City to Discuss Future Use of Byron Carlyle Theater

Susan Askew
Susan Askew

City to Discuss Future Use of Byron Carlyle Theater:

public and market interests to be surveyed

The City-owned Byron Carlyle Theater is in such bad shape that less than half of it is in use but its potential is such that it could play a key role in the revitalization of North Beach, according to City officials. Miami Beach Commissioners last week took action to gather community and market input for its use including the possibility of a satellite campus for Miami-Dade College.
 
Eva Silverstein, City Director of Tourism, Culture, and Economic Development told Commissioners the previously approved North Beach Master Plan considers the redevelopment of the site. “It really details that the Byron Carlyle site could be used as a catalyst project particularly in terms of the economic redevelopment of the neighborhood.” One idea contemplated in the Master Plan and discussed by the Commission is its potential use as a satellite campus for Miami-Dade College. Silverstein said, “Certainly a college or educational opportunity on that footprint would generate a lot of economic stimulus in the community.”
 
Currently, she said, “More than 50% of the building is condemned. It’s really in poor condition … Only a very small portion of the building is currently in use with O Cinema.”
 
Commissioner John Alemán suggested a process to determine “what the market would be willing to deliver” and then get public comment on the options presented.
 
She also recommended the City enter into a discussion with Miami-Dade College for a North Beach location, whether at the Byron Carlyle or another site, a concept recommended favorably by the North Beach Steering Committee. She noted the positive economic impact to cities with college campuses.
 
“The College is not married to the Byron Carlyle site,” she said. “They’d like to be in North Beach but it could be really at any site.”
 
When several Commissioners expressed a desire for the public outreach component to go first, she suggested a simultaneous process of public and market outreach. In that way, she said, once the public and market input is received, “We can find the intersections on what the public would like to see and what the market is willing to deliver.”
 
The Commission approved the motion which also included City Staff further developing the concept of a satellite campus for Miami-Dade College. Commissioner Kristen Rosen Gonzalez recused herself from the discussion as she is a full-time faculty member at the College.
 
Alemán concluded, “We do have several thousand Miami Beach residents that are students at Miami-Dade College and we just had an overwhelming response to our Citizens Technology Bootcamp so I think there’s a thirst for this in the community.”
 
 

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