Lefmark Awaits Ok For Hotels At North Miami Beach Site
By David L. Snelling
Lefmark Florida Inc. is targeting 4 acres of the North Miami Beach Village project for two hotels, one of which will be a conference center.
City approval for the hotels could come within 90 days and construction could begin in early 2001, according to Robert Shapiro, Lefmark’s chief operating officer.
"The hotel will provide a major service to residents, visitors, house businessmen and tourists," he said. "It will be first-class accommodations, which is not available in North Miami Beach."
A total of 300 guest rooms are envisioned in the two- and five-story buildings located at 16375 Biscayne Blvd. The mixed-use project also includes retail stores and restaurants on a total of 11 acres.
Two restaurants, Romano’s Macaroni Grill and On the Border, opened in February. Hop’s Bar & Grill and an ABC Liquor store are slated to open in September on the south side of the property.
Mr. Shapiro said several developers are interested in building the hotels, but he would not name them. Little interest was shown in a high-rise office complex previously envisioned.
The $30 million project, bordered by the Oleta River to the east and by Snake Creek Canal to the north, is behind schedule because it included filling a half-acre of wetlands on the site, Mr. Shapiro said. Some of the property was once used for disposal of waste material, according to the Department of Environmental Resources.
To get a green light for the project from Miami-Dade County, Mr. Shapiro said, Lefmark agreed to preserve and maintain high-quality mangrove wetlands on the north, east and south sides of the property through a conservation easement with the South Florida Water Management District and a restrictive covenant with the county.
Mr. Shapiro said Lefmark is also adding a bay walkway along the edge of the river.
Beside the North Miami Beach Village project, other area Lefmark projects in Miami include the development of the Kendall Mall, 107th Avenue and Kendall Drive, and renovation of an Uptons store to a Borders book store.
In addition, Mr. Shapiro said, Lefmark redeveloped a $20 million, 100,000-square-foot shopping plaza at Kendall Drive and Southwest 132nd Avenue and a $15 million shopping plaza at Campbell Drive and South Dixie Highway in Homestead with Walgreens, Hollywood Video and Ruby Tuesday as anchors.