Miami Beach Voters Reject Related, Starwood, Peebles Development Proposals
Miami Beach residents voted down three proposals for major developments Tuesday, dealing a blow to big-name developers that hoped to capitalize on the demand for offices and luxury condos in the city.
The most notable project on the ballot was proposed by Related Cos. Chairman Stephen Ross, who proposed building a two-tower luxury condo project designed by architect Frank Gehry on the site of the iconic, condemned Deauville resort.
Miami Beach voters, by a 53%-47% margin, rejected the measure despite Ross pouring roughly $1.9M into a political action committee that supported the project, which also received support from Mayor Dan Gelber, The Real Deal reported.
Like neighboring buildings on Collins Avenue, the Deauville was deemed unsafe and ordered to be demolished, which is scheduled for Nov. 13. Ross had pitched increasing the density on the 3-acre site by 50%, TRD reported.
A 130K SF office project off Lincoln Road proposed by a venture of Miami-based Integra Investments, Starwood Capital Group and Comras Co. was also voted down by roughly 53% of Miami Beach voters.
The developers had agreed to redevelop a city-owned parking lot at 1668 Lenox Ave. and 1080 Lincoln Lane North, paying the city around $220M over a 99-year lease.
Voters also shot down The Peebles Corp.'s hopes to build a project with 80K SF of office space, 46 apartments and nearly 10K SF of retail at 1664 Meridian Ave. Peebles would have paid the city a minimum of $146M of rent had his project been approved.
In an emailed statement to Bisnow, he attributed the rejection to being on the same ballot as the Deauville and Starwood projects.
“The vote percentages for the two Lincoln Lane development questions and the Deauville Hotel FAR increase were essentially the same, which indicates voters grouped them together,” Peebles said. "Not a good thing for us as our project was very different."
Peebles said he could tweak the project and bring it back before Miami Beach voters when he thinks they will be more likely to approve it.
"We will consider working with the city to make some adjustments to our proposal and consider presenting it to the voters again without such a crowded and controversial group of ballot questions," he said. "That would give the voters the opportunity to focus on the many public benefits from our proposal.”
City voters did approve two ballot measures, including increasing development fees in the South of Fifth neighborhood and allowing property owners who change their short-term rentals to residential units to access additional development rights.
Across Biscayne Bay, Miami voters overwhelmingly approved a proposed redevelopment of the James L. Knight Convention Center, which would see Miami developer Gencom and hotel giant Hyatt team up to build 1,500 apartments, a new 615-room hotel with 264 apartments, a new 190K SF convention center and 12K SF of retail, TRD reported.
Jarred Schenke contributed reporting for this article.