Tag Archives: WAVNA

As Alton Road construction winds down, plans for West Avenue gear up

The city of Miami Beach is holding a public meeting Monday to share construction plans for West Avenue between Fifth and 17 streets.

Please don’t tell us you thought the completion of work on Alton Road would end the west side disruption on South Beach. Nope.

The meeting starts at 6 p.m. at City Hall, 1700 Convention Center Dr. It will be in the city manager’s large conference room on the fourth floor.

City engineer Bruce Mowry is supposed to provide an overview of the West Avenue Neighborhood Improvement Project, which includes the elevation of streets and sidewalks and drainage initiatives to deal with flooding issues.


Road construction outlook: MacArthur overnight closures and a 17th Street stoppage

There isn’t much that can surprise us in the way of road closures and detours, so just use this for road warrior planning for the upcoming week:

— The MacArthur Causeway will be closed overnight Tuesday and Wednesday eastbound starting at Biscayne Boulevard, as more signage and finishing touches go on the Port of Miami tunnel. FDOT says the closures will start a 10 p.m. both nights, but Belle Isle Blog bets Tuesday’s closure will be delayed an hour because the current schedule has the causeway closing to Miami Beach just as the Heat-Nets playoff game will be ending, and that seems like a big mistake.

— 17th Street closing at Alton Road. This is a big one, so get ready for it. On Sunday May 11, between 7:30 p.m. and midnight, 17th Street will be completely closed between Alton Road and Alton Court as reconstruction begins on the west side of the intersection.

— Meanwhile, in the midst of the Alton Road construction and the traffic spillover to West Avenue, our friends with the West Avenue Corridor Neighborhood Association are proud to report that FDOT has installed activated pedestrian crosswalks to make crossing that busy street safer. Hopefully, the blinking lights will help drivers understand that pedestrians have the right of way. Congrats!

Towering highrise proposed for West Avenue

Rendering of proposed rental/retail at South Shore.

Rendering of earlier proposed rental/retail at South Shore.

Remember developer Russell Galbut’s plans for 600 Alton Road?

In early 2013, the developer had a series of community meetings for a proposal to use the property — between West Avenue and Alton Road and Fifth and Seventh streets including the old (and abandoned) South Shore Hospital building — as a large rental-retail commercial project.

He got some neighborhood buy in.

In summary, the project called for 60,000 square feet of retail and restaurant uses on the ground floor, 444 apartments, 1,073 parking spaces below ground. A new seven-story building was to be built on the 500 block of Alton Road, and a five-story building on the 600 block. The South Shore Hospital building, 10 stories, would be rehabbed and included.

That was the tallest part of the project.

Fast-forward a year. Tonight, Galbut’s Crescent Heights company is teaming with Jorge Perez’s Related Companies to pitch the neighborhood on a 50-story tower on the site.

Belle Isle Blog believes it would be the tallest building on Miami Beach — or at least the one with the most floors (Green and Blue Diamond have those triangles on top of their 44 floors, rising to 559 feet).

The meeting happens at 6:30 p.m. at the Related South Beach Sales Center, 91 Collins Avenue.

There is a a model of the tower on display from all day today at that center.

MacArthur Causeway disruptions tonight, key community meetings next week

The lane closures related to the Port of Miami Tunnel project continue tonight, although this one is a bit more distant to Miami Beach.

Drivers on Interstate 95 north who want to head east to Miami Beach won’t be able to get on the ramp to eastbound I-395 starting at 10 p.m. through 5:30 a.m.

Workers will be installing new sign structures and panels related to the tunnel.

Meanwhile, two key neighborhood meetings happen next week:

— The West Avenue Corridor Neighborhood Association (WAVNA) is hosting a town hall with State Rep. David Richardson at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday. The state Legislature begins its session on March 2, and this gathering, at Oliver’s Bistro (West Avenue and Ninth Street) will be a chance to get a preview on everything from the Alton Road construction project to gambling and the use of red light cameras. .

— The Belle Isle Residents Association holds its annual meeting Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Belle Plaza, 20 Island Ave. There will be a gathering with refreshments beforehand.

