Judge Tosses Lawsuit Over Retail Center Next To Lincoln Road Church; Construction Could Begin In Weeks

A developer has been cleared to begin work on a new retail center next to Lincoln Road’s historic church, after a Dade judge dismissed Miami Design Preservation League’s lawsuit this week that challenged the approval process

The legal battle may not be over, however. MDPL’s Daniel Ciraldo told TNM that the League may pursue an appeal.

MDPL had been fighting a plan that would see Carl Fisher’s historic 1920 church restored to it’s original state, while adding a new retail building in a courtyard that fronts Lincoln Road. Members of Miami Beach’s Historic Preservation Board disagreed with MDPL’s opposition and unanimously approved the plan last year.

Ciraldo said that funding for the lawsuit came from private donations. While the non-profit MDPL receives city and county taxpayer money in the form of grants, those funds are earmarked for educational and other programs.

Before the lawsuit was dismissed, developer David Edelstein said that construction on the new retail center would begin within weeks. He had called the lawsuit ‘sour grapes,’ and said that he wasn’t sure what MDPL was seeking with the lawsuit.

Plaza Construction is the general contractor for the project.