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Front Page » Top Stories » Miami One Project Heading Back To Drawing Boards

Miami One Project Heading Back To Drawing Boards

Written by on April 5, 2001

By Paola Iuspa
Miami One Centre, master developers and landowners of 9 acres near the mouth of the Miami River, wants the city to throw out the mixed-use project permit it won approval for in January.

Because a 3-acre parcel of the project is back on the market after The Related Group backed out of its option of the development, representatives of Miami One have asked the city to rescind approval.

At least one attorney previously oppossed to the proposal said the entire project is back to square one. This, he said, would allow a new developer to have a fresh start and come up with its own plan.

That will require the development go back to the city for permits.

Lucia Dougherty, attorney with Greenberg Traurig who represents Miami One, said in a letter to the Miami city manager that her client "was voluntarily rescinding the approval of the major use special permit," there was a "pending sale" of the land the Related Group failed to acquire.

According to the letter "the new purchaser would not utilize the approved site plan and architectural drawings."

The commission could rule on rescinding project approval on April 12.

"It means they are going to be back to square one," said Jeffrey Bass, a lawyer who had represented some owners of neighboring buildings that opposed the Related Group’s design.

The Related’s design would have consisted of a 29-story office tower, a 38-story residential building, a 5-story garage and a 5,300-square-foot restaurant at 205 S Biscayne Blvd., a city documents said. It was posed to generate $9.1 million in annual tax revenues for local government.

After encountering a wall of resistance from unhappy neighbors, the proposed project had to go before the city commission three times before it got the green light.

Miami One Centre is headed by Ned Seigel, Morris Stoltz and Larry DeGeorge, who have a master plan for the 9 acres spread across four neigboring city blocks for a more than $300 million mixed-use project.

The group bought the land in 1998 for $35 million.

The lot that is again for sale is bounded by Biscayne Boulevard Way on the south, Biscayne Bay on the east, Southeast Second Street on the north and Second Avenue on the west. It lies between the Hotel Inter-Continental Miami and the Dupont Plaza Hotel.

Even though Related altered plans to solve some objections, attorneys for the Hotel Inter-Continental Miami appealed the decision, arguing the project would block views and cast a shade over nearby properties.

Barry Davidson, attorney with Hunter William, who represented the Inter-Continental in the appeal, said towers south of the hotel would cast shade over the hotel’s swimming pool deck, block views and generate more auto traffic.

Ms. Dougherty said in the letter that "by withdrawing the approval, the appeal becomes moot and should then be dismissed by the court."

She said the new buyer would not use the same site plan and architectural drawings because a new major use special permit would be needed for a new design.

Mr. DeGeorge would not give details on the new developer.

Timothy Weller, vice president of development of MDM Construction, builders of Barclay building on Brickell Avenue, said his company "had been approached" to fill the vacancy The Related left. He said MDM Construction was not getting involved with One Miami.

"We are not related to One Miami in anyway," Mr. Weller said.