Our Positions at the November 8th, 2022 Historic Preservation Board

MDPL’s Advocacy Committee has reviewed the following applications and offers our positions below. Please note, the lack of a position on a project does not indicate support for or opposition to that project. To review the Historic Preservation Board Agenda, including public participation information: Click Here

  1. Collins Canal
  2. 1445 Pennsylvania Avenue
  3. 1665 & 1667 Washington Avenue
  4. 1030 6th Street
  5. 2701 and 2727 Indian Creek Drive, 233 27th Street and 230 28th Street
  6. 803 2nd Street
  7. 7418 Harding Avenue
  8. Historic District Rooftop Addition Regulations
  9. 301 71st Street

HISTORIC DESIGNATIONS

HPB22-0537, Collins Canal – Possible Designation of an Historic Site

A presentation by the City of Miami Beach Planning Department to the Historic Preservation Board of a Preliminary Evaluation and Recommendation Report relative to the possible designation of the Collins Canal as a local historic site.

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CITY STAFF RECOMMENDATION

Direct the Planning Department to prepare a formal historic designation report for the proposed Collins Canal Historic Structure.

Staff’s Preliminary Evaluation can be viewed here.

MDPL Position:

We support the Staff recommendations and the historic designation of the Collins Canal and we thank the Historic Preservation Board for initiating the process.

CONTINUED ITEMS

HPB21-0499, 1445 Pennsylvania Avenue

Current Site

Proposed Structure

An application has been filed requesting a Certificate of Appropriateness for the partial demolition, renovation and restoration of the existing building, the construction of a 1-story rooftop addition and active roof deck and variance to exceed the hours of operation for an outdoor bar counter. 

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CITY STAFF RECOMMENDATION

Approval of the Certificate of Appropriateness with conditions.

more details->1445 Pennsylvania Avenue

ANALYSIS

The subject structure, originally known as the Pennway Apartments, was constructed in 1939 and designed by architect M. J. Nadel in the Streamline Moderne style of architecture. The building originally consisted of 2 stores at the ground level (the larger of which was the Pennway Drugstore) and 8 apartment units at the second level. More recently, the ground level was used as a restaurant venue.

The applicant is currently requesting approval for the construction of a partial 1-story rooftop addition, and active roof deck as part of the renovation and restoration of the existing building.

  • The design of the rooftop addition has been modified to be distinguishable from the contributing building including the introduction of a textured stucco finish and the elimination of the previously proposed projecting eyebrows. Further, the addition has been setback an additional 4’-0’ from the south façade. Staff would note that the elevator bulkhead will still be visible from Espanola Way; however, the bulkhead is not required to comply with the line-of-sight regulation as it is an allowable height exception.
  • The height of the perimeter hedge at the roof deck has been increased from 3’-6” to 5’-0”.
  • A 7’-0” tall glass wall system is proposed to be introduced along a portion of the north side of the roof deck.
  • The original “Drugs” signage previously proposed to be located on the reconstructed pylon feature has been removed and replaced with new “Tantra” signage. Staff would note that text that deviates from the original copy of a non-conforming historically significant signage element will require a separate Certificate of Appropriateness request. Staff recommends that applicant explore the introduction of decorative lighting for the pylon in lieu of signage, consistent with comments expressed by the Board at the September meeting. In summary, staff believes that the proposed modifications noted above result in an improved project that achieves a greater level of compatibility with the surrounding historic districts. Finally, as currently proposed, the project will require a Conditional Use Permit for a Neighborhood Impact Establishment to be reviewed by the Planning Board with regard to important issues related to the operations including traffic noise, deliveries, sanitation, security and overall impact to the surrounding neighborhood.

RECOMMENDATION

In view of the foregoing analysis, staff recommends the request for a Certificate of Appropriateness be approved, subject to the conditions enumerated in the attached draft Order, which address the inconsistencies with the aforementioned Certificate of Appropriateness criteria and Hardship and Practical Difficulties criteria, as applicable.

MDPL Position [Nov 8th 2022]:

MDPL supports the project with the changes proposed according to the staff recommendations. We are thankful that the property owners withdrew their variance request to operate until 2am. This continues to be a transitional residential area that needs to be protected from potential adverse impacts.

MDPL Position [from September 13, 2022]:

MDPL has lamented the neglect of this building over many years, as is evidenced by walking around the building or viewing the photos in the application. The restoration and stewardship of this building is important – it is currently not being maintained according to the strict standards of the City of Miami Beach.

