The Miami Beach Planning Board approved a new mixed-use project by developers Matis Cohen and Russell Galbut on the corner of 71st Street and Bay Drive in Normandy Isle. 880 71st Street is conceived as a series of pavilions to provide pedestrian access and visibility to the Indian Creek waterway. The project consists of a four-story elevated residential building with 36 rental units, a residential lobby, and two small commercial spaces with breezeways and view corridors along with an outdoor courtyard.
In the application letter to the Planning Board, Ethan Wasserman of Greenberg Traurig wrote, “The main building structure is raised to allow for light, air and visual access through the site to the Indian Creek waterway. The lower pavilion structures, containing the neighborhood-friendly commercial options, are also environmentally friendly and thoughtfully designed with green roofs and decorative screening,” all features recommended by the new Buoyant City guidelines to help historic districts adapt to sea level rise.
“The Project was intentionally designed with a pedestrian-oriented focus in an effort to activate the streetscape along 71st Street with interactive ground floor uses, open and courtyard type spaces, and public access to the waterfront,” Wasserman wrote. There will be three public access points to the water, he noted.
The proposed project, which still needs Historic Preservation Board Approval due its location within the Normandy Isles Historic District, will be built on a .44-acre vacant lot that previously was the location of the Tropicair Hotel.
Architect Robert Bistry of Built Form said the angular form of the residential building mimics the shape of the old Tropicair. The raised structure – the "dingbat" building form – is “prevalent in Normandy Isle but many of the buildings gate off access and have very low understory heights that restrict light and air.
Planning Board member David Weider, a nearby resident, said “I think it will be a nice addition… Right now, it’s just an empty lot.’’
Board member Nick Gelpi said, “I admire the project and hope it becomes an example of better urbanism.”
The project’s design will be considered by the Historic Preservation Board at its February 9 meeting. Details here.
Renderings: Built Form
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