Developer’s Vision For South Beach: Convert Apartment Buildings Into Townhouses

A Miami developer has revealed a potential vision for South Beach that could see property values in the area increase significantly.

Todd Michael Glaser is one of the top developers of ultra-luxury single-family homes in the area, but has also co-developed condo projects such as Zaha Hadid’s One Thousand Museum.

In an interview published in The Real Deal, Glaser was asked for a ‘perfect world, moonshot’ project.

Glaser said he has a vision for South Beach would include the conversion of all the small Art Deco buildings which are currently efficiencies and one-bedrooms into luxury 3 and 4 bedroom townhomes.

Each townhouse could sell for $2.5 to $4 million. Parking could be added by converting ground floor apartments next to alleys.

Every Art Deco building west of Collins Avenue between 5th Street and 17th Street (much of which is now low to moderate income) could be redeveloped, he said.

Ocean Drive should be closed, he added, with luxury retail on the ground floor and beach clubs at hotels, Glaser added.

Glaser said he had pitched Steve Schwartzman on the idea, and also tried to pitch it to Barry Sternlicht.

According to Glaser, real estate in South Beach might now be the most valuable and underdeveloped in the world.

 

A South Beach apartment building converted to a townhouse (photo from 2011):

(photo: Phillip Pessar)

 

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Anonymous
17 days ago

This is this one developer’s dream to kick out people who can live and work on the beach to replace them with high-end people. Why not increase the zoning in this area to allow MORE people to live there? Lower incomes on the ground and second floor and higher incomes further up the building?

The current Mayor of Miami Beach is clearly in the pocket of these developers. They want to get rid of the party scene, even though that is what creates the cache and demand for people to go to South Beach to begin with. If you want a 2.5 million dollar townhome with no view there’s Doral.

Anonymous
17 days ago

The current culture of South Beach is not in line with what it was built for. The proud, historic buildings were once one of the finest resort destinations in the world.

All this developer is proposing is essentially turning South Beach back into what it was, before it became a trashy party Mecca

Anonymous
17 days ago

You all talk about how much you love density, so this doesn’t apply? Miami Beach continues to lose its local population and luxury single family housing will exacerbate the loss of residents. I agree SoBe has become pretty rowdy, but it’s always been an international destination for hospitality – which includes clubs, nightlife, entertainment, etc. Miami Beach wasn’t “built for” nuclear families with cookie cutter homes, it’s not Boca… this proposal will just reduce housing inventory making it completely unaffordable to live – inviting more of a homeless problem which I know you all hate as well. I love seeing development, but everything can’t be ultra-luxury. We need more apartments and affordable housing for regular people not the 1%. Sunny Isles is right next door.

Anonymous
17 days ago

Sterilized Sunny islands is next door.

Anonymous
16 days ago

The party scene will not be missed

Anonymous
16 days ago

You must be 70 years old!

Anonymous
15 days ago

Nah.. he never had a girlfriend or could dance and weighs 476 pounds.

Anonymous
16 days ago

They want another BORING Boca Raton! The current mayor wants to destroy the night life in Miami Beach, instead of fixing it!

Anonymous
16 days ago

Yes because there’s nothing in between ghetto trash and a retirement home. Clearly you don’t travel much.

Azarius
17 days ago

Nope this is horrible

Anonymous
17 days ago

So let me get this straight…. His idea is to convert the small apartments into larger townhomes and then kicking the poorer people out in favor of the rich. Sounds like the definition of gentrification to me! And not much of a solution at all. Just pushing poor people to different neighborhoods wont solve our problems down here in South Florida.

Anonymous
17 days ago

Capitalism is shocking isn’t it?

Anonymous
17 days ago

Property owners don’t get “gentrified”, renters do.
Id love to own a studio that gets bought to build a $2.5m townhouse.
That’s wealth creation.
Free Market Capitalism is shockingly excellent!

Anonymous
16 days ago

Many people owning studios and the equity that comes with it is wealth creation, this is the consolidation of wealth that leads to the same out of control cost of living in places like NYC and San Francisco that this board rails against.

Anonymous
9 days ago

Well, the price/sale isn’t 2.5 million, at the very best maybe it 10% of that. Try to find another available 1/1 in SoBe for $250,000. It’s not happening

Anonymous
16 days ago

Gentrification is great. The only reason we’re seeing progress in Miami

Anonymous
17 days ago

Trying to turn S. Beach into Palm Beach or Naples is just not going to work.