We have reviewed the project and very much appreciate the proposal to restore and renovate the property, in particular reintroducing the original finial at the corner.

However, we have two main concerns: first, regarding the rooftop addition – it does not appear to be sufficiently set back from Espanola Way, which has the potential of being visible and overwhelming to the historic structure when viewed from the siteline. We recommend a modification of the proposed design to better comply with the siteline guidelines.

Second, we are seriously concerned about the proposed change in hours of operation. This property currently is across from a school and in the middle of the Flamingo Park neighborhood. The impacts of a 2am outdoor bar operation can be significant to the adjacent neighbors. We have also received communication from Flamingo Park Neighborhood Association expressing their concerns with the variance. For these reasons, we recommend denial of the operating hours variance.

HPB22-0515, 1665 & 1667 Washington Avenue

Current Site

Proposed Structure

An application has been filed requesting a Certificate of Appropriateness for the total demolition of a Non-Contributing structure and the construction of a new office building.

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CITY STAFF RECOMMENDATION

Approval of the Certificate of Appropriateness with conditions.

more details->1665-1667 Washington Avenue

ANALYSIS

The subject development site is comprised of two parcels located midblock on the east side of Washington Avenue between Lincoln Road and 17th Street. The first parcel (located along the alley) contains a 4-story office building constructed in 1997 and the second parcel consists of a surface parking lot.

The applicant is proposing to construct a new 6-story office building on the site, consisting of approximately 21,000 sq. ft. of office, a ground level lobby and coffee shop, a 58-space mechanical parking garage and a rooftop amenity deck. In order to accommodate the new structure, the applicant is proposing the total demolition of the Non-Contributing office building and surface parking lot. Staff does not believe that this building, constructed in 1997, contributes to the historic or architectural character of the district and has no objection to the requested demolition.

Located on one of the most heavily traveled commercial corridors in the City, the upper levels of the proposed building is generally compatible with its neighbors in terms of its overall scale and massing. While the design of the upper façade has been successfully articulated and developed, unfortunately the same cannot be said at the ground level along Washington Avenue. In this regard, as presently configured, the proposed driveway and drop-off area is exceedingly oversized and grossly out of scale with the established character and context of the immediate area. In its current form, the entry driveway, with a vast, gaping depth, would occupy significant urban space, immediately abutting a contributing building. Active building form fronting Washington Avenue, with a much more limited vehicular curb cut entry, would be the most appropriate design option at first level.

While staff continues to have concerns with the design of the first level of the project, and does not endorse the driveway configuration proposed, the Planning Board did have a lengthy discussion regarding this facet of the project and reached a different conclusion. As such, the analysis herein is focused more on improving the compatibility and aesthetics of the first level, to the greatest extent possible.

In order to address these aesthetic and appropriateness issues, staff believes that significant additional refinement of the first level of the project will be required in order to achieve a greater level of compatibility with the historic district. As submitted for the Board’s review, approximately 60% of the ground level frontage is defined by a large open driveway and loading spaces. Since the final submittal of the application, the applicant has continued to develop the ground level plan in consultation with staff. The latest plan staff has reviewed incorporates a valet office to the south of the driveway, in line with the lobby, which may provide some semblance of activation, as well as improve the sidewalk urban condition. Staff also believes that further refinements to the material palette are needed.

Staff’s other concern is relative to the finishes proposed for the covered plaza area and driveway fronting Washington Avenue. To this end, the primarily black materials and finishes proposed within this area are not compatible with the established character of the historic district and accentuate the driveway void area resulting in an undesirable pedestrian experience. In order to better engage the public realm, at a minimum, staff recommends that the ceiling within the front plaza area match the finish proposed for the upper floors and that appropriately designed lighting be introduced. These modifications should serve to provide a more inviting and desirable pedestrian experience.

Finally, it is important to note that on September 20, 2022, the Planning Board reviewed and approved a Conditional Use Permit for a development project greater than 50,000 gross square feet. The Planning Board reviewed the project with regard to important issues related to the operations, including parking, traffic, noise, deliveries, sanitation and security. Staff has attached the Conditional Use Permit for the Board’s reference.

RECOMMENDATION

In view of the foregoing analysis, staff recommends the request for a Certificate of Appropriateness and variance be approved, subject to the conditions enumerated in the attached draft Order, which address the inconsistencies with the aforementioned Certificate of Appropriateness criteria and Hardship and Practical Difficulties criteria, as applicable.

