Yesterday I went to the presentation of the mall which is going to be located at the entrance of South Beach, between 5th and 8th and Alton and West. In total it’s an 8.7 acres vacant lot which corresponds to 3 blocks. It is definitely time to do something in this muddy vacant lot….
The developer, Russell Galbut and his company, Crescent Heights, had asked 3 architectural firms to come up with projects of how they envisioned this piece of land. Let me underline that nothing has been approved yet by the city of Miami Beach. At this time the height restriction is 8 stories but he is asking for a variance since the 3 projects included a high-rise condo right in front of the Publix/Staples mall. The architectural firms had all in mind four priorities which were to enhance esthetically the entrance to South Beach, to improve the crossing at 5th and Alton, to limit the arrival of too much traffic in to the tiny south beach streets, to get some new retail stores and to create a pedestrian friendly environment for the residents.
What I really appreciated is that the projects included a rooftop park, a pedestrian bridge to cross over 5th street and link the two boardwalks, and of course some real estate condos to sell! The only drawback is for the residents of the Icon since the tower would block their view but let’s not worry yet since nothing has been approved.