Anonymous
17 days ago

You mean….what it was originally?

Anonymous
17 days ago

You sound like a clown, “what it was originally?” Yeah originally 60 years ago when 100 people lived in Miami Beach. Your thought process that led you to bring up the word “originally” in regard to Miami Beach shows that you lack the critical thinking skills to understand the changes of the last 60 years in the area. Hint hint.. POPULATION DENSITY

Anonymous
17 days ago

You talk about population density, yet are clueless to how many people lived in Miami Beach sixty years ago (hint: well over 100). Sheesh, people think Miami was Ocala before some people ran away from a bearded man in a flat cap, which certainly was not the case.

1987
14 days ago

Not sure Miami Beach was ever Palm Beach.
West Avenue was where the workers lived and so Lincoln Road was created to provide access for those workers to the segregated hotels on the Atlantic Ocean.
South Pointe was a betting dog track with greyhounds/ betters etc.
Key Biscayne did not exist until well after WWII.
Fisher Island did not exist by late 1950s with exception of that one large home which is now the hotel.

Anonymous
14 days ago

You’re right lets just leave it the way it is. A crime ridden ghetto trash magnet.

Anonymous
17 days ago

The developer doesn’t address the impact to all the businesses that rely on the critical service workforce who live in those “low to moderate” income units.

Anonymous
16 days ago

This is not happen ever because after the hotels must hire robots to do the job. This article is just a joke.

Anonymous
15 days ago

You mean, all the “critical service workforce” people live in this building?

Gee, I learn something new everyday.

Anonymous
17 days ago

Please no, we don’t need anymore rich enclave islands in Miami

Anonymous
17 days ago

All these rich folks they can move to Fischer island to die peacefuly.

Anonymous
16 days ago

Are the lack of “Rich Enclave Islands” the reason why we see so many people trying come across the border with Mexico to this country?

Anonymous
17 days ago

Would not characterize much of stock as low to moderate. Middle income- is a more appropriate description.

J.M.
17 days ago

I rolled my eye at that comment too. I would be rich if I paid the same amount for my place in SoBe if I lived anywhere else in America. Rents are still relatively high on the beach.

Anonymous
17 days ago

I always wonder where all these people that read these articles are from… I live in the flamingo neighborhood and it’s 100% mixed income including low income apartment. Take a drive and you’ll see

Anonymous
17 days ago

and the best part it .. it’s market driven. There is great economic and housing diversity in south beach. one of its best kept secrets, imo.

J.M.
17 days ago

lol..please no.

Anonymous
17 days ago

What Miami beach needs is more density (think 6-10 story buildings, not brickell density) because plenty of newer condo buildings are really nice and bring upper middle class people. This is the worst thing a city can do, its utterly ruined so many parts of CA why they wanna bring that crap here is beyond me.

J.M.
17 days ago

Exactly. San Fransisco has some of the highest priced properties in the country and it’s STILL a homeless mecca.

Anonymous
16 days ago

Well I guess San Francisco is a victim of it’s own success.

Anonymous
16 days ago

No SF is a victim of the policies it enacts which prevents anyone from building due to zoning, historic preservation, and anti gentrification such as this developer wants to do. These can only be achieved with government intervention.

Anonymous
15 days ago

^
I’ve seen people on this site who want stricter “zoning” and more “historic preservation” in Miami.

Like I said – “San Francisco is a victim of it’s own success.”

Anonymous
17 days ago

Don’t touch Art Deco buildings. We must protect our architecture heritage as New Yorkers did with brownstones buildings in Brooklyn and Harlem.

Anonymous
16 days ago

Yep keeping old buildings in ghettos is more important that revitalizing neighborhoods……

Anonymous
17 days ago

That’s some Mana energy right here

Anonymous
17 days ago

Sounds like a nightmare scenario.

Anonymous
16 days ago

The problem with Miami Beach is the unemployed 20/30 year olds who come every year nowadays to party! Fake gucci, expensive liquor, etc. They need to do something to attract a classy, middle class and upper class clientele to the attractions there. I won’t step foot in south beach for the month of March.

J.M.
13 days ago

Sad but true.

Anonymous
17 days ago

Row house style housing is absolutely massively underbuilt in South Florida but South Beach is probably not where it belongs. Current low density places near transit like the Roads and parts of Little Havana and Coconut Grove and the Coral Way area definitely should be largely row houses.

