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Miami Beach drops ‘Lincoln Lane’ development plan

After stalling for two years, an expensive and ambitious plan to develop an offshoot to the Lincoln Road Mall has officially been canned.

Miami Beach had hoped to transform Lincoln Lane from the dumpster-lined alley it is now into a public promenade complete with offices, apartments and shops.

The city solicited proposals to redevelop the area, which includes city-owned property. Developers submitted plans costing up to $59 million.

But a squabble soon erupted among bidders, with one firm accusing Miami Beach of violating Florida’s open meeting law. At the time, Miami Beach was figuring out how to comply with changes in the law.

A suggestion was made to re-do parts of the bid process in public. But by that time the city was moving ahead with its massive redevelopment plan for a renovated convention center district. So the Lincoln Lane project stalled.

“The proposals have frankly gotten stale,” said City Manager Jimmy Morales.

In a memo to city commissioners, Morales suggested squashing the project.

Among the reasons he cites: new leadership in the administration and elected body at City Hall, changes in the real estate market since the bid was issued and an upcoming project to master-plan Lincoln Road.

He added that city land along Lincoln Lane could be used to build a hotel for the city’s convention center.

Commissioners at their Wednesday meeting agreed with the manager’s recommendation. All voted in favor of killing the project, except for Commissioner Deede Weithorn, who wasn’t on the dais at the time of the vote.

Commissioner Jonah Wolfson called the Lincoln Lane project part of a “constant grab for city land.”

Follow @Cveiga on Twitter.

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