What happened to the Miami Beach Bridge? The real estate team has the answers after a delay
After a two-year delay, property developers have promised to finally move forward with a commitment made to residents in exchange for building a massive South Beach project in a public-private partnership.
Construction is expected to begin during the first half of 2024 on a pedestrian bridge over the foot of the MacArthur Bridge, the main entrance to South Beach, according to David Martinez, director of the Office of Capital Improvement Projects for the city of Miami Beach. . It will take a year to complete.
After submitting The plan is in 2018three development companies agreed in 2019 to build a park and pedestrian bridge in exchange for permission to build a 48-story apartment complex called Five Park and retail space on city-owned land at 500 Alton Road.
The development companies — Coconut Grove-based Terra, Edgewater-based Crescent Heights, and Buena Vista-based New Valley — built the project. Three-acre, $8 million Canopy Park and just headlined at Five Park in November. Construction was expected to begin on The bridge in 2022 It ends in 2023, but it has not launched yet.
Named the Miami Beach Canopy Bridge, French artist Daniel Buren — known for his candy-striped design installations, such as Colones de Buren/Les Deux Plateaux at Palis Royal in Paris — has signed on to design the span.
“Our plan calls for construction of the bridge to begin as soon as the Five Park Tower is completed and substantially completed. Now that the Five Park structure is complete, we have begun foundation work for the north end of the bridge, which is scheduled to take place,” Terra CEO David Martin said via email. Construction of the main bridge structure will begin this summer.
“Once completed, the Canopy Bridge will serve as the gateway to Miami Beach, allowing residents and visitors to connect across much of South Beach on foot or bike — from Lincoln Road to South Pointe Park,” he said.
Terra has not confirmed the total cost of building the bridge, but Miami Beach says the city contributed $9.6 million to the project.
The immediate next steps include submitting paperwork for the bridge plans to the city for final approval and then to the Florida Department of Transportation, which will issue the final permit.
Both city officials and residents expect the project to continue further now. “The only delay that might occur is if the developer doesn’t continue that process moving forward, but there’s no reason why it should take that long,” Martinez said.
Resident Fred Margolis blames the delay in part on the city.
“I am disappointed to see now, after a few years, that construction has not yet begun,” he said. My question is why haven’t these permits been enforced for a long time before now? What is the delay and what has the city done to speed it up?
Other than an agreement between the city and the developer to complete the entire project by 2027, Martinez said the city has no timeline or other way to keep the developer on task. In an effort to ensure progress sooner rather than later, Martinez said the city scheduled bi-monthly meetings starting last year to get updates on the pedestrian bridge.
For their part, Martinez said the city already has a plan ready for when construction is fully underway. One lane in each direction of the MacArthur Bridge is expected to be closed to ensure driver safety. When the crane is on site to install tinted glass panels on the bridge, the highway will be closed during the evening hours for several days. Drivers are expected to enter Miami Beach from the Venice or Julia Tuttle bridges.
Margolis, a commercial real estate developer, said the bridge is essential to the community and is needed sooner rather than later.
He and his wife split their time between Boston and their residence on Murano Grande in the South Fifth neighborhood of South Beach. They see the difference the bridge can make when they take their two Shihpoos, Roxy and Lexi, for a walk four times a day along the walkway behind their building and see pedestrians turning around when they reach the MacArthur Bridge. When they are on their way to a tennis match at Flamingo Park or a restaurant outing, they often have to dodge traffic to cross Fifth Street and Alton Road.
“As residents, we’re eager to see this open. This intersection at Alton and Fifth is difficult to navigate as a pedestrian or bicyclist. It’s dangerous,” Margolis said. “Everyone is looking forward to it. “We’re disappointed that it hasn’t been built already.”