David Martin Unveils Taller, More Slender Tower for Miami Beach Marina

Susan Askew
Susan Askew

David Martin Unveils Taller, More Slender Tower for Miami Beach Marina:

Proposal responds to neighbor requests for better view corridors

Updated May 30 with virtual public meeting information to learn more about the project.

Following discussions with neighbors, developer David Martin is now proposing a taller, more slender tower that he wants to build at 300 Alton Road if voters give approval to his plan to purchase the air rights on that property from the City of Miami Beach. The new design includes a 385-ft tall residential tower with 60 luxury units atop a narrow pedestal with parking and commercial space. The mixed-use development includes a one-acre public park and long-term lease and improvements for the Miami Beach Marina, also a City-owned facility. 

Martin, President and Co-founder of Terra Group, presented two options for the site – one with a 224-ft tower, the other 285 ft. tall – at the City Commission’s Land Use and Sustainability Committee meeting in early May. At Tuesday's Committee meeting, he unveiled a new design and site plan saying neighbors asked for a thinner pedestal and tower to preserve view corridors and increase publicly accessible green space. The project would be the first in Miami Beach for Danish architect Bjarke Ingels who ArchDaily describes as "one of the most inspirational architects of our time."

“I heard loud and clear from this Committee and the community that we should look at a slender tower with the least amount of north-south podium and the greatest amount of air and light corridors,” Martin said. The new design reduces the width of the original tower design from 332 feet to 120 feet wide. The depth is 108 feet. Martin said the new design allows increased setbacks from Alton Road and the baywalk as well as the north and south sides of the site, creating increased view corridors and more green space.

City Planning Director Tom Mooney told Committee members, “Based on the preliminary drawings we’ve seen, they are heading in what we think is a very good direction from an urban design, massing, and neighborhood compatibility standpoint.”

On Friday, the Commission’s Finance Committee gave preliminary approval to the financial terms of the deal but urged further negotiation. The terms include a purchase price of $55 million paid upfront for the air rights, $15 million in additional improvements to the site for resiliency and flood mitigation, and $35 million in improvements over 30 years to the marina.

At the Land Use Committee meeting, Martin emphasized a proposed 20% reduction in the retail space from 57,000 sq ft to 45,000. The developer’s traffic study, conducted by Kimley Horn, indicated that the traffic generated by 60 residential units was offset by the reduced retail traffic, making it “traffic neutral," he said.

Because the proposal requires a long-term lease of City-owned property (the marina) and purchase of air rights of a City-owned property (300 Alton Road), those two questions will need to go to the voters for final approval. Assistant City Attorney Nick Kallergis said the project would require an increase in FAR (Floor Area Ratio or density) of 0.5. The City Charter requires any increase in FAR be approved by voters, however, the developer is asking the City to vacate a portion of the Alton Road right of way in order to utilize that FAR. If that proposal is agreed to as part of the development agreement, an increase in FAR would not be on the ballot as a third question related to the project.

The Land Use Committee recommended the proposal favorably to the Commission. Next stop is the Planning Board on June 23, followed by two Commission readings in July.  To be on the ballot this November, approvals must be obtained by end of July.

Martin says he hopes to have a marina office with visuals and a website soon to provide opportunities for the public to view them.

Update: Virtual Public Meeting to learn more 
Wednesday, June 10, 2 pm
City staff and Marina Park representatives will discuss the project and gather public feedback.
Via Zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84514255122

Or telephone: 877.853.5257 or 888.475.4499
Webinar ID# 845 1425 5122

For more information, contact Kevin Pulido, Neighborhood Affairs Manager at kevinpulido@miamibeachfl.gov or 786.568.6051.

Renderings courtesy: Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG)


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