Trying to get some new development in the City of North Miami Beach is harder than getting a starring role in a Broadway play. It seems that any time a project is even contemplated, the usual suspects line up to threaten and/or file a lawsuit in order to stop anything from getting built. The project formerly known as Marina Grande, now known as Marina Palms, has had its share of legal troubles from the very first blueprint in 2004. Here it is nine years later and it looks like we’re finally getting what will hopefully be the first of many top-notch projects to class up our dreary little city. And first class it will be! Residents should be excited that North Miami Beach will finally be on the map and out of the shadows of Aventura.
Next up is a project called Braha Dixie, which is to be located at 17400 West Dixie Highway. As expected, a lawsuit was just filed to try to stop the ten story project from being built. The Petitioners, Errol Avery, Charles M. Baron, Shelly Clay and an ex-councilman Robert Taylor, sued the City of North Miami Beach in an attempt to stop the developers from going forward. One of the Petitioners, Charles M. Baron, also happens to be the attorney of record who filed the lawsuit. The lawsuit claims that the project will cause great harm to nearby Greynolds Park, and managed to get Channel 10’s Glenna Milberg to do a story on the affair, replete with video of “trees, birds, sky, bikers, hikers…and wild mangroves.” There is also a Facebook Page called Save Greynolds Park, which shows a picture of the skyline from the “view of lagoon from historic boathouse,” claiming that “the proposed commercial towers would loom on the right” if the dreaded condominium does get built.
Only one problem. The proposed Braha Dixie will be located well to the south and east of the Boathouse and will most likely not be seen from that site.
Of the four petitioners, Shelly Clay doesn’t live in or anywhere near North Miami Beach, or in Miami-Dade County for that matter that I can tell. And while Errol Alvey claims to live at 2375 NE 173 Street, North Miami Beach, Florida, which is located one block to the south and west of Braha Dixie…
…it would appear that he’s more concerned about a ten story project being built so close to his apartment building than he is about Greynolds Park.
We already know that good old Robert Taylor lives at 1951 NE 157 Street, and nowhere near Greynolds Park. But that fact certainly didn’t stop him from putting his two cents in.
In another irony, Charles M. Baron happens to live just north of Greynolds Park in an seven story condominium called Greynolds Park Condominium Club, which is actually much closer to the “sacred” Boathouse than the proposed Braha Dixie. I call that “hypocrisy.”
Ironically, as close in proximity as it is to the heart of the park, the Greynolds Park Club Condominium doesn’t appear to bother park goers in the least.
In a side note, Charles M. Baron doesn’t even live in North Miami Beach, but that certainly doesn’t stop him from trying to tell us how to run our city. Just saying.
The proposed Braha Dixie will be located on a main highway, just down the street from a six story apartment complex located at 16800 West Dixie Highway, and just over the train tracks from Biscayne Boulevard, where there is a plethora of development.
As far as I can tell, a ten story development, which will include a hotel, office space and retail stores, will in no way affect the serene beauty of Greynolds Park, and will only help North Miami Beach’s image and economic outlook.
Let’s take a look at other parks around the country and see how development has affected their serene beauty. Skyscrapers looming in the background don’t mar the beauty of this gorgeous park in Denver, Colorado.
Attendees at Delores Park don’t exactly seem bothered by the view of the San Francisco skyline.
The spectacular beauty of the Royal Botanical Gardens co-exist splendidly with the view of downtown Sydney, Australia.
Then there’s the most famous park in the world, Central Park in New York City, which is the most serene stretch of greenery in the country and completely surrounded by the highest high rises in the Northern Hemisphere. Those buildings certainly don’t discourage NYC residents from enjoying the park’s beauty.
Closer to home, beach goers at Key Biscayne don’t even notice the condominium buildings lining the stretch of sun-bleached white sand.
If Mr. Charles Baron’s seven story condominium, which is just to the north of the Greynolds Park Boathouse isn’t a concern to the patrons of the park, surely a ten story complex further to the south, outside the main entrance to the park shouldn’t even be a blip on their radar. As a matter of fact, in terms of pure distance as the crow flies, Mr. Baron’s condominium is approximately 1,000 feet from the Boathouse, or the equivalent of three and one third football fields, while the proposed Braha Dixie is 1,600 feet away – an additional two football fields away.
Methinks there’s a lot more to the story than simply “ruining” the natural beauty of Greynolds Park. Especially when one of the Petitioners is Robert Taylor, who has already earned the reputation of being one of the most anti-development residents in North Miami Beach.
As it stands now, we should be lucky any developer at all is considering building anything at all of quality in our city. Even with all the fraud and corruption going on