There was some excitement on social media this week when one of the buildings on Ocean Terrace was demolished. The property at 7420 Ocean Terrace is part of a nearly full-block development planned for the area and observers thought this was the beginning of that long-awaited restoration and redevelopment. Sorry to disappoint, but not yet.
The City of Miami Beach issued an emergency demolition permit after the building began to collapse and became a safety hazard. The Historic Preservation Board (HPB) approved the project in January 2018 and, recognizing the building was beyond repair, required that its façade be replicated. According to City spokeswoman Melissa Berthier, “The building could not wait for the approval of the total project” by the Planning Department.
Developers Sandor Scher and Alex Blavatnik are planning a mixed-use development that will encompass almost the entire block of Collins Avenue to the ocean between 74th and 75th Streets. The project, which will include hotel, residential, and commercial uses, includes restoration or partial restoration of several existing buildings on the site including the Broadmoor and Ocean Surf hotels.
It is still awaiting the outcome of a lawsuit over the amount of FAR (Floor Area Ratio) that is available to them. FAR measures the density of a building. The developers are seeking to apply a more liberal definition of FAR that was in place for a brief period of time last year in between a zoning board ruling and passage of new legislation to close the loophole.
In the meantime, plans for the proposed streetscape/park to be built by the developers on Ocean Terrace in exchange for additional FAR for a new hotel addition, have been submitted to the HPB for consideration at a future meeting.
The building next to the one demolished, the Ocean Terrace Hotel, was recently the site of a North Beach edition of Miami Motel Stories.
Demolition photo courtesy Larry Shafer, Jr.
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