The long-defunct building site at the MacArthur Causeway entrance to Miami Beach is finally being transformed.
Coming attractions include a new park, a pedestrian bridge over the MacArthur Causeway entrance into Miami Beach, a 48-story upscale residential tower and a retail pavilion — all between the 600 and 700 blocks of Alton Road.
And more may be in the works. Miami-Dade County, the City of Miami Beach and co-developers Terra and Galbut Family Office Investments are in discussions to add another acre to the project, according to a spokesperson for the City of Miami Beach. The news was first reported by RE: Miami Beach in March.
The existing three-acre site was once home of the long-abandoned South Shore hospital, which sat empty for more than a decade. The shell was demolished after the Terra / Galbut project was approved in 2018.
“The hospital was an eyesore and everyone is happy that it is gone and it is being redeveloped,” said Gayle Durham, president of the West Avenue Neighborhood Association. “Although people will complain that [the planned condo tower] is too tall, we’re happy that we’re getting a new development.”
In June, the project’s $8 million community space, Canopy Park, is set to debut.
“I’m excited to have another park in the neighborhood. Everyone likes the park,” said John Stimmel, board president of the Icon South Beach Condominium Association.
Construction began in March on the 280-unit condo tower Five Park, according to Terra CEO David Martin. Amenities include a cafe on the ground floor, co-working spaces, library, podcast studios, kids and teen club rooms, pool deck, gym with studios for boxing, dancing and yoga — and, on the 26th floor, a dining room, billiards room, eat-in-kitchen and entertainment area.
Construction on the bridge — designed by French artist Daniel Buren — is slated to begin by March 2022, Martin said. Both the tower and bridge are scheduled for completion by late 2023.
Construction of the retail pavilion is expected to begin in the second half of 2023, Martin said.
While Stimmel said he is “excited to have a new neighbor,” he expressed reservations about the bridge. “We have safety concerns with the extra foot traffic that the bridge is going to bring over the marina walkway and who is going to police it,” Stimmel said. “It’s going to bring more people on the north coming south.”
If the expansion plan proceeds, it will allow for a public library, health center and eight-story office building, and enlargement of Canopy Park The acre at Alton and Seventh Street is currently occupied by the Miami Beach Community Health Center.
Stimmel and Durham both applauded the expansion plan.
“It would be a win-win for everybody,” Durham said.