The Miami Beach City Commission on Wednesday agreed to create a new overlay district for the North Beach Ocean Terrace historic district that will allow developer Sandor Scher of Claro Development to build a new 235-foot condominium on Ocean Terrace between 73rd and 75th Street.
The vote was 6-1 on a first reading of the ordinance, with commissioner Kristen Rosen Gonzalez voting ‘no.’
The proposed ordinance would also allow Scher to build a 125-foot hotel on Ocean Terrace, but both buildings cannot be built simultaneously to those maximum heights because of current restrictions on FAR, or floor area ratio for Ocean Terrace, which is capped at 2.0.
The vote was the culmination of nearly two years of efforts by Scher, and his main investor Alex Blavatnik, of Access Industries who have spent about $65 million buying up most of the buildings on Ocean Terrace, and who last year lost a citywide vote on increasing FAR in the area from 2.0 to 3.0.
Scher’s earlier proposal had called for a 250-foot condominium and a hotel on Ocean Terrace, which required a FAR increase to be completed. His earlier proposal also would have led to several architecturally significant buildings being demolished. Voter approval is required on Miami Beach for any FAR increase.
Currently building height on Ocean Terrace is limited to 75 feet, although there is a 28-story condominium that was built in 1999 after being grandfathered into the historic district when it was created in 1996. The overlay district was proposed by commissioner Joy Malakoff who said something needed to be done to revitalize North Beach Ocean Terrace, which for years has been the site of several abandoned buildings and budget hotels, just steps from the ocean. “What you see are dilapidated buildings and no life on the street,” Malakoff told her fellow commissioners. Malakoff said she was encouraged by new plans that Scher has put forward