Miami Beach Has Tentative Agreement With Crescent Heights For 42-Story Condo

Miami Beach’s mayor says that city administration has negotiated a deal with Crescent Heights to build a 42-story condo tower on Alton Road.

Mayor Dan Gelber says that a currently approved low-rise apartment complex would create a wall effect on West Avenue, and is advocating for the taller structure instead. The new plan would include a 2.5-acre park donated to the city.

The currently approved project also includes 510 apartments, which are likely to be fully occupied and create “congestion.” The taller building would have the benefit of less congestion, thanks to non-resident investor owners who rarely use their condos, Gelber wrote.

Approval from the city commission and several committees will be needed.


A letter from the Mayor yesterday:

Dear neighbor,

Here is an update on the status of the potential development of the three-block lot between Alton and West Avenue from 5th to 7th streets.

Over the last few months there have been ongoing negotiations with the developer, as well as neighborhood and community groups, interested in this important parcel.

Currently, the area’s height limitations and applicable FAR (Floor Area Ratio “FAR” is the way the city’s development code constrains the amount of building on a specific parcel of land) would allow the developer or subsequent developer to build low-rise buildings throughout the three lots that would have between 485 and 510 units. If this project were to be developed, I believe it would increase congestion and create a “wall-effect” along West Avenue. This project was approved through the City’s permitting process years ago so absent action by the Commission, this is what we will have to live with.

The City engaged the developer with the goal of allowing the developer to build a taller and slimmer building on the 5th street block (which is currently beyond the developer’s rights), in exchange for a donation of a large portion of the remaining land on the 6th and 7th street blocks for a public park.

So after a few months of discussion and after numerous resident meetings with the developer and city officials, and city meetings discussing the item, here is where we stand:
The developer has agreed to donate to the City almost 2.5 acres of land along West Ave between 6th and theoretical 7th Street for a public park to be owned by the city. The size of the park would be substantially larger than the original offer that was between 1- 2 acres. By way of comparison, the park would be bigger than Fisher and Normandy Shores parks and only slightly smaller than Marjory Stoneman Douglas Park.

The park would be at grade (street level). Previously, the developer had proposed a raised park so that a parking lot could be built under it. I think a park at street level provides a more approachable experience for residents. So this is a good accommodation.

The developer would build a narrow single story commercial plaza on the east side of the 6th street parcel, which would likely include cafes and other establishments (including space for community activities) that would activate the park. Many of the nearby residents wanted this strip to buffer the park from Alton Road and to activate the park. The developer did agree to reduce the intensity of this strip and also agreed that no residential units would be there, which was a concern of the neighbors.

The developer would be allowed to build a 42-story condominium tower on 5th street with a floorplate of 13,900 square feet. Originally, the proposal was for as high as a 60 story tower with a 17,000-foot floorplate. (By example, the Icon and Murano Grande buildings are each over 40 stories with a floor plate in excess of 20,000 square feet; and the Floridian building is 34 stories with a floorplate greater than 19,000 square feet). I think the newly proposed tower is within the scale of the neighborhood and slim enough to preserve view corridors.

The tower will be situated in the northeast corner of the 5th street lot. That seems to be the place the nearby residents wanted it situated to avoid impairment of sight lines and view corridors.

The developer has agreed to limit the residential units to 400, which is substantially lower than the 510 units which are currently approved. Further, because a tall tower overlooking a beautiful park will likely attract non-resident investors, it is likely many of the units would have sporadic or part-time tenants, thus, decreasing congestion.

The developer has agreed to reduce the commercial intensity of the project by 50%.

The developer has agreed to provide an easement on his property to allow for a connecting pedestrian walkway over 5th street, and to dedicate land on the south side of the 5th street parcel for an extra turning lane to help alleviate congestion at that corner.

In order to comply with his commitment to the Floridian building to provide parking, the developer will build parking under the commercial plaza on 6th street. This should not impact the enjoyment of the park and allows us to keep the park at grade level.
These are only preliminary terms open to negotiation and reconsideration and have not been approved by anyone at the City.

At the next City Commission meeting on July 25th, I will ask the Commission to direct the City Manager to pursue a development agreement with the developer, and bring a term sheet outlining the major business terms of the transaction for consideration to the City Commission’s Finance Committee at its meeting on Friday July 27. It is currently in the Land Use Committee.

After that, if the terms are recommended, it will go to the full City Commission and require two separate public hearings before the Commission in order for it to be approved. If approved the development will have to go through our normal Land Use Board’s approval process.

My hope is that the existing shell of the South Shore Hospital could be removed and the new park and commercial plaza would be developed and completed quickly independent of the timeline of development of the 5th street tower.

I want to stress that nothing has been agreed to but, at this point, the prospect that within 2 years our City could have a brand new park of almost 2.5 acres available to our residents – in a neighborhood that has very little greenspace – is worth pursuing.

