What's Up With North Beach Yard?

North Shore

Susan Askew
Susan Askew

What's Up With North Beach Yard?:

No activity and milestones have gone unmet

It was announced more than two years ago with great fanfare that the celebrated founder of Wynwood Yard was interested in bringing her talents to North Beach. 

After that, every move Della Heiman and her North Beach Yard (NBY) co-founder Ken Lyon made was watched with great interest including bringing on acclaimed new urbanist Andres Duany to help imagine the space. But as time drags on with no news, the questions (and rumors) are increasing.

City Manager Jimmy Morales has been getting the questions, too, and on Friday he put what he knows into a Letter to Commission. 
 
A lease for the North Beach Yard to be located on the City-owned West Lot at 8100 Collins Avenue was approved by the City Commission in July, 2017 and signed that November. The area leased is 52,500 sq feet and includes a 2,500 sq ft building. Concept plans for the space (above) were approved by the City Commission in May 2018.
 
“Since execution of the lease, the City has proceeded in good faith to facilitate the design and development of the landlord improvements [as detailed in the lease],” Morales wrote. “In that regard, as related to the renovation of the 2,500 square foot building, the City’s architect has completed design drawings to 90% at a cost of $33,195 to the City. In December, 2018, the City directed our architect not to proceed to 100% completion until the tenant meets its obligations under the lease.”
 
As part of the lease requirements, NBY was to present schematic drawings and a construction budget, neither of which has been provided to date. The founders also missed a deadline last November to provide leases and financing information for container structures to be used on the site, a contract with a general contractor as well as proof of secured financing, availability of liquid assets and a performance bond and payment bond in the amount of $1.75 million to cover the full amount of the work on the property. Morales noted, “At this time, tenant has not provided evidence of fulfilling these requirements to the City."
 
In addition, a security deposit or letter of credit for $17,914 was due upon the lease effective date of November 20, 2017.  “At this time tenant has not provided this amount to the City,” Morales wrote.
 
“Last week staff contacted Della Heiman, owner of North Beach Yard, LLC to discuss the status of the project and the outstanding items,” he wrote. “City staff remains supportive of the project concept and would like to see the project move forward if possible.”
 
Morales said Heiman advised she was out of the country until July and indicated “she would like to meet with the City upon her return.” 
 
The Wynwood Yard, an open-air space with trucks and shipping containers that housed pop-up restaurant concepts, was always imagined as temporary. It became a local favorite in its nearly four years but closed in May after the land owner announced plans to build apartments on the site. Heiman is reportedly working on setting up The Doral Yard whose opening date appears to have been pushed back from “Spring 2019” to “September 2019” in media articles. The website only contains space to sign up for email updates.

In the meantime, The North Beach Yard website has expired. 
 
 
Rendering: Andres Duany
 

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