Please take a look at video below (click either pictures below) which will show how the Entrance to Miami Beach is pending a MAJOR decisive moment this coming week. MB Commissioners are due to vote on the establishment of 3+ Acre Park & Iconic Tower, next Wednesday 11/14 @ 10am at City Hall. Please see the video below & share with ALL Miami Beach Residents & Interested Parties. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to transform our Community & mitigate the effects of sea levels rising!

I'm the 3rd Featured Speaker:

The Park on Fifth Miami Beach

park on fifth miami beach, miami beach entrance, miami beach gateway

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Below is the vision that Russell Galbut & Crescent Heights is envisioning for their project at 500-600-700 Alton Road. It is unusual for anyone to assemble this amount of commmercially viable property in any city, let alone Miami Beach (South Beach). There is an approved project that follows all of the existing zoning that takes up all three blocks with a dense ensemble of rental units. That project has been approved as of a few years back, but the Developer (Russell Galbut) is proposing an alternative:

Crescent Heights has decided to take a more visionary approach: the idea is as follows: WITHOUT adding any additional FAR, he would build instead a slim tower on the 500 Block that was designed to not block ANY views from the ICON South Beach condo building, the BENTLEY BAY or the FLORIDIAN, and transform the current site of former 7-Eleven building, parking lot & the South Shore Hospital shell (which is an eyesore) is the current gateway to South Beach via 5th Street. By concentrating the FAR in only one block, Crescent Heights is proposing to GIVE BACK to the community the entire 600 and 700 Blocks & turn them into a park.

The Developer is planning to use a landscaping design & technology that Landscape Architect Justine Velez worked on years ago (along with another firm), and hasbeen used successfully in Mill Creek Park in Mill Race Park in Columbus, Indiana. (see below) Just as in Miami Beach, Mill Race Park is located at the confluence of water elements, and much of the parkland is an active floodplain. Foremost among the constraints of the Mill Race site was the issue of annual flooding. Rather than attempt to prevent or shut out the regular flood waters, the design explores numerous ways to integrate this natural annual rhythm into the use and experience of the site.


The overall affordability and durability of the site materials reflect an intentional efficiency of materials in both the construction and the maintenance of the park. The fill generated in the excavation of Round Lake was used to build an earthen amphitheater as well as the berms around the basketball court. Many of the paved surfaces use reinforced concrete instead of asphalt, which can be peeled up by floods. The steel and glass block restroom walls are raised to allow flood waters to flow through; the playground is elevated on a wide earth platform; the amphitheater stage is nestled into the protected higher ground of the crescent landform.

Plantings include mostly hardy native species, including grasses that can weather drought and trees that can withstand saturated soils. Crescent Heights has informed that the SW corner of Miami Beach is the lowest point of the island, and often times floods when we experience heavy rainstorms. The pumps that have been installed are only a partial stop-gap (and have so far caused significant sewage drain into Biscayne Bay). Crescent Heights is proposing to design a park where ALL of the water would flow to, and without relying on artificial means, where water would gradually and naturally be absorbed into the aquifer after it has been recycled and cleaned.


The recent impact of Hurricane Irma, along with the reality of global warming and water rise cannot be denied. I personally believe this to be an innovative and creative approach to addressing the issue of flooding and rising sea levels at the prominent entrance to Miami Beach. I'm sure there will be pockets of resistance to the proposed height of the tower. However, given the potential benefits to the city & community of having a large public space (in a prime location) it's a debate/ discussion well worth having.

In my opinion, the potential enhancement in value to the surrounding neighborhood / condo buildings justifies a building height compromise. This is potentially the "heighest and best use" of the 500 - 700 Blocks along Alton Road.


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Following from my previous post about the upcoming Winter Music Conference, culminating in the Ultra Music Festival at Bayfront Park in downtown Miami, I'd also like to highlight a few other late March events taking place around Miami Beach:

The official dates for the 25th annual Winter Music Conference are March 23 to 27, 2010. A few other great events taking place this month are the Miami Book Fair, the Miami Film Festival, and the Sony Ericcson Open Tennis Tournament in Key Biscayne. To see additional information about year-round Miami Beach events, check out our Miami Beach Living Page

The Winter Music Conference is one of my personal favorites, featuring one of the largest indoor/outdoor music and DJ events in the world. The only other events that can rival the diversity and scope of this five day music extravaganza are Mardi Gras in Australia and Carnaval in Brazil. In 2009, we had almost 2,000 artists and DJs in Miami Beach. This year will see major events once again scheduled at the magnificent Mansion nightclub, Set Nightclub and Lounge, and the Cameo Theatre in South Beach. The official host hotel will be the recently restored Eden Roc Hotel located at 4525 Collins Avenue, in the mid-beach area of Miami Beach (right next door to the historic Fontainebleu Hilton).

Be sure to also check out the amazing Oceanfront music events scheduled at the Nikki Beach Club located in the South of Fifth district along Ocean Drive. The National, the Clevelander, the Shelbourne, Skybar at the Shore Club, and Louis Nightclub at the Gansevoort Hotel will also be hosting some of the world's top spinning talent. A few of the featured DJ's this year are Tiesto, David Guetta, Armin Van Buren, Eric Morillo, Carl Cox, Passion Pit, Sasha & John Digweed, Benny Benassi, Fedde Le Grane, Kaskade and Paul Oakenfold. For a complete schedule of upcoming Miami Beach events and to purchase tickets click here

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Home buying is essentially a modern form of the traditional bartering system used for centuries where buyers and sellers test their haggling skills. Buyers are looking to negotiate the lowest possible price while sellers, especially in the existing real estate market climate where buying and selling South Florida homes is tougher, are trying to generate as much profit as they can.

Despite the differences, the end result is ultimately the same for both the buyer and seller: finding a price both parties can agree with. Therefore it’s best to approach the home buying and purchase offer as a problem that requires a couple of steps and time in order to be solved.

Even Miami Beach oceanfront condos are having a little more trouble obtaining buyers, so sellers will try and generate as much profit as they can even though given the market circumstances that may not necessarily be possible. In such situations it’s best to hold off on naming a price but it’s important that the seller is made aware of your interest. This is usually a simple matter of letting a real estate agent know through your own agent of your interest so a seller can reach you when they’re about to lower their asking price.

Assuming there are no other buyers trying to compete, aiming a little higher or lower than what you ideally have in mind allows room for negotiation which a seller appreciates. Also remember the seller is looking to get as much of a deal out of the transaction as you are so it probably wouldn’t hurt to consult your real estate agent on what incentives or strategies are available in order to “sweeten the pot”. Sometimes the seller is looking to get out of there as quick as they can so use things like these to your advantage during your home buying experience.

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