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Miami Beach may create incentives for affordable housing developers

Miami Beach’s success in attracting luxury developments means there’s little to no room for affordable housing developers to build projects. But the city commission’s land use committee is hoping to solve that problem.

Committee members Mark Samuelian, Michael Gongora and Ricky Arriola, who are also commissioners, on Tuesday directed Miami Beach planning director Thomas Mooney to draft ordinances that would entice affordable housing developers to build in the city.

Gongora proposed the city pass legislation that would fast track affordable housing projects through the building permit process and waive land use and other fees associated with new developments, which drew praise from his colleague, Samuelian.

“We have talked a lot about affordable housing and how to make sure it happens,” Samuelian said. “This is a movement in the right direction.”

November 25, 2020 | TheRealDeal | Miami Beach may create incentives for affordable housing developers

Miami Beach moves toward banning chain restaurants and stores in Sunset Harbour

A ban on chain retail stores and restaurants in South Beach’s Sunset Harbour is moving forward with the backing of three Miami Beach city commissioners.

The Miami Beach Land Use and Sustainability Committee — made up of commissioners Mark Samuelian, Michael Gongora, and Ricky Arriola — unanimously backed a proposed ordinance banning “formula” restaurants and stores during Tuesday’s meeting.

July 01, 2020 | The Real Deal | Miami Beach moves toward banning chain restaurants and stores in Sunset Harbour

Hotels may be coming to Lincoln Road. Here’s what they could bring to the street

Commissioners voted in favor of advancing the hotel ordinance in September and will consider it fully in October. Most cited increased foot traffic as a major benefit. Commissioner Mark Samuelian recalled a pedestrian street in Barcelona, Spain — La Rambla — that has hotels.

“I think this is a concept that other great cities have had,” he said.

September 24, 2019 | Miami Herald | Hotels may be coming to Lincoln Road. Here’s what they could bring to the street

Miami Beach Greenlights Ocean Terrace Park Along 73rd to 75th Streets

On Wednesday, July 31st, the Miami Beach City Commission unanimously gave final approval to the Ocean Terrace Streetscape Plan. The development agreement that will bring a new oceanfront public space along the two-block stretch of Ocean Terrace along 73rd Street to 75th Street.

“This has been an excellent and very involved community process,” said Miami Beach Commissioner Mark Samuelian. “Folks have been involved throughout.”

August 5, 2019 | Miami Beach Times | Miami Beach Greenlights Ocean Terrace Park Along 73rd to 75th Streets

Fate of City National Bank project uncertain

Commissioner Mark Samuelian said, after reading the Staff memo, “In my 8 months here, this is one of the strongest recommendations I’ve seen in terms of not to proceed” and he asked City Manager Jimmy Morales why.

Samuelian said, “I’m concerned about the terms changing… I strongly support the goal of revitalizing Town Center. I’d like to get the stimulus that I want but I don’t think we’re there and I’m of the mind now to think about if we’re going to plow millions of dollars in, how might we do it in a better way? Are there options at this point? We spent a year and a half … are there options or other things we could do is the question on my mind at this point.”

Samuelian said, “Candidly, I would be of the mind today to be entertaining options. I honestly would.”

He elaborated. “Maybe we should just think about selling the lots. Have we done the due diligence of other things to do because I’m sensitive to the time and given my colleagues comments about how far apart we are, I’m just wondering about that.”

August 4, 2018 | RE: Miami Beach | Fate of City National Bank project uncertain

Agreement reached on 44-story tower for 500 Alton Road

When Commissioner Mark Samuelian proposed continuing the dialogue over the August recess and having another Finance Committee meeting to review the details of the deal, Galbut said he would take the Baywalk contribution off the table. He was looking for a unanimous vote of the Committee but said he was willing to take a 2-1 vote to move the item onto the Commission agenda in September.

Samuelian said, “I understand we want to move expeditiously but, on the record, this property’s been like this for 13 years… I don’t think an extra meeting would be a problem; in fact I think it would help the deal” saying he wanted “to get it right.”

Following another brief recess, Samuelian was willing to accept the redlined agreement and voted with Arriola and Commissioner John Alemán to instruct the Administration to draft a development agreement that allowed for the vacation of 6th Street and other ordinance changes to send to the Commission for first reading in September.

July 28, 2018 | RE: Miami Beach | Agreement reached on 44-story tower for 500 Alton Road