildings are separated by a “view corridor” to Biscayne Bay. Previous designs showed a bridge over that open space that included apartments, but Revuelta said they eliminated the bridge to provide a better view of the bay.The opening between the buildings is about 60 feet wide. The project also would include a bay walk accessible from Venetian Way that Revuelta said would be open to everyone “from dawn to dusk.”

One of the Belle Isle residents at Monday’s meeting, University of Miami architecture Professor Jean-Francois Lejeune, dean of UM’s architecture graduate school, said the latest design does provide better bay views, and affords residents of Belle Plaza, a condo directly north from the project, better visibility of the water than the existing complex.

Another longtime critic, resident association treasurer Keith Hark,  said he felt Revuelta had made progress with the plans, even though he still didn’t like the look of the buildings. The new design, he said, “still has hat sort of very massive feel….which is why I was hoping for something like that Aqua Island feel….What we have been fighting on are the practical implications of the construction….that we understand living here but the architects might not.”

“Our big concern on the community board has always been traffic,  all these cars going right into that circle.” Hark said. “We were concerned about the massing of the buildings coming right to the edge” of the property line, “and they pushed it back and pushed it back.”

Revuelta said he has tried to incorporate resident concerns with the design. Revuelta noted that the building owner, Gustavo Munoz, is not seeking any variances under the city zoning code.

“We have done as much as we can to design a building within the law,” Revuelta said.

He offered to make design changes to make the project more pleasing to the residents, but noted that the residents and Design Review Board members had different ideas of how it should look. If they could have that conversation together, instead of going back and forth between resident association and board, it they might reach some compromises, he said.

Revuelta estimated construction on the project would take 14 to 16 months. He asked if residents who felt it was improved would come to the Design Review meeting and say so — even if they still have objections.

Lejeune suggested that Revuelta create digital view renderings to show what residents in buildings like Belle Plaza could expect to see from their apartments, and Revuelta said they would follow up on the idea.

The project would replace Belle Isle Key Apartments.

Apartment plan for Belle Isle still on hold

Rendering of the proposed apartment complex.

The proposed apartment complex at 31 Venetian Way features a view corridor to Biscayne Bay.

The owners of Belle Isle Key Apartments, who have plans to demolish the three-story apartment buildings on the northeast corner of Belle Isle to build a five-story complex, asked the Miami Beach Design Review Board to delay considering their proposal on Tuesday.

The project now is on the May 4 Design Review agenda.

The proposed project is taller than what’s there now, but plans are spiffier. What’s proposed: 179 units in five-story buildings topped by a tennis deck. It’s modern architecturally, and would include mostly small one-bedrooms (700 square feet) and some two-bedrooms (900 square feet). The site plan includes a total of 269 parking spaces. The renderings show a hole in the middle of the main building so you can see the bay from the street.

The existing Belle Isle Key is three stories high with 120 units spread over about three acres. Here is a look:

The Belle Isle Key Apartment

New apartment complex planned for Belle Isle

The Belle Isle Key Apartment

The owners of the sprawling apartment complex at 31 Venetian Way, known these days as Belle Isle Key Apartments, want to rebuild and will be presenting their plans to the Belle Isle Residents Association on Wednesday night. There is a meeting with the architect at 6 p.m. at Belle Plaza, 20 Island Ave., followed by the residents’ association annual meeting at 7 p.m. The meeting is open to the public, with a full agenda.

You can locate the site for the proposed renovation on our handy-dandy Belle Isle map.