Happy Monday. The rain gave the Alton Road flyover a reprieve

Things to know as we start another work week:

— Sunday night’s rain led the Florida Department of Transportation to delay the closure of the Alton Road flyover for a day. It closes tonight — weather permitting, we suppose. Detour plan is the same. We’d say enjoy it, but we wonder if that is possible….

— The Alton Road Reconstruction Coalition, the grassroots group pushing for a more pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly rebuild of Alton Road, is making headway. Due to thei group’s lobbying — and the efforts of state Rep. David Richardson and the West Avenue Neighborhood Corridor Association — FDOT has devised three alternative plans that will be discussed at Wednesday’s Miami Beach City Commission meeting.  The options include wider sidewalks. The Miami Herald reported on it from last week’s WAVNA meeting.

— FDOT has restored on-street parking on the east side of Alton Road between 12th and 16th Street until construction resumes in that area. The area has been re-striped and placed in its original configuration, the city of Miami Beach say.  On the west side of Alton, parking will be allowed intermittently as drainage tests are done.

Have a safe week.

Planning board considers 17th Street hotel at 5 p.m.; expect a crowd

Rendering of the hotel from the Collins Canal.

Rendering of the hotel from the Collins Canal.

The Miami Beach Planning Board has scheduled a 5 p.m.  hearing on the proposed Marriott Residence Inn on 17th Street and West Avenue.

Expect a big crowd and a lengthy discussion.

The Finvarb Group wants to build a 116-room hotel on the property. It’s a sleek five-story hotel designed by architect Kobi Karp, with 66 parking spaces.

The property, owned by the Miami Beach Housing Authority, is tight, tucked between 17th Street and the Collins Canal, west of the apartment building that houses the Vespa store and other retail, and the Boston Market on Alton Road.

A coalition of neighborhood groups — including the Belle Isle Residents Association, the West Avenue Corridor Neighborhood Association, Venetian Causeway Homeowners Association and six more — are asking the Planning Board to delay approval until the city can better study its impact on traffic. They have also suggested the property should be preserved as green space.

They are urging their members to show up at the meeting wearing red.

In a letter to Planning Board members, BIRA President Scott Diffenderfer said the impact of the planned West Avenue bridge, which will form the west boundary of the hotel property, needs to be considered in the plan, along with the expansion of the Miami Beach Convention Center.

Planning Board members also will hear from supporters of the project, many of whom posted comments during the weekend on BelleIsleBlog. Several praised the design and said a hotel like a Residence Inn — which caters to business travelers and longer stays — would be an amenity to residents who have friends and family visiting. They also argue that the hotel would have less impact on traffic than other businesses that could be built on the property, like a fast food restaurant or a drug store.

In its analysis of the proposal, city of Miami Beach planners recommended approving it, subject to many conditions. The on-site restaurant must be for hotel guests only. The roof-top pool must close by 11 p.m. The hotel has to provide a shuttle for employees who park off-site. And more.

The project still must be scrutinized by the Miami Beach Design Review Board.

Miami Beach to discuss ban on West Avenue hotel developments

The Miami Beach Planning Board is scheduled to consider a couple items important to West Avenue residents today:

— The proposed apartment and retail complex that includes the old South Shore Hospital building called 600 Alton Road;

— New rules governing that would ban new hotel uses on West Avenue and in the Palm View Neighborhood.

The West Avenue Corridor Neighborhood Association has pushed for the hotel restrictions, driven in large part by issues with the Mondrion Hotel, a luxury property at 1100 West Avenue, and the Bikini Hotel, a party-themed property between 12th and 13th streets and West.

The association is encouraging West Avenue residents to attend the hearing, scheduled to begin at 3 p.m., and has an online petition residents can access to show their support for the restrictions.

The proposal also addresses the Palm View neighborhood, located south of Dade Boulevard and north of 17th Street between Lenox Court and Meridian Avenue.

In the  staff report of the proposal, Miami Beach planners said the Planning Board might want to consider some exceptions to an outright ban. Among them: conditional uses, limits on hours of operations for restaurants, prohibitions on outdoor uses.