Developer Russell Galbut has backed off his request to hold a meeting today on plans for the South Shore Hospital property in the Miami Beach City Commission chambers.
Instead, the discussion of the development will happen at the Shelbourne Hotel, 1801 Collins Ave., which is owned by Galbut’s Crescent Heights firm. It starts at 1 p.m.
That moves the meeting away from the protest planned at noon today in front of City Hall, 1700 Convention Center Dr., by activists angered by the recent code enforcement scandal and other issues in Miami Beach.
The commission agreement to allow Crescent Heights to use City Hall for its design charrette sparked some of that anger. Crescent Heights is seeking design proposals for a mixed use project on the property between West Avenue and Alton Road north of Fifth Street, including an outlet mall.
Meanwhile, the South of Fifth Neighborhood Association says it needs to pay close attention to plans for the South Shore property, because of the huge potential impact on their area.
This note went out to SOFNA residents on Tuesday:
This coming Thursday, April 26, from 1:00 pm – 5:00, Miami Beach developer, Russell Galbut, and his company, Crescent Heights, will present a design Charrette at the Shelborne Hotel, 1801 Collins. Mr. Galbut, who will soon be a South of Fifth neighbor with a private home along First Street, has retained three prominent architecture firms to submit competing designs for a proposed retail outlet mall that he hopes to build from the west side of 5th and Alton through 7th and Alton. The Charrette will be moderated by Adam Drisin, Associate Dean of FIU’s College of Architecture.
The South of Fifth Neighborhood Association (SOFNA) has not taken an official position on the outlet mall proposals and will not do so before the details are unveiled this Thursday. Even after reviewing the designs, we will likely need further information from independent traffic analysts, as well as a determination of whether such a commercial use would have beneficial or deleterious effects on other businesses and adjoining neighborhoods such as ours.
However, we cannot overemphasize the importance of attending Thursday’s hearing. We understand that it is an inconvenient time for many since it’s midafternoon during a weekday. But for those of you who can make it, your attendance could be important. When we founded SOFNA in 2007, one of the matters about which many members expressed frustration was our organization’s inability to have any effect on the 5th and Alton shopping center. SOFNA came into existence after the city commission and all the relevant city boards had already given a green light to that center.
Fifth and Alton was a good lesson. The earlier and more vocal our neighborhood’s position on a project is heard by city officials, the better the odds we can have a substantive effect. We hope that those of you can attend will do so, and if you have an opinion for or against, you’ll make it known.
SOFNA Board of Directors
Steve Mandy, President
Victor Diaz, Vice-President
Gerald Posner, Secretary
Mike Perlmutter, Treasurer