Because apparently Miami is always in desperate need of another gigantic skyscraper meant to house the 1 percent, developers Related and Crescent Heights have teamed up to bring a code-breaking new vision to a piece of primo South Beach real estate at 500 Alton Rd. Today they unveiled plans for what would be Miami Beach's tallest building -- a 50-story glass behemoth with condo prices starting around $2 million.
Here's what you need to know.
Crescent Lakes has owned a stretch of lots spanning from 500 to 700 Alton Rd. for some time (an abandoned hospital, among other things, stands there now) and was almost ready to sell it until this Hail Mary plan came along. The skyscraper is designed by Perkins + Will, and each floor would include four units at most (going for $2 million to more than $10 million each).
The building would take up only the southern potion of the parcel, by the Alton Road flyover. The rest would be developed into a public park complete with a waterfall and a lake. Developers are quick to point out the lake could help with some of Miami Beach's flooding problems.
The project doesn't meet Miami Beach zoning code, but the developers aren't worried:
The lot is zoned in an area that allows for buildings that go up to seven stories. Of course, the developers don't seem to see that fact as a hindrance and hope to get approval anyway. To do so, the Miami Beach Commission would need to vote on a new ordinance twice, and then the plans would need to be approved by both the planning and design review boards.
Mayor Levine is not enthusiastic:
From a news release he sent out yesterday:
A project of this size and magnitude does not meet our planning and zoning regulations.
I have not seen a model of the proposed project, but I have heard of it. I believe it is important to clarify this because one of the cornerstones of my campaign was to make Miami Beach a better place to live and to promote responsible development with the highest possible level of public benefit.
However, he seems to be open to public input.
Other rich people in other fancy condo buildings are not happy:
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John Stimmel, president of the Icon South Beach condo association (coincidentally, another Related Group project), tells the Miami Herald he's worried the megatower would impede his view:
He said residents bought units in the building with the understanding that Galbut's lot wasn't zoned for extreme height. Stimmel said he's counting on the new mayor and commission to consider the impact on neighbors.
"I don't think there's any chance that the view corridors could be preserved," Stimmel said. "We need a lot more information on this, and I just hope that -- we changed the government here -- and I hope that they're receptive to not being taken over by the developers."
Send your story tips to the author, Kyle Munzenrieder.