Archives for the ‘ENVIRONMENTAL NEWS’ Category

Miami’s $100 Million Marina Expansion Is Under Fire

Mayor Tomás Regalado and his chief administrator are pushing forward a $100 million marina expansion and redevelopment on Virginia Key despite mounting pressure to change course.

A rendering of the Virginia Key marina project proposed by RCI Group’s development team Courtesy

A rendering of the Virginia Key marina project proposed by RCI Group’s development team

Last month, City Manager Daniel Alfonso picked a team led by Miami Beach Marina operator RCI Group to pursue a 75-year lease and contract to redesign two city marinas off the Rickenbacker Causeway. Alfonso hopes to take the project — which includes the construction of a robotic boat storage garage, a new restaurant complex and expanded wet slips — to Miami voters this fall.

But first, he must convince city commissioners Thursday to reject protests filed by two losing bidders who alleged a series of flaws and oversights in the city’s protracted solicitation and developer selection. The city’s real-estate director dismissed complaints by Tifón and Suntex in a memo dated Monday and recommended that commissioners allow administrators to negotiate a lease with RCI Group.

An aerial of the Rickenbacker Marina, which would be redesigned and expanded under a city solicitation led by winning bidder RCI Group Courtesy

An aerial of the Rickenbacker Marina, which would be redesigned and expanded under a city solicitation led by winning bidder RCI Group

But already, a new allegation has surfaced that RCI should have been disqualified due to its role in a sewage spill that in 2000 forced the closure of a large swath of Biscayne Bay and resulted in a $2.5 million settlement with the county. And on Tuesday evening, a new city board created to monitor all things Virginia Key recommended that the city commission reject a city-driven plan to expand the marina into the historic Marine Stadium Basin — a proposal that, if embraced by commissioners, would drastically alter the design and likely the financing of any expansion plan.

Members of the committee argued that placing a large grid of docks and slips in the basin would violate a community-vetted master plan for Virginia Key, although they were told that it is too late to change the proposers’ designs.

“You wouldn’t be able to change it at this point and time,” assistant city attorney Pablo Velez tried to explain.

Miami Beach Board Approves 1824 Alton Road Project On Former Gas Station Site

The Miami Beach Design Review Board gave its unanimous approval on Tuesday for the construction of a new four-story commercial building at 1824 Alton Road.

The site at the corner of Alton Road and 18th Street was purchased by an affiliate of Saber Real Estate Advisors last year for $7.3 million.

A Chevron gas station built in 1963 had occupied the half-acre lot and has since been torn down.

Saber 1800 LLC plans to build a Kobi Karp-designed commercial building with a 160-seat restaurant, 11,561 square feet of ground floor retail space, 15,400 square feet of second floor retail space and 130 parking spaces on two upper levels. The gross square footage of the project is 109,368 square feet.

Michaels Craft Stores is expected to occupy the entire second floor and a portion of the ground floor of the building.

The Miami Beach Planning Board issued a conditional use permit for the project in January and with Tuesday’s DRB approval, permitting for the project is expected to begin shortly.

Architect Karp said pedestrian access along the sidewalk will be at seven feet with an eight foot landscaped berm between the street and the sidewalk to “pull the building back.

“We want the berm down to the street,” Karp said. “By creating a broader sidewalk you’ll have a landscaped buffer and physical separation from the street,” he told the Miami Beach Design Review Board.

Traffic concerns were a major focus of the approval process. A traffic study commissioned by the developer indicated that “traffic stops” will more than triple at peak hours from what is current at the site. A garage entrance to the building will be on 18th Street and there will be no vehicular access to the building from traffic-clogged Alton Road.

As a condition for their approval, DRB members did ask the developer to agree to some interior setbacks, to install a natural stone and not a porcelain façade along a portion of the building and install 12 outdoor bike racks, to augment 40 indoor bike racks that will be placed at different locations in parking areas of the building.

 

Source:  The Real Deal

Gas Station On Alton Road To Be Redeveloped As Retail Building

A former gas station on Alton Road in Miami Beach will be redeveloped as a commercial building with Michaels Craft Stores and other restaurant and retail tenants.

The Miami Beach Planning Board on Tuesday issued a conditional use permit to Saber 1800, LLC for the construction of a new four-story commercial building at 1824 Alton Road.  The site on the corner of Alton Road and 18th Street was purchased by an affiliate of Saber Real Estate Advisors last year for $7.3 million. A Chevron gas station built in 1963 had occupied the half-acre lot and has since been torn down.

Saber plans to build a Kobi Karp-designed commercial building with a 160-seat restaurant, 11,561 square feet of ground floor retail space, 15,450 square feet of second floor retail space and 130 parking spaces on two upper levels.

The Miami Beach Planning Board unanimously approved a conditional use permit for the project, sending it on to the Design Review Board. The developers have already found a major tenant for the new building, Michaels Craft Stores, which is expected to occupy the entire second floor and a portion of the ground floor as well.

While they approved the project, members of the planning board inserted a provision that calls for future planning board approval for any use of the retail portion of the building that exceeds current traffic projections for the area, or any use of the retail portion of the building greater than 23,000 square feet.

Traffic concerns were a major focus of the approval process. A traffic study commissioned by the developer indicated that “traffic stops” will more than triple at peak hours from what is current at the site. Lawyers presenting the project to the planning board noted that the garage entrance to the building will be on 18th Street and there will be no vehicular access to the building from traffic-clogged Alton Road.

They also said pedestrian access along the sidewalk will be widened from six feet to 16 feet and a landscaped berm will separate pedestrians from traffic. Karp told The Real Deal that a seven-foot landscaped berm between the street and the sidewalk “pulls the building back,” and will enhance the pedestrian experience at the busy corner. “At this location where the gas station currently exists it’s a tight sidewalk, it’s a tight pedestrian experience so we are hoping to make it a bit more friendly, and a bit more comfortable,” he said.

Developers also agreed to carry out a new traffic study 90 days after the building is operational and to place 24-hour security cameras throughout the site with emergency call boxes located in the garage area. Lawyers representing the developers also said that since the site has been occupied for more than 50 years by a gas station, extensive environmental mitigation work will take place, but the developer hopes to begin construction within six months.

 

Source:  The Real Deal