MDPL Position [updated for November 8th 2022]:

Since our last position statement, the applicant has worked to address concerns regarding compatibility with and sensitivity to the contributing Greenview hotel to the north of the property.

The architect has set back the ground level of the new building to be more in line with the Greenview, while increasing the height of the ground level in order to further open view corridors to the Greenview. In contrast with the new property to the north of the Greenview, this treatment is more compatible and respectful of the adjacent historic building.

Other welcome improvements since the first proposal include the addition of lighting in the reflective ground-floor ceiling and extending the “Miami Beach red” sidewalk to the building entrance. We believe these changes help address our concerns and many of the city staff concerns as well.

For these reasons, we support the project as presented.

MDPL Position [from October 18, 2022]:

MDPL believes that the proposed massing of this building is overwhelming to the adjacent historic building. Rather than blending in with the surrounding neighborhood context, it seems to overwhelm it. In reviewing the building program, approximately 50% of the floors appear to be dedicated to parking – though there is no required parking in the zoning code for this lot. We also are concerned about how the palm trees on the sidewalk could grow, as the building appears to jut out towards the sidewalk. We share the Staff’s concerns about the ground-level activation and materiality. However, we believe that only resolving this misses the bigger picture – the massing of this proposed structure is too large. We would suggest:

-Additional setback of the building from the property line – to make it more in-line with the Greenview

-Reducing the amount of parking inside the building in order to shorten the length of the building if the size of offices cannot be reduced

In summary, we believe this project could be successful with additional setbacks and refinements. However, we cannot support this project as currently designed.

HPB22-0536 a.k.a. HPB20-0420, 1030 6th Street

Current Site

Proposed Structure

An application has been filed requesting modifications to a previously issued Certificate of Appropriateness for the partial demolition, renovation and restoration of all buildings on the site and the construction of an attached addition as part of a new hotel development, including one or more waivers and variances to reduce the required setbacks, reduce the required open space and reduce the minimum hotel unit size. Specifically, the applicant is requesting design modifications to the previously approved project and modifications to the previously approved variances for the required open space and minimum hotel unit size requirements.

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CITY STAFF RECOMMENDATION

Approval of modifications to the previously issued Certificate of Appropriateness with conditions. Approval of modifications to the previously issued variance with conditions.

more details->1030 6 Street

STAFF ANALYSIS

The subject collection of buildings, originally known as the Lenox Villas, was constructed in 1938 and designed by Henry Hohauser in the Mediterranean Revival/Art Deco Transition style of architecture. The site contains three identical buildings arranged around a central courtyard fronting onto 6th Street.

The applicant is currently proposing the construction of an attached 7-story addition at the rear of the site. The proposed project consists of 76 hotel units, a rooftop pool deck and dining area with 64 seats, 9 parking spaces, and a restaurant with 46 seats within the courtyard. In order to construct the new addition, the applicant is proposing to totally demolish the center building and rebuild a portion of the front of the structure in a location slightly shifted to the north.

On October 18, 2022, the Board reviewed and continued the application in order to give the applicant additional time to address concerns of the Board. Since the October meeting, the applicant has submitted revised plans that include the following modifications:

  • A greater portion of the front façade of the center building is proposed to be reconstructed. Additionally, the existing decorative metal screens are proposed to be salvaged and reintroduced within the reconstructed façade. Further, the applicant is proposing to salvage additional exterior architectural features to be reintroduced within the new hotel lobby.
  • Additional articulation has been introduced within the design of the primary façade of the addition.
  • A retail/gym space has been introduced along the west side of the ground floor effectively screening the parking area beyond. Staff is supportive of the proposed modifications which will result in a design that achieves a greater level of compatibility with the contributing buildings on the site and the surrounding historic districts. VARIANCE ANALYSIS The applicant is requesting modifications to the following variance:

1. A variance from the minimum required hotel unit size: 15% of the hotel units shall be between 300-335 sq. ft. and 85% of units shall be larger than 335 sq. ft., in order to permit 41 62 hotel units (63 81.58%) between 300 and 335 sq. ft., and 24 14 hotel units exceeding 335 sq. ft. (37 18.42% of units). Variance requested from:

Sec. 142-698. Commercial performance standard area requirements.