Anonymous
17 days ago

Same housing style from the same era, too. Hopefully, it doesn’t involve removing all the historic elements and making them look like car batteries, which I have seen and is a disgrace. You might as well demolish it if you’re going to turn it into a McModern.

Anonymous
17 days ago

Please just don’t sell em to undesirable element

Anonymous
16 days ago

Miami Beach should stay elegant. What we need is supply on the mainland. Let the developers build

Anonymous
15 days ago

I’m all for it. Miami Beach doesn’t need more affordable housing. It needs development that will revitalize its architectural patrimony, which is largely underutilized and under maintained.

Anonymous
14 days ago

When I first heard of Todd’s idea, I immediately understood the vision. The thing is, this is just an IDEA. To collect over a hundred properties is a huge, huge challenge. To then restore and revitalize these properties, plus commercial properties and to find tenants is mega hurdle.

Miami Beach has cleaned up over the years and will continue to do so as more high net worth individuals call it home and flood in which then brings in employees who will scoop up these homes. It is inevitable. The district is undervalued, structures are not up to code, many are poorly maintained, are already rentals, and these factors have an effect on the quality of businesses nearby. If Miami Beach doesn’t do this, it’ll happen elsewhere as we’ve seen with DD and Buena Vista. Plus, as mentioned, these properties are currently rentals unlike Little Haiti.

Hospitality will boom and so will jobs. MB will collect more taxes to invest in infrastructure to combat rising sea levels. MB will not be a fresh, new Palm Beach. It will have it’s own identity that will grow the economy all around Dade County.

This won’t happen overnight and with little inventory in MB this is a promising vision to create a new legacy.

Anonymous
17 days ago

Well, they can all move to Little Havana/Riverside so the neighborhood can experience the same resurgence South Beach had in the 1990s and early 2000s.

Anonymous
16 days ago

The medium home price in the state of California is over 800k… With homeless people as far as the eye can see…Miami and Miami Beach are well on its way —6-7 years tops…

Anonymous
16 days ago

The problem in CA is their leftwing policies not housing prices

Anonymous
15 days ago

Um, okay.. what’s wrong with Lousyanna then?

Anonymous
14 days ago

I don’t think you can really insult a state if you don’t know how to SPELL it LMAO

Anonymous
7 days ago

how can one developer close a whole street full of tax paying businesses that bring in tons of millions of dollars to the island in tourist revenue ? This is beyond ridiculous and pretty scary.

Anonymous
17 days ago

Seems like the right time to move SB out of the 1990’s. Great concept going forward.

calivalle
16 days ago

Only thing i agree is closing Ocean Drive and make it a walk only as in Lincoln mall….

Anonymous
14 days ago

Just sell the apartment complex and make some money. Someone will buy it as apartments.

Try making the residential codes for apartments and condos. Not both on one parcel.
So you sell all the apartments and make condos. Where is the waiters and waitress, cooks etc going to live? You think they will buy their own apartment now as a condo? renting $1500 vs loan with $30K down and $2000 per month plus HOA, insurance, utilities…. Um…. NO.

They will relocate, find new jobs closer to new home and NO ONE will be working in South Beach.

exceptionally stupid idea.

Anonymous
16 days ago

This pretty much takes the cake for one of the worst ideas I’ve ever heard

Anonymous
17 days ago

YES, that’s the future

Anonymous
17 days ago

Go to CA and enjoy the future this brings, endless homeless and unaffordable housing.

Anonymous
17 days ago

Who wouldn’t want a $4mm townhome 2″ above sea level?

Anonymous
17 days ago

Only academics and journalists would be dumb enough to turn down a $4m townhome on South Beach.

Anonymous
17 days ago

Good idea

Anonymous
17 days ago

Gentrification and climate-change ignorance

Anonymous
16 days ago

Let me find my tiny violin

Anonymous
15 days ago

That’s alright if you don’t find it.. I’m crying anyway.. sob…

Anonymous
16 days ago

Gentrification is a beautiful thing

Anonymous
17 days ago

Bad idea. South Beach is an overpriced tourist trap. Just get over it.

Anonymous
17 days ago

You describe a couple of streets. The neighborhood is far more dynamic and diverse. Excellent parks & recreation; schools; retail, and restaurants. Get to know the whole 33139.

Anonymous
17 days ago

South Beach was one of the premier resort destinations in the world not long ago. It’s only been a “overpriced tourist trap” in very recent times.