500-700 Alton Road Tower and Park Ready for Commission Vote

Susan Askew
Susan Askew

500-700 Alton Road Tower and Park Ready for Commission Vote:

Still tbd: maximum tower height and hotel use

The 500-700 Alton Road project is finally ready for a vote by the Miami Beach City Commission. First reading on the ordinances that would make the zoning changes necessary for developer Russell Galbut to build a 44-story tower on the 500 block in exchange for a minimum three-acre park deeded to the City is scheduled for 10 am Wednesday. To assuage public concerns regarding the deal, Commissioners agreed that the final development agreement between the City and Galbut would be considered at the same time as the zoning changes.
Galbut has proposed a mixed-use development consisting of 410 residential units and 15,000 square feet of retail. In order to build the park, he wants to aggregate and move FAR (Floor Area Ratio or density) from the three parcels to the tower on the 500 block.
In a memo to Commissioners, City Attorney Raul Aguila summarized the draft development agreement. 
Some of the highlights…
  • The developer will deed to the City a minimum of a 3.0-acre “completed, world class park,” designed, permitted and constructed at his expense.
  • “Any tower built on the Development Site would be located within the northeast quadrant of the 500 Block of Alton Road, and with a height not-to-exceed 484 feet to the top of the roof (or such greater height as may be approved by the City Commission) and 44 stories…” [Emphasis added.] In September, the Commission’s Land Use and Development Committee recommended 44-stories and 484 feet while the Planning Board recommended 44-stories and the 519 feet requested by Galbut last month
  • The agreement reads that “up to a total of sixty (60) or twenty percent (20%)” of the up to 410 residential units “whichever is less” would be permitted to be hotel, apartment hotel, or suite hotel units if approved by the City Commission.” The hotel use was not discussed by the Commission’s Land Use Committee because it wasn’t raised. It was discussed and recommended by the Planning Board.
  • No surface or underground parking will be constructed “on any part of the Park Site.”
  • Granting of a “perpetual, non-revocable” easement to the City for pedestrian and vehicle use of 6th Street which will need to be “vacated” by the City and conveyed to the developer to allow for the aggregation of the FAR. The City will be responbile for all “maintenance, repair, safety and security of the Future 6th Street and all improvements thereon…”
  • Construction of a future Baywalk platform which would connect to a proposed pedestrian bridge over 5th Street, providing access to the Baywalk from either side. Funding for the pedestrian bridge is provided in the General Obligation (G.O.) Bond approved by voters this past week. 
  • Developer will grant “a perpetual, non-revocable roadway easement … to provide an additional lane on 5th Street from Interstate 395 … for public vehicular and pedestrian use and access.” The City would be responsible “for the design, construction, maintenance, repair, safety and security” of the lane.
  • “Developer to Construct Baywalks Between 10th Street and 12th Street. Developer shall complete, or cause to be completed, the construction of the unfinished baywalks along 1000 West Avenue (Mirador 1000 Condo), 1100 West Avenue (Mondrian Hotel), and 1200 West Avenue (Mirador 1200 Condo) … subject to City’s obtaining the permits and any necessary consents for the Baywalks, and City’s payment to the Developer for construction work completed on the Baywalks, in the amount not-to-exceed $762,682.58.” Galbut owns the three properties.
  • The City will not issue a building permit for the project until the park is conveyed to the City “and all easements and other documents required by the Development Agreement have been delivered to the City.”
  • The City will not issue a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy or a Certificate of Occupancy for the project until the park is completed,
  • With regard to the shell of the old South Shore Hospital that remains on the 600 block, the agreement requires its demolition within six months after the developer obtains “a final non-appealable Project Zoning Approval and Park Zoning Approval, and expiration of the applicable appeal periods thereof.” Current zoning of the 600 block does not allow a replacement building as tall as the old South Shore Hospital. By keeping the shell, Galbut has maintained his right to the height.
  • The park must be completed “no later than eight (8) years following the issuance of the building permit for the Project.”
  • “Lender Agreement or Letter of Credit in Favor of City for Value of Park Improvements.” To ensure the City can complete the park in the event of a default by the developer, the City requires “either (1) an agreement with the Developer’s lender to fund the then remaining Park construction amount directly to the City …. or (2) a letter of credit in favor of the City, in an amount equal to the Park construction amount (based on the guaranteed maximum price contract for the construction of the Park), which would permit City to draw on the funds, and complete the construction of the Park, in the event the Developer fails to do so.”
  • “Developer may transfer and assign its interests in the Project and Development Agreement without City Commission approval, so long as a ‘Galbut Entity’ (a) holds, directly or indirectly, not less than 10% ownership interest in the Development Site, (b) serves, directly or indirectly, as a manager of the entity that is developing the Project and the Park Project, and (c) exercises, directly or indirectly, day-to-day operational control of the entity as the manager of the entity that is developing the Project. A ‘Galbut entity’ includes (a) Rusell Galbut; (b) any spouse, child, grandchild or sibling of Russell Galbut; (c) any entities owned, directly or indirectly, one hundred percent (100%) by Russell Galbut, or the foregoing family members, or (d) trusts for the benefit of Russell Galbut or the foregoing family members.”
Aguila notes a number of issues still to be resolved. On the tower height, the Administration recommends the 484 foot limit, he wrote. In addition, the Administration opposes any hotel uses and recommends substantial completion of the park within four years from issuance of the building permit versus eight.
If you want to read all the details, you can find Aguila’s memo and the complete draft Development Agreement here.

Rendering: Arquitectonica

Columbus Restaurant Loses Its Sidewalk Café Permit

Susan Askew
Susan Askew
Miami beach continues its efforts to clean up ocean drive

Lincoln Court Pedestrian Bridge? Not yet...

Susan Askew
Susan Askew
Design review board feedback could prompt changes