Thanks to the various community and neighborhood groups from north and south of 5th street that continue to engage and inform this process.


PreviouslyCrescent Heights Proposes 50-Story Tower At Entrance To South Beach (Again)


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“developer has agreed to donate to the City almost 2.5 acres of land for grade-level park” Wow!


They are going to make a boat load of money in return for “donating” that land. Probably a tax write off too.


Who cares, we get more parks! And the park is being used for storm water retention!


Parks are successful when there are people to activate them.

South Pointe Park and Flamingo Park are two parks that are mere blocks from this location.

See Museum Park for an unsuccessful park due to lack of people.


Not for much longer with all those buildings being built to the west of it.


Good point


Museum Park is unsuccessful because it is a shell of what was designed/promised. No trees or activation. SPP and Flamingo have tons of activation, just like Margaret Pace. Museum Park is a shame.

Miami needs more parks

Museum Park is used all day.


It’s lacking shade.. that is the only reason.


So do you want the park or no?
All I read is complaining from someone that has no idea how much
2.5 acres of land go for in SOB.


You would bitch if they hung you with a new rope.


“non-resident investor owners” means the politicians get their real estate taxes, but they don’t have to provide any services for them as they are not living here. No wonder they approve it.


The community should *want* people living there.. OR else you’ve got a dead empty area without any services/businesses or street life.


yeah, he says it like it’s a good thing.


Anyone have a tractor and chains? That vacant building will come right down!


I think this is a decent compromise.The city of Miami should learn from Miami Beach on how to work with private entities instead of giving them whatever they want.


Funny how the transit hub that was initially proposed is no longer part of this project.


Why is it funny? Instead of transit we’ll get an empty park and an extra lane of traffic.




The transit hub was located at the SEC of the intersection of Alton and fifth at the current pier one imports space.


it’s in the burger king lot


No this project was suppose to have a transit hub too. The burger lot is off of the other causeway.


This lot has been empty for ever. A few months I caught an old episode of Miami Vice and this lot looked exactly the same as it does now except it had something that looked like a gas station or garage. Over the last 40 years they have proposed everything and not once has it come to pass. I would definitely not be holding my breath on this one either.


It if doesn’t include grade separated rail connected to the rest of the county (metrorail, mover); then who give a ___ if it ever gets built at all.

Transit isn’t transit if it sits in traffic with everything else. Its just a sad joke and a waste of money then.


I agree, just expand the Metromover into the beach from the Omni station to 5th and Alton. That would help so much!


This whole process is a farce and built upon a false premise.

Half of those in 33139 use a method other than car (public transit, bike) to commute per the Census’ ACS.

The as-approved project would add little to the areas congestion, however, would absolutely fit in with the dense south beach neighborhood.

Instead we are going to get a soul sucking tower on a parking pedestal in a park. Absolutely killing any chance of activating this barren stretch of south beach.

Such a shame. And the Mayor is pulling this in the quiet middle of the summer.


Filling the entire lots, except for setback would be better than a large park for activating the area?

How is a luxury condo building with 400 units, not going to create less traffic than a 510 unit apartment building?


The premise that 500 apartments spread about 3 blocks is going to create lots of traffic is false. First of all, there are multiple retail/office projects under construction along alton road with parking garages.

These projects will generate many more trips than an apartment building.

People who live on south beach walk, ride scooters, take transit, ride bikes.. and then drive cars.

Go to the Census website and look for yourself.


Here’s the link to the American Community Survey:


Win-Win-Win situation!


This is the first time I’ve seen a politician come right out and say his city should purposely pursue sterility. No housing for actual human residents of this city, just cash dumps for vendepatrias. Anything else is so much messy… life. Yuck!


Seriously. This whole process is terrible terrible terrible.


I wish Crescent Heights proposed something of this quality on the School Board lot in Miami proper. Instead, what’s proposed is an ugly, cluttered, and cheapo mess.


Funny how people like you sit your butts and complain about whats being built there now when you had at least twenty years of the time that these lots sat empty to come up with the money to build the towers of your desire.


Congestion argument is a red herring. Investor owners will rent the units. The city is showing how unprincipled it is, granting a massive rezoning not because of hardship, but by payment of a bribe. In many towns now these decisions are being taken out of the hands of the politicians and requiring a referendum. Cheers


“Congestion” is the go-to excuse for all the NIMBY’s to use.


and even the congestion argument doesn’t hold water. especially since there are projects under construction on alton road up and down south beach with over 1000 parkin gspots.


The Mayor is giving away their bargaining chips by vacating 6th street before the lease negotiations even start.


Let me get this straight. I’m living on one of the hottest and most visited beaches on the planet and I’m supposed to whoop it up about a park?

Be for real people.


Ok Vicki Gunvalson…


A 42 story building is making the news….this most be bee the tallest buildings building on the planet!!!!
What have we become, Ft. Lauderdale????