more transitions for lincoln road

Lincoln Road

Susan Askew
Susan Askew

more transitions for lincoln road:

business improvement district executive director leaving

As it awaits a facelift and new tenants to fill vacant storefronts, Lincoln Road is about to have another transition. Ivannia Van Arman, the first Executive Director hired for the Lincoln Road Business Improvement District (BID), is leaving her position September 27th.
The BID, which according to its website was “formed with the purpose of stabilizing and improving the Lincoln Road retail business district”, spans the area from Washington to Alton on Lincoln Road. It represents 75 different properties whose tenants include over 200 boutiques, national retail stores, restaurants, cafes and bars, the Colony Theatre, ArtCenter/South Florida and New World Concert Hall. Through the BID, property owners pay a special tax that is used for marketing and promotion of the District.
Van Arman joined the organization in Feb 2016 shortly after it was incorporated. After a few months of startup activities that included creating a logo and branding, a program of art and cultural activities was launched in October. “There’s some really good quality things that we brought to Lincoln Road and offered to our residents and our visitors,” she said. In addition to the branding and activities, Van Arman said she is proud of “the BID’s relationship with the tenants and really elevating them and bringing them to the table, so to speak, in understanding what’s going on with Lincoln Road and involving them.”
This week the BID held an evening for "social media influencers” taking them to various restaurants including Juvia, Spris, Meat Market, and the recently opened Mr. Bing Ice Cream. “They were completely blown away by Lincoln Road,” she said. “Not that they had forgotten about Lincoln Road but they just hadn’t made their way over here.”
Those influencers are important to bringing people to Lincoln Road and filling vacant storefronts. Last month, RE:MiamiBeach took a look at the vacancies that have created concern among some residents, businesses, and at least one City Commissioner. Van Arman said there’s only so much the BID can do but she is confident in the commitment of the property owners who are strong supporters of the BID and efforts to improve Lincoln Road. She said many of the vacancies are due to properties being "under major construction”.
“In the vacancies that we do have, different owners have different goals,” she said. “So one property could have five different storefronts. Frankly, the owner might be happy with the property performance with only three of those filled. We have owners who have owned for 30-40-50 years so these are not owners who are looking to make the pro forma sparkle and shine. These are people who are truly vested in this area.”
“On the other hand,” she said, “we have newer owners who are just looking for the perfect tenant, not only new to Miami Beach and South Florida but the U.S., and that takes time. When I was in the real estate business we used to say the deals are marinating because sometimes they just take so long.” But, she added, “I haven’t come across an owner that said 'I can’t lease my space.' They just have different goals and objectives and opinions about who they want to do business with.”
Van Arman says she leaves knowing the BID is “on a very good track” as the implementation of the City’s master plan to give Lincoln Road a facelift moves forward. She said the BID meets quarterly with City Manager Jimmy Morales and has a good line of communication to “have an understanding of what’s happening and how can we help make things happen. How can the private sector do its part to make sure things continue in a positive way?”
As the City seeks to close a funding gap of almost $21 million in the proposed $43 million plan, Van Arman said the BID is “very much partnership oriented with the City. This is not rich owners demanding a shiny new car. This is an overdue redevelopment of one of Miami Beach’s most prized possessions.”
“One of the most important things the BID has accomplished is positioning Lincoln Road from Alton to Washington as one voice,” she said. “Before when you had 75 different properties represented by [many] different people that message can have 12 different spikes on it. But when you have that [one] voice and the commitment from the city, it’s a win-win from both sides.”
“This is a public-private partnership,” she said. “We’re joined whether we like it or not. Owners can’t develop on their own because [Lincoln Road] doesn’t belong to them. It’s a public space.”
Van Arman said she resigned her position for personal reasons and “would like to spend more time with my family. Four kids keep me busy.”

For more on what's happening on Lincoln Road, click here.
Image: Lincoln Road BID

lincoln road redesign

Lincoln Road

Susan Askew
Susan Askew
moving forward with an eye to the past