Our Positions at the September 12th, 2023 Historic Preservation Board

Read Time: 8 mins

MDPL’s Advocacy Committee has reviewed the following projects on the upcoming Historic Preservation Board agenda 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. Have a comment about a project you would like to share with our committee? Contact us.

To review the Historic Preservation Board Agenda, including public participation information: Click Here

  1. 7275 Collins Avenue.
  2. 100 Block of Lincoln Road
  3. 1 Lincoln Road & 1671 Collins Avenue
  4. 100 Block of Lincoln Road Right-of-Way and 1 Lincoln Road
  5. 1445 Pennsylvania Avenue
  6. 7801 Atlantic Way
  7. 119 Washington Avenue

NEW APPLICATIONS:

1. HPB23-0584, 7275 Collins Avenue

Current Site:

Proposed Structure:

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An application has been filed requesting a Certificate of Appropriateness for the introduction of canopy structures.

MDPL Position: We are supportive of this project subject to staff recommendations. The Miami Beach Bandshell, individually listed on the National Register of Historic Places and also as a local historic site of the City of Miami Beach, is an iconic cultural asset, and it is great to see continued life and activity at the landmark.

DISCUSSION ITEMS

2. Proposed improvements on the 100 Block of Lincoln Road, including upgraded water and sewer infrastructure, pedestrian and streetscape improvements to enhance public safety and public beach access as part of the redevelopment project to be constructed by the owners of the Ritz Carlton and Sagamore Hotels (the 100 Block Project), Lincoln Road improvements east of Washington Avenue. [Referred by City Commission on June 28, 2023]

Discussion Images:

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NEW APPLICATIONS

3. HPB23-0574, 1 Lincoln Road & 1671 Collins Avenue

Current Site:

Proposed Structure:

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An application has been filed requesting a Certificate of Appropriateness for the partial demolition and renovation of two buildings on the site, the total demolition of one building, the construction of a 1-story rooftop addition, the construction of a ground level multi-family residential addition at the northeast corner of the site and modifications to the rear yard site plan.

MDPL Position: MDPL’s advocacy committee had numerous discussions and meetings with the applicant and their team, as well as with adjacent neighbors and their representatives. We thank the applicants for their time in meeting with us and the long-term stewardship of their historic properties. We also thank the neighboring property representatives for their insights and comments.

We believe that the applicant is acting in good faith to maintain its historic structures, however the general design of the proposed new residential tower, specifically its height, massing, and arrangement, is incompatible with the owner’s existing buildings and could have a detrimental impact to the neighboring historic structures and architectural landscape of the area. We are particularly concerned with the proposed tower’s adverse impact looming over the beach and the iconic beach skyline.

This position is not a departure for MDPL: As the HPB knows, we opposed the proposed Raleigh Hotel’s new tower due to similar compatibility concerns. Though we do not believe the HPB went far enough with the Raleigh changes, the board did make an impact on lessening the overall scale of the project by reducing its ultimate height.

While MDPL recognizes that new construction should be distinct from historic structures, we believe that new designs should draw on the contextual fabric of the historic district. Moreover, in considering alterations to Miami Beach’s iconic Art Deco district, MDPL urges the HPB to exercise extreme caution in considering new designs and consider how proposed additions may impact the essential character of Miami Beach’s best known historic district. The HPB must focus on the compatibility criteria to ensure the public’s interests are upheld within the district.

4. PB23-0575, 100 Block of Lincoln Road Right-of-Way and 1 Lincoln Road

Current Site:

Proposed Project:

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An application has been filed requesting a Certificate of Appropriateness for improvements to Lincoln Road between Collins Avenue and the Beachwalk.

MDPL Position: While we generally support the changes proposed to the Lincoln Road public right-of-way, we have concerns with the funding mechanism and development agreement for the proposed public-private partnership. The approved term sheet appears to place handcuffs on the authority of the HPB by tying funding for the roadway upgrades to the new Sagamore tower application. The City has successfully completed a number of streetscape projects without such private development promises… and under the regular procedure, a robust public participation process includes significant public outreach – that has not occurred here.

We support the recommendations as they relate to the gateway design at the Lincoln Road street end and agree with staff that the transition should be smoother than proposed. Also, we hope public beach access is maintained during construction.

5. PB21-0499, 1445 Pennsylvania Avenue

Current Site:

Proposed Structure:

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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 one or more waivers.

MDPL Position: While we continue to have concerns regarding the visibility of the rooftop addition from Espanola Way, we are pleased that the applicant has worked to address concerns expressed by the board last year.

We very much appreciate the proposal to restore and renovate the property, in particular reintroducing the original finial at the corner. Understanding the changes from the applicant, we are now generally supportive of the project, subject to staff recommendations.

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 setback 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.

6. PB23-0572, 7801 Atlantic Way

Current Site:

Proposed Structure:

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An application has been filed requesting a Certificate of Appropriateness for the total demolition of the existing single-family home and the construction of a new single-family home.

MDPL Position [From July 11, 2023]: We appreciate the applicant taking the time to walk us through their proposed program. The new design is elegant. However, no attention appears to be given to the contributing historic home that exists on the site. Rather than explore a program that would honor the historic structure while allowing additional development on the site, the historic building has been overlooked as not being resilient or able to be preserved in any way whatsoever. We believe that more study is needed. There are ways to preserve the existing home through floodplain waivers and resiliency interventions.

7. PB23-0577, 119 Washington Avenue

Current Site:

Proposed Structure:

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An application has been filed requesting a Certificate of Appropriateness for the construction of a 1-story rooftop addition and one or more waivers.

MDPL Position: We are supportive of this project subject to staff recommendations.

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