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Front Page » Business & Finance » Miami Beach commissioners likely to approve convention hotel

Miami Beach commissioners likely to approve convention hotel

Written by on September 5, 2017
Miami Beach commissioners likely to approve convention hotel

A Miami Beach vote next week on building a convention center headquarters hotel should be a lock: four of the six city commissioners told Miami Today they will vote yes.

But the spot a city panel chose where the Fillmore Miami Beach at the Jackie Gleason Theater sits has drawn skepticism from two of the four, who are unsure how the public would react to razing a historic building.

The seven-member panel spent a year gathering information. It found the theater site best.

“I really feel that people do not want to touch the Fillmore. There is something about that historic theater… an emotional connection with residents, so I don’t think it will pass when it comes down to the ballot,” panel member and Commissioner Kristen Rosen Gonzalez said. “But crazier things have happened.”

A headquarters hotel has failed on the ballot twice. This prompted Mayor Philip Levine to name the panel to try for votes the next time.

Commissioner Michael Grieco insisted relocating or tearing down a historic building would make garnering the required 60% approval “impossible,” and while he said he will approve the recommendation, if no alternative location is found, he said, he will vote against it.

Both Commissioners Ricky Arriola, who chaired the panel, and Joy Malakoff said relocating the theater would upgrade a building that is over 70 years old and the site is the only one viable for an 800-room convention hotel.

“Truthfully, the acoustics were never good in the theater,” Ms. Malakoff said. “I have no objection to tearing it down and rebuilding it somewhere else. The city needs a hotel and that is the best place for it.”

Once commissioners approve, Mr. Arriola said, a public vote is still at minimum a year or two away because the city needs an RFP process for what Mr. Arriola calls “the most important project the city will undertake in a decade.”

One Response to Miami Beach commissioners likely to approve convention hotel

  1. Woody Graber

    September 7, 2017 at 10:15 am

    When was the last time Ms Malakoff heard a concert at the
    Fillmore!!! Her remarks about the acoustics are ancient. I have heard countless shows over the past ten years the Fillmore has been in existence and the sound is remarkable. The sweet tones of Sting and Ricky Martin. The hard rockin of Guns ‘n Roses. The infectious groove of Bruno Mars. This will all be gone if the Fillmore is demolished as well as the history of this historic structure. Miami Beach will be all the poorer. They can’t even find the money to build the hotel, how are they going to find the money to rebuild the Fillmore. The utter stupidity of this commission astounds me!!!!!!!!!