A nearly 30-acre mixed-use development that would bring luxury condo towers, a harbor and public promenade secured a key approval from the city of North Miami Beach.
Developer Gil Dezer’s plan to transform the Intracoastal Mall will return to the North Miami City Commission next month, after commissioners voted to pass zoning amendments and a 30-year development agreement between the city and developer on first reading after a meeting that stretched past 3 a.m. Friday morning.
The developer is proposing 2,000 residential units, 575,000 square feet of retail and office space, 250 hotel rooms, a harbor and central park and more. The megadevelopment would replace the 234,000-square-foot Intracoastal Mall and a three-story office building.
Dezer, whose recent projects include the Residences at Armani/Casa and the Porsche Design Tower, — two luxury condo towers visible from North Miami Beach — tapped Bernard Zyscovich of Zyscovich Architects to design the development.
In July, Dezer Development received a favorable vote from the North Miami Beach planning board for its plans for the 29-acre property.
The four-phased project would include 200,000 square feet of office space and 375,000 square feet of retail space with a grocery store and entertainment retail, for-sale townhouses, condos and rental apartments, and a waterfront promenade.
As part of the approval, Dezer would also build police and fire substations, a community center, and infrastructure around the project.
Tracy Slavens, an attorney at Holland & Knight who’s representing Dezer, introduced the project and said the developer shifted the building height and reduced the “intensity” by more than 70 percent. Dezer plans to relocate some retail tenants of the existing mall into the new project.
Mayor Anthony F. DeFillipo urged the commission to move the plan forward.
“Use the Aventura Mall as an example,” DeFillipo said. “At the end of the day they have a community that’s thriving. Where do we want to be?
Dozens of nearby residents spoke against the plans and urged commissioners to reject the proposed changes. Many talked about the impact it could have on traffic, especially for those living in the Eastern Shores neighborhood.
“You have the right, the obligation to stop this thing and you have to do that,” said Bruce Kusens, a resident who opposes the zoning changes. “This was supposed to make things better, not make things worse.”
An ordinance amending the zoning and land development code related to the Intracoastal Mall property passed 4 to 3, with commissioners Phyllis Smith, Fortuna Smukler and Barbara Kramer voting against it.
The ordinance gives direction to city staff to make changes related to the hotel component. The second ordinance, approving the master development agreement and conceptual master plan request by the developer, also passed 4 to 3 with the same commissioners voting for and against it. The latter ordinance passed with amendments.
Attorney Arthur Gallagher, who was also representing the developer, said construction of the first phase could take three years from the time the developer receives building permits.
If the commission votes to approve the ordinances on second reading, Dezer would have to get site plan approval, in addition to approvals from other government agencies, including Miami-Dade County’s Department of Environmental Resources Management.
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