Once again, a section of Miami Beach is being given away to developers, this time Ocean Terrace in North Beach. Under the guise of reducing blight, the City Commission has put a question on November’s ballot asking us to vote on upzoning this two-block MiMo treasure so that Claro Development can put up a multimillion-dollar highrise.
This will open up a modest middle-class neighborhood, yet again, to an invasion of wealthy investors from abroad looking for a place to park their money. It will also effectively shut out locals, block sunshine from the beachfront, increase congestion in the area and possibly spell doom to the existing small businesses on Collins Avenue between 73rd and 75th streets.
The so-called blight is exactly two buildings already owned by Claro Development on Ocean Terrace. Undeniably, the area should be upgraded, but it needs to be done in a responsible, appropriate manner that is consistent with the character of the neighborhood. We have already had one similar disaster on Collins Avenue at 69th Street, Canyon Ranch, that recently went into bankruptcy. The fate of this ill-suited development should be a warning to voters.
If this passes, it will just be a matter of time before this blight spreads to other parts of Miami Beach. Vote No on #55.
David Golomb, Miami Beach