(a) The commercial performance standard area requirements are as follows:
Minimum floor area per hotel unit (square feet):15%: 300-335 square feet, 85%: 335+ square feet in all districts.

The code permits 15% of hotel units to have a size between 300-335 sq. ft, with the remainder (85%) over 335 sq. ft. As part of the previously approved project, the Board granted a variance to allow 63% of hotel units to have a size between 300-335 sq. ft. The currently proposed project includes a total of 76 hotel units, an increase of 11 units from the previously approved project. The applicant is proposing to modify the previously granted variance to reflect the currently proposed number of hotel units and increase the percentage of units with a size between 300- 335 sq. ft. from 63% to 81.58%.

In order to accommodate the revised number of units, a variance request for the minimum hotel unit size has been proposed by the applicant. Based on the limited area available for the new construction due to the retention of two Contributing buildings and the courtyard plan, as well as the Board’s previously approval of a variance to reduce the hotel unit size, staff is supportive of the modified variance request insofar as to comport with the number of currently proposed units; however, staff is not supportive of an increase in the percentage of units that have a size between 300-335 sq. ft.

RECOMMENDATION

In view of the foregoing analysis, staff recommends the request for a Certificate of Appropriateness and variance be approved, subject to the conditions enumerated in the attached draft Order, which address the inconsistencies with the aforementioned Certificate of Appropriateness criteria and Hardship and Practical Difficulties criteria, as applicable.

MDPL Position [updated Nov 8, 2022]:

MDPL is disappointed to see minimal changes in the latest version of this design as far as the height and massing of the proposal. Therefore, we retain our existing position below:

MDPL Position [from October 18, 2022]:

MDPL appreciates the applicant’s team spending time with our advocacy committee to discuss this project. We believe that the property is in need of rejuvenation as an important Henry Hohauser-designed complex at the perimeter of the historic district. The renovation and restoration of the two Hohauser front properties along 6th street will improve the surroundings greatly.

As far as the new addition, we agree with the Staff Report that it is out of context with the surrounding neighborhood as currently designed. This is in line with our prior position and that of the Flamingo Park Neighborhood Association at the time the prior project was reviewed. In that case, the owner reduced the height of the new addition by one level and it also had a more sympathetic treatment for the facade of the rear Hohauser building.

There are items that we like about the new design, but we also believe that what faces 6th street should be consistent with the Flamingo Park Neighborhood. It also appears that there is more hardscape/concrete in this new version.

With the recommended continuance, we believe that further refinement can be made to ensure a more compatible project for this important entryway to the district.

HPB22-0538, 2701 and 2727 Indian Creek Drive, 233 27th Street and 230 28th Street

Current Site

Proposed Structure

An application has been filed requesting a variance to reduce the minimum hotel unit size requirements. 

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CITY STAFF RECOMMENDATION

Approval of the variance request.

more details->2701 and 2727 Indian Creek Drive, 233 27th Street and 230 28th Street

VARIANCE ANALYSIS

The applicant is requesting the following variance:

1. A variance from the minimum required hotel unit size: 15% of the hotel units shall be between 300 and 335 sq. ft. and 85% of units shall be larger than 335 sq. ft., in order to permit 25 hotel units (21%) with a size less than 300 sq. ft. Variance requested from:

Sec. 142-217. – Area requirements.

The area requirements in the RM-2 residential multifamily, medium intensity district are as follows:
Minimum Unit Size (Square feet), Hotel units: 15%: 300-335, 85%: 335+

On May 10, 2022 the Historic Preservation Board approved the design of a new 7-story detached addition as part of the redevelopment of the site. As part of that application, the applicant was requesting a variance to reduce the hotel room sizes for 93% of the proposed 144 hotel units. During the hearing, this variance was withdrawn without prejudice, at the request of the application. Since that time, the applicant has reevaluated the hotel unit configuration resulting in a 26-unit reduction. The applicant is currently requesting a variance to provide 25 hotel units ranging in size from 241-288 sq. ft. (approximately 21% of the 118 hotel units currently proposed).

The RM-2 zoning district allows the reconfiguration of hotel units with a minimum area of 200 sq. ft. when such units are within an existing structure and located in a local historic district. Also, for rooftop additions to contributing buildings, new hotel units with a minimum area of 200 sq. ft. are permitted. In this case, the new construction is a detached addition and the minimum unit size of 200 sq. ft. would not apply.

