North Bay Village tentatively approves condo building

06/16/2014 2:54 PM

06/16/2014 2:55 PM

North Bay Village commissioners have given tentative approval to a 22-story, 127-unit condominium building on the Kennedy Causeway.

The Village Commission approved the project last week. The building also will include space for offices, shops and restaurants.

“We haven’t had new developments for so many years, and this project will bring revenue to the city,” said Vice-Mayor Eddie Lim. “I have always thought that the best use of property is a mixed-use structure in North Bay Village. Retail will bring activity. We don’t have enough retail here.”

The building, 1555 Kennedy Causeway, will include a five-story parking garage to be divided between residents and visitors. The plans will be brought to the commission for a second and final vote in July.

The lot was occupied by The Crab House, a three-decade-old seafood restaurant that shuttered last June.

North Bay Causeway LLC, which is developing the project, was also recently approved for another structure — a 24-story, 132-unit hotel condominium blocks away.

At 240 feet, the structure will be one of the tallest in North Bay Village, according to Village Manager Frank Rollason.

During Tuesday’s meeting, residents voiced support for the project, which some said will work to enhance the village’s aesthetics.

“This is a no-brainer. They listened to the community and adapted the building to our overall vision,” said Mario Garcia, a resident.

Groundbreaking is planned for the beginning of 2015, and completion is targeted for 2016.

Also at last week’s meeting, the Village Commission:

• Agreed to spend $6,000 in police impact fees to build a prisoner holding cell inside the building which currently houses the village offices.

The resolution passed with three votes. Mayor Connie Leon-Kreps was absent, and Commissioner Richard Chervony voted against it.

Vice-Mayor Eddie Lim voted in favor of the cell, which would allow village police officers to process prisoners without leaving the village, decreasing mileage costs and processing time.

Rollason said the cell would be safe to those inside the building because it will be inaccessible from the inside and will have a separate entrance. The same building is also housing the North Bay Village Summer Camp this summer.

• Awarded $7,321 dollars in scholarships to four high school seniors from North Bay Village.

Andrew Canfield, Mercedes Leguizamon, Sena Kashiwagi, Samir Izadi graduated from Miami Beach Senior High this year and thanked the commission for their awards.

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