As the City-owned Byron Carlyle Theater continued to deteriorate, Miami Beach Commissioners debated fixing it versus allowing it to be redeveloped in a way that could help jumpstart the revitalization of North Beach. Ultimately, they decided to test the market. After a couple of initial attempts failed to attract interest – one because it was only a request for letters of interest versus a request for proposals (RFP) and the second because there wasn’t an option to utilize an adjacent parking lot – the latest RFP resulted in two bidders coming forward by the Friday deadline.
Bidders include a partnership between Menin Hospitality and KGTC, LLC. KGTC’s managers include Matis Cohen, one of the leaders in the development of the North Beach Town Center, and Marisa Galbut, regional director for Crescent Heights whose projects include 1212 Lincoln Road, 500 Alton Road, and the new Baptist Health facility, among others. From the developer side, Cohen led the compromise with preservationists to support an increase in density to build the Town Center, a concept that was approved by voters in November 2017. He is the largest land owner in the North Beach Town Center and is expected to be before the Design Review Board this fall for a project on 72nd Street. Menin Hospitality owns and manages hotels and restaurants. Their portfolio includes the Gale, Mondrian, and Shelburne hotels, Bodega and Ricky’s restaurants. It is run by Marisa Galbut’s cousins, Keith Menin and Jared Galbut.
The other bidder, Pacific Star Capital, is led by Aria Mehrabi. Pacific Star already owns the City National Bank building and several parcels around it. Mehrabi started with a grand vision for the area that involved swapping parcels with the City to build a more “cohesive” project but his plans have been stalled as he has not been able to reach an agreement with Miami Beach officials. From the beginning, he has expressed interest in the adjacent Byron Carlyle site.
The Byron Carlyle is located at 500 71st Street between Byron and Carlyle Avenues. In the memo to Commissioners when the RFP was discussed, City Manager Jimmy Morales noted, “The City purchased and partially renovated the Theater in the early 2000s, to spur economic development and bolster North Beach arts and culture.”
“Redevelopment of this location may play a significant role in the revitalization of the 71st Street corridor,” he wrote. “The property is considered an important piece of the North Beach Town Center redevelopment strategy given its location and relative size.”
The solicitation proposes that the City retain ownership of the land and enter into a long-term lease with a private developer for a mixed-use building. One of the requirements for bidders was to include approximately 10,000 sq ft allocated to theater/cultural arts use. Currently, the space is occupied by O Cinema.
For now, the bids are within the cone of silence and are not available to the public. Next step is for an evaluation committee to review them and make a recommendation to the City Manager and, ultimately, to the City Commission.
Any proposal, if approved by the Commission, will have to go through the Design Review Board and Planning Board processes which will include public input.
Two Bids to Redevelop Byron Carlyle Theater:
City will consider proposals for deteriorating building
Plan would allow for single building fronting 72nd Street
Seller is Boardwalk Properties which is diversifying its holdings
Recent fires there prompted Miami Beach to take emergency legal action