The existing configuration of the four Contributing buildings arranged around a historically significant courtyard creates practical difficulties with regard to providing additional hotel units on the property. The size of the new hotel units would not adversely impact the character of the existing structures or the surrounding historic district. Further, the vast majority of the proposed hotel units within the addition exceed 300 square feet. In summary, staff recommends approval of the variance as proposed.

RECOMMENDATION
In view of the foregoing analysis, staff recommends the request for a variance be approved, subject to the conditions enumerated in the attached draft Order.

MDPL Position:

MDPL supports Staff recommendations

NEW APPLICATIONS

HPB22-0521, 803 2nd Street

Current Site

Proposed Structure

An application has been filed requesting a Certificate of Appropriateness for the total demolition of an existing building and the construction of a new single-family home, including variances from the minimum required setbacks, lot width and lot area.

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CITY STAFF RECOMMENDATION

Approval of the Certificate of Appropriateness with conditions.

Approval of the variances with conditions.

more details->803 2 Street

ANALYSIS

The applicant is proposing to construct a new single-family residential structure on the site. In order to construct the new building, the applicant is proposing the total demolition of the existing 1-story Contributing building.

Request for total demolition of the existing 1-story building

The existing building was originally constructed in 1923 on the northwest corner of 2nd Street and Meridian Avenue. Although no original plans have been located, examination of early aerial photographs and building permit records indicates the structure has had only limited modifications since its construction.

The applicant has submitted a report prepared by Douglas Wood, P.E., entitled “General Assessment Report for the Existing Structural Systems at 803 2nd Street Miami Beach, Florida” dated April 5, 2021 outlining the building’s current structural condition. In summary, this report concludes the following:

‘It will not be possible to correct the existing damages, deterioration, and deficiencies; meet the current Building Code strength requirements; and provide reasonably appropriate safety and performance without dismantling the entire building and reconstructing it. Extensive reconstruction will likely result in the loss of the building’s status as “contributing” to the historical district. In that case, it will be necessary to meet current flood design criteria, including setting the floor elevation at +9.0 ft. N.G.V.D.’

A second report, prepared by Youssef Hachem Consulting Engineering, dated June 24, 2022 has been submitted regarding the structural condition of the existing building. The report concludes:

‘Based on the site observations of the conditions of structural members of the buildings and the alterations required by the Florida Building Code, it is clear that this building cannot be saved by repairs because the wood which is the main component of the structure has passed its useful life expectancy and use and cannot be treated or repaired. It is our recommendation that the building be demolished.’

Staff has visited the subject site and has observed the physical condition of the building is consistent with the findings of both structural engineers. As such, staff does not have an objection to the applicant’s proposal to replace the existing structure. If it was possible to retain, restore and preserve substantial, significant portions of the original building, while reconstructing limited portions that required demolition due to severe structural deterioration, staff would be supportive of reconstructing those portions of the building. However, based upon the detailed reports from the structural engineers, it appears that total demolition will be required, leaving no original materials, features or finishes.

Although a possible course of action could be the replication of the building, staff would not recommend this as an option for several reasons. First, an accurate reconstruction of the building would not be possible, as the finish floor elevation would be required to be raised approximately 3.6’ significantly compromising the buildings relationship to the sidewalk.

Second, Miami Beach has a rich history of evolving architectural styles and staff believes that the replacement of a structure that has exhausted its ability to function as a useful and habitable building should be with a structure of its time, while fully respecting the established scale, context and setting in which it is located. In general, the replication of structures is not encouraged; the reconstruction of demolished structures should only be considered when there are very extenuating circumstances. The current structural condition of the building appears to indicate that it has reached the end of its life cycle. Staff believes it would be most appropriate to replace the structure with a new building reflecting its time and place in Miami Beach, just as Mediterranean Revival transitioned into Art Deco and Art Deco transitioned into Mid-Century Modern or MiMo, as buildings aged and needed to be replaced. Particularly within historic districts, it is important to further the design continuum that has been the regulatory practice of the Board and the policy recommended by staff since local historic districts have been designated.

New single-family residence

Staff is highly supportive of the massing and contemporary design language of the new home, which incorporates very successful variations in surface finishes and changes in plane along the primary elevations. Additionally, the Meridian Avenue façade incorporates a reinterpretation of a portion of the original 1923 façade which further helps to breakdown the scale of the building. Staff would recommend however, that the north and west elevations be further developed to break up the large expanses of blank stucco wall area. Further, the height, scale and mass of the proposed building is consistent with the recently completed single-family home located at 819 2nd Street and the larger, surrounding context of the Ocean Beach Local Historic District.

