by: Michael C. Góngora
The Miami Beach Commission again took up the controversial item of a convention center hotel at last week’s meeting. Although the Commission has a goal to put another hotel plan before the voters during the November general election, there were also comments that there would be no rush to place this item on the November ballot. Instead, to more fully explore all hotel options, the Commission has created a Blue Ribbon Panel which will be chaired by Commissioners Ricky Arriola and Kristen Rosen Gonzalez. The panel will also include members of the community, and will move forward to conceptualize a hotel that will be smaller, and possibly in a new location. Also, in conjunction with Florida International University, the City will create a survey for residents to find out what, if any, type of hotel might possibly be approved with the necessary 60 percent super majority vote.
This new Blue Ribbon panel will be addressing many of the concerns that prevented the Miami Beach Convention Center Hotel from passing during the March election including preservation of the Henry Hohauser building, creating a smaller and less tall hotel that is more in scale with the surrounding neighborhood, reviewing potential locations and adequately addressing a parking plan for a convention center hotel. Stay tuned as the Miami Beach Commission attempts to come back with a third and final plan after killing the 2013 Rem Koolhaus proposal and failing to obtain adequate votes to move forward with the most recent plan. I urge you to all stay involved as this issue progresses forward and, as always, please reach out to me with any questions.