The owner of the The Clevelander Hotel and Bar on South Beach’s famed Ocean Drive has announced plans to build a 30-story tower using a newly enacted Florida law.
Under Florida’s new Live Local Act, which went into effect July 1, developers can bypass restrictive local zoning rules by promising to build workforce housing, with the intent to make housing more accessible and affordable.
150 residential units per acre are permitted under the new law. A total of 40% must be income-restricted units affordable to workforce residents, for a period of 30 years.
“We are now facing a severe labor crisis in Miami Beach’s hospitality industry,” said Clevelander spokesperson and Shutts & Bowen attorney Alexander Tachmes. “It is extremely difficult to attract and retain talent in an industry with a dwindling labor pool and nowhere for existing employees to live.”
Owner Jesta Group says it has already hired a “prominent” architect for the new development, with plans to meet with the City to submit architectural plans in the coming days.
The development would be built on the site of the Clevelander and adjoining Essex House hotel, both owned by Jesta.
“Since purchasing the Clevelander Hotel and Bar a few years ago, we have been proud to operate this legendary and iconic establishment in South Beach. Although we are happy to continue operating as we have, some have expressed a desire that we change our business model at the property. With the Live Local Act, we now have a unique opportunity to do that. The Act allows us to redevelop the Clevelander and Essex House sites with enough density and square footage to justify the shift in our business model while providing an important public service in the form of affordable housing,” said Anthony O’Brien, Senior Managing Director of Jesta Group. “We are excited at the unique opportunity to offer true affordable housing on South Beach which will remain in place for decades to come.”