Finally, staff would note that there is an existing specimen Calophyllum tree located within the Meridian Avenue right-of-way. City staff has expressed concern relative to the impact the new building may have on this existing tree. Staff has included a number of recommended conditions within the draft Order so as to ensure the viability of this tree into the future.

VARIANCE ANALYSIS

The applicant is requesting the following variances:

  1. A variance to reduce by 3,250.72 sq. ft. the minimum required lot area of 5,750 sq. ft. within the RPS-2 zoning district in order to construct a single-family residential building on a property with a lot area of 2,499.28 sq. ft. Variance requested from: Sec. 142-696. Residential performance standard area requirements. The residential performance standard area requirements are as follows: Minimum lot area, RPS2: 5,750 square feet
  2. A variance to reduce by 5.37’ the minimum required lot width of 50.0’ within the RPS-2 district in order to construct a single-family residential building on a property with a lot width of 44.63’. Variance requested from: Sec. 142-696. Residential performance standard area requirements. The residential performance standard area requirements are as follows: Minimum lot width, RPS2: 50 feet

The subject property was originally platted with the two adjacent sites to the west as part of Lot 8, Block 77 and later subdivided as three separate properties, including 6 feet of Lot 7 to the north. All three properties fronting 2nd Street are non-conforming with regard to lot area and lot width in their current configurations. The subject lots size is 2,499.28 sq. ft., where the minimum required is 5,750 sq. ft. within the RPS-2 district. The existing lot width of 47.63’ is also non-conforming, as the minimum required lot width is 50.0’.

Without the granting of these variances, the construction of the proposed residential building, or any new structure for that matter, would not be permitted. Staff finds that the existing size of the lot and existing lot width, establishes the hardship that justifies the variances requested.

  1. A variance to reduce by 2’-8” the minimum required side facing a street setback of 5’-0” in order to construct a portion of the building with a setback of 2’-4” from the east side property line. Variance requested from:

Sec. 142-697. – Setback requirements in the R-PS1, 2, 3, 4 districts.

(a) The setback requirements in the R-PS1, 2, 3, 4 districts are as follows: Pedestal and subterranean, Side, Facing a Street: 5 feet

This variance request is related to the introduction of a reinterpretation of a portion of the original 1923 façade of the existing building. The reinterpreted façade serves as site wall and incorporates the pedestrian entrance to the home. Staff finds that the special condition in which the applicant is proposing to introduce an element that recalls the history of the site in combination with the substandard lot area justifies the granting of a variance. Staff would note that as part of the draft conditions, staff is recommending that a plaque be located on this portion of the building that outlines the historical development of the site and the surrounding historic district.

RECOMMENDATION

In view of the foregoing analysis, staff recommends the application, inclusive of the requested variances, be approved subject to the conditions enumerated in the attached draft Order, which address the inconsistencies with the aforementioned Certificate of Appropriateness and Practical Difficulty and Hardship criteria, as applicable.

MDPL Position:

MDPL is thankful to the applicant for presenting to our advocacy committee. We appreciate the program requirements of the current owner and have reviewed the structural reports provided in the application. However, we are adamantly opposed to the total demolition of the contributing historic structure and we reject the claims that the building cannot be rebuilt or reconstructed.

Although the historic one-story home may need significant repair/rebuilding, we believe that this is not an undue burden in comparison to the cost involved in building a new multi-story structure that is significantly larger than the original building.

In addition, maintaining/rebuilding just one side of the historic structure is not in keeping with the Secretary of Interior standards for historic preservation. It feels like pasting a facade onto a completely contrasting structure. We simply cannot encourage demolition by neglect by supporting this project.

HPB21-0498, 7418 Harding Avenue

Current Site

Proposed Structure

An application has been filed requesting a Certificate of Appropriateness for the partial demolition, renovation, and restoration of three buildings as part of a new hotel development on the site including a variance from the minimum hotel unit size.

View Item Details

CITY STAFF RECOMMENDATION

Approval of the Certificate of Appropriateness with conditions.

Approval of the variance with conditions.

more details->7418 Harding Avenue

ANALYSIS

The subject collection of buildings, originally known as the Harding Apartments, was constructed in 1946 and designed by Frank Wyatt Woods in the Post War Modern style of architecture. The site contains three similarly designed 2-story buildings arranged around a central courtyard fronting Harding Avenue.

