Sam Herzberg’s proposal to add a hotel to the 91-year-old Sterling Building on Lincoln Road cleared another hurdle.
The Miami Beach Planning Board last week approved the 144-room project by a 6-1 vote. The hotel is one of two currently in the planning stages for the popular pedestrian mall. City leaders and Lincoln Road business owners say the hotels will attract more visitors and supplement the new convention center hotel that will be built couple of blocks north of the Sterling Building.
Herzberg — along with Mel Schlesser, president of Jameck Development, which is proposing the other hotel — have been working with the city’s planning and zoning department for about a year on new regulations that would allow hotel uses on Lincoln Road. On Oct. 16, the city commission adopted an ordinance that eliminated parking requirements, increased the maximum height from 50 to 75 feet and reduced room sizes to 200 square feet for hotels proposed on Lincoln Road. In exchange, developers are being required to provide certain amenities such as ground-floor public spaces.
Under Herzberg’s proposal, a hotel would be built on top of the Sterling Building near the back of the property facing Lincoln Lane. The Sterling’s ground floor retail is home to Books & Books and a Penguin clothing store, and features a courtyard the bookstore uses as an outdoor seating area.
“We are taking the floor area ratio to its most logical location, which is closer to the existing garage located immediately north of the alley,” said project architect Kobi Karp. “We felt it was important to take the FAR and put it further away from Lincoln Road.”
Schlesser’s company owns the circa-1935 Lincoln Center complex at 690 Lincoln Road that entails a two-story retail building, a courtyard and a three-story office building. He’s proposing to add two stories to the office building and convert the entire structure into a hotel that will also have rooms as small as 200 square feet.