North Shore Open Space Park could get a $5 million makeover soon.
The finance committee of the Miami Beach City Commission recommended setting aside about that much money to redesign the park. The funds come from a $10.5 million contribution from a developer with plans for a hotel/condo project directly north of the park.
The city recently agreed to give up ownership of 87th Terrace, a street directly north of the park that dead ends at the beach. The developer gets to use the street’s land area when calculating the square footage of its new development.
Pedestrians will still be able to walk to the beach along the street, which will have improved sidewalks.
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The finance committee agreed to set aside no less than $5 million for the park and the rest for other future projects in North Beach.
At the committee meeting Wednesday, international architecture firm West 8 presented a concept to commissioners that featured new shelters, jogging paths, lighting and other upgrades. The developer, 8701 Collins LLC, paid West 8 for the work.
Commissioners liked the ideas, but they want more information on the long-term costs of maintaining and staffing a redesigned park with community programs.
“I think their concept is wonderful,” said Commissioner and finance committee chair Deede Weithorn in an interview Thursday. “It’s a matter of budget.”
The plan is in the preliminary discussion stages and the the full City Commission will have to discuss how to approach the renovations at a future meeting.
Weithorn noted a good plan will require input from the police department and other city officials on what will be the best fit for the area.
Commissioner Ed Tobin said Wednesday the park is a priority for the city, but he’d prefer to keep about half of the contribution for other future projects in the area.
“I’d like to put all the money in the park, but can’t commit to it because there are other needs in North Beach,” he said.
The North Beach neighborhood has been a focus for the city in recent months, with a deal approved to bring O Cinema into the old Byron-Carlyle Theater and the announcement of an upcoming trolley service to the area.
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