On May 10, 2022 the Historic Preservation Board reviewed a request for a Certificate of Appropriateness for the total demolition of the rear building and the construction of a new 5-story detached addition as part of a new 48-unit hotel development. The Board continued the application in order for the applicant to address concerns expressed the Board. Subsequently, the property was sold to a new owner who has submitted revised plans including a significantly reduced scope of work.

The applicant is currently proposing to retain and substantially restore all three buildings on the site as part of a new 38-unit hotel development. Within the courtyard, a significantly enhanced landscape design is proposed to be introduced as well as a new spa pool and deck. The hotel lobby is proposed to be located within the existing rear building and will be accessed via the courtyard.

With respect to the contributing buildings, the applicant is proposing limited demolition including the removal of the courtyard facing open air stairwells of the north and south buildings. These areas will be incorporated into hotel units except for the projecting landings at the second level which are proposed to be repurposed as planters. As part of the proposed restoration, all through- the-wall air conditioning units will be replaced with central air conditioning and the existing non- original windows will be replaced with new impact resistant windows with an historically accurate muntin configuration.

In summary, staff is highly supportive of the primarily restorative project and recommends approval as noted below.

VARIANCE ANALYSIS

The applicant is requesting the following variance:

1. A variance to reduce by 10 to 90 sq. ft. the minimum required unit size of 300 sq. ft. for units in Contributing buildings which are substantially retained and restored in order to provide hotel units that range in size from 210 to 290 sq. ft. Variance requested from:

Sec. 142-870.15. – Development regulations and area requirements.

(b) The unit size requirements for the North Beach National Register Overlay district are as follows:
Minimum Unit Size (Square Feet): “Contributing” buildings which are substantially retained and restored—300

The applicant is proposing to retain and substantially restore all three contributing buildings including the reconfiguration of the existing large multi-family units into smaller hotel units ranging in size from 210 to 290 sq. ft. Staff would note that the RM-1 zoning district regulations allow for the retention of existing hotel units sizes of at least 200 sq. ft. Since these buildings were originally constructed as apartments, the 200 sq. ft. unit size would not apply. Additionally, hotel units within rooftop additions to contributing buildings are also permitted with a minimum unit size of 200 sq. ft.

Staff would note that the hotel units located within the proposed addition comply with the minimum unit size requirements. Compliance with the minimum hotel unit size of 300 sq. ft. may conflict with existing window openings requiring modifications to the original design. As such, staff finds that the retention and restoration of the contributing buildings on the site creates the practical difficulties that justify the variance requested.

RECOMMENDATION

In view of the foregoing analysis, staff recommends the request for a Certificate of Appropriateness and variance be approved, subject to the conditions enumerated in the attached draft Order, which address the inconsistencies with the aforementioned Certificate of Appropriateness criteria and Hardship and Practical Difficulties criteria, as applicable.

MDPL Position:

MDPL is supportive of this proposal to restore and revitalize these structures, which are in need of attention. As part of North Beach’s newest historic district, this project will be an example of renewal through historic preservation. We thank the applicants for their efforts and we support the project subject to Staff recommendations.

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13th Annual CADA Panel Discussion on Contemporary African Diaspora Art

Art Deco Museum

December 4 @ 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm EST

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The Annual CADA (Art Basel) Panel Discussion on Contemporary African Diaspora Art is held in Miami, Florida.

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The 13th edition will be held at the Art Deco Museum on Miami Beach on Sunday, December 4, 2022 from 12:00pm-3:00pm to an unprecedented number of collectors and investors that are interested in the “state of art” from the African Diaspora globally.

This year’s panelists will include award winning Journalist, Julie Walker, Artist and NSU Art Professor, Kandy Lopez, Valerie Cooper, Art Advisor and Appraiser, Ethiopian artist, Jomo Tariku and Jarvis Dubois, Smithsonian Museum.

This year’s panel will focus on:

The Aesthetics of Cool
The Black Art Market
The Global African Diaspora Renaissance movement
Contemporary Afro-Caribbean Art and Culture

Venue

Art Deco Museum
1001 Ocean Drive
Miami Beach, FL 33139 United States
+ Google Map
Phone:
305-672-2014
View Venue Website

Art Deco Weekend:
Jan 13-15 2023
"Art Deco Worldwide"

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