Wynwood Yard Team Scraps Plans for a North Beach Location

When the Wynwood Yard closed this past Cinco de Mayo, patrons said goodbye to the restaurant, food truck, and music venue by dancing in the rain. Despite the Yard's closure signaling the end of bohemian Wynwood, neither fans of the concept nor the team behind it had much time to lament: Plans were already in place for Doral and North Beach outposts.

Though preparations for the Doral Yard are moving along — the food hall announced its lineup last month — the North Beach location has been scrapped after months of uncertainty in dealings between the Yard team and the city.

Friday, August 2, founder and Wynwood Yard CEO Della Heiman announced plans to cancel the project via a statement on the North Beach Yard's website, citing "financial, operational, and strategic barriers."

In the statement, Heiman details three years of continual roadblocks, including a failure to secure "the financial partnerships needed to bring the project to life" after pitching to "45 entities including banks, nonprofit foundations, individual investors, and corporate sponsors."

Heiman also writes about the team's lingering concerns that residential noise complaints would be prioritized over the Yard's needs.

"We made the difficult and sobering realization that we had allocated large quantities of financial resources, time, and creative energy to a business endeavor that did not have clear indicators for success," she adds. "We recognized... this would not be a sustainable project."

The North Beach Yard has faced controversy and red tape for more than a year. In March 2018, the Miami Herald reported about the uphill battle the Yard faced to obtain approval, including a slew of waivers and development regulations; this after the city dismantled a historic log cabin that was supposed to be integrated into the North Beach Yard project.

In June, Miami Beach City Manager Jimmy Morales sent a letter to commissioners detailing requirements the Yard team had yet to fulfill to proceed with the project, including written proof of equipment leases and financing for container structures and availability of liquid assets, among other items. In the letter, Morales stated the city "remains supportive of the project concept and would like to see the project move forward if possible" and added Heiman was out of the country at the time and indicated she would meet with the city upon her return.

"Two months later, those items have not been remedied and the developer has not communicated with the City," Morales wrote in a statement issued last Thursday. "Towards that end, it is my intention to terminate the Lease with North Beach Yard LLC.” He added that other entities have approached the city to occupy the lots that would have been used by the North Beach Yard.

Asked if talks continued between her team and the city after Morales issued his June 6 statement, Heiman said yes before declining to give New Times further comment. She said the statement posted on the North Beach Yard's website is the only comment the team is providing for now.
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Celia Almeida is the digital editor of American Way and the former arts and music editor of Miami New Times. Her writing has been featured in Venice, Paper, and Billboard; and she co-hosts Too Much Love on Jolt Radio.
Contact: Celia Almeida