Developer Asks For More Time To Review Plan For Sheraton Site
By Yeleny Suarez
The Related Group on Tuesday asked the City of Miami to defer for the third time its application to build three high-rise towers on the site of the Sheraton Biscayne Bay hotel, a project it calls the largest ever mounted in Miami.
Related representatives asked the city’s Historic and Environmental Preservation Board to delay action until March 5 on its request to develop in an archeological conservation area so it can complete its development plan.
In a previous interview, preservation officer Sarah Eaton said the board must review the project because it is in the archeological conservation area next to the historic Miami Circle.
"The plan is still premature," Related Vice President Bill Thompson said.
The $100 million, 4.7-acre waterfront property Related purchased in December will be developed with three towers – one of 45-48 stories followed by a 52- to 55-story tower and a 55- to 57-story tower, Mr. Thompson said at a Brickell Area Association meeting Jan. 11.
At the Brickell meeting, an agreement was established with Related to preserve what many call the last areas of remaining green space on Brickell. The Brickell family agreed to deed 8,300 feet of Brickell Park next to the Sheraton to Related in exchange for 11,000 feet of bayfront land behind the Sheraton, a site that had been in litigation since 1988. According to the agreement, the park – except for the area deeded to Related – will be transferred to the city with a covenant restricting use to a private park.
Related, one of South Florida’s most active developers, purchased the Sheraton property from Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance. The hotel has 17 floors and 600 rooms.
"The hotel is to remain open for the next six months, and then it will be demolished for groundbreaking this fall or spring," Mr. Thompson said. "A baywalk connecting the area to downtown is also planned to alleviate traffic congestion. This is the largest project ever done in Miami."
Mr. Thompson said a planning application would be submitted soon.