Aventura / Sunny Isles

Sunny Isles Beach

Jewish Center, condo developer close to an agreement


Special to the Miami Herald

A planned condo tower and a planned Jewish center may be neighbors after all.

The Chabad Russian Center, which plans to build the Sunny Isles Jewish Center at 488 Sunny Isles Blvd., had objected to plans for a high-rise condo tower on city-owned land next door.

Chabad leaders had been adamant that they could not come to an agreement, but have now changed their minds.

The development company, the Vagabond Group, contacted the city last fall about building a 20- to 29-story condo tower at 500 Sunny Isles Blvd., said Avra Jain, one of the company’s owners.

The condo building could overshadow its future neighbor, the Sunny Isles Jewish Center, which breaks ground this summer, said Rabbi Alexander Kaller of the Chabad Russian Center.

The five-story Sunny Isles Jewish Center will include a synagogue, ritual bath, preschool, wedding hall, library and rooftop restaurant, Kaller said.

“We had some concerns, but they are cooperating in order to appease us as far as the design and location,” Kaller said.

Kaller said one of the things the condo developer agreed to do was ensure that the tower doesn’t block the Jewish Center’s view of the ocean.

The city initially planned to put a park at the condo site, but has now agreed to sell to the developers if they can come to an agreement with the Chabad, Kaller said.

If an agreement cannot be reached, the city will find another use for location, City Manager Christopher Russo said.

Jain stressed the importance of the support of the Chabad Russian Center for the condo development.

“The site is not feasible without their support, and we will not move forward without their full support,” Jain said.

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