20-story tower, marina target Terminal Island City
Written by Nina Lincoff on July 16, 2014
Miami Beach’s Terminal Island may get a facelift. A proposed development agreement is in the works with the goal of an October presentation to the city commission for a 20-story tower with 60-plus residential units, amenities, parking, and a deep-water large-yacht marina.
A development agreement term sheet presented to the city’s Land Use and Development Committee last week outlines in broad strokes the proposal for the Miami Beach Port LLC and the city. Before the project begins, a development agreement is needed and some of the property would need to be rezoned for use.
The proposed luxury residential tower and accompanying mega-yacht marina would supposedly reduce traffic along the MacArthur Causeway on which the island sits by moving container operations, an incentive that has aligned neighborhood and homeowner associations with the project.
“It’s pretty straightforward because with respect to the traffic, it’s abundantly clear this will reduce the existing traffic from the port operations that are there today,” said Neisen Kasdin, attorney for the Newgard Development Group with Akerman’s Miami office.
“The property on Terminal Island today that Newgard owns has been used for many, many years as a cargo operation. It gets some 30,000 to 40,000 containers a year, meaning incoming containers and outgoing trucks,” he said. “You’re looking at upwards of 100,000 18-wheel trucks a year.”
With those port operations gone, the backup of six or seven tractor trailers waiting to enter the area will disappear as well, he said. “That goes away and gets replaced with a 60-unit luxury condo project with probably not the majority of residents living there full time,” Mr. Kasdin said.
Traffic surveys and studies from the developer project 40% less overall traffic along the MacArthur Causeway.
“That was certainly why the South of Fifth Neighborhood Association was comfortable with the plan and of course the Palm, Hibiscus and Star Islands Association support it,” Mr. Kasdin said.
Projections are that the developed condos and mega-yacht marina would generate about $2 million in city property taxes, he said, compared to $35,000 that’s generated now.
The proposed development would also create a potentially more aesthetically pleasing gateway to Miami Beach than existing structures on Terminal Island, he said. “It is… the entrance to Miami Beach, so you’ll replace an area that is both clogged with traffic from the freight operations as well as not being attractive, creating a beautiful new entrance with outstanding architecture and landscaping,” Mr. Kasdin said.
“You clear up a traffic problem, you visually enhance the entrance to Miami Beach and you greatly increase property taxes to the city,” he said.
The plan is now on two tracks. “By October we’d bring back to the city commission a development agreement which specifies in detail the plan with Newgard,” Mr. Kasdin said. “Secondarily, a rather concurrent referral to the planning board and the commission on the new zoning to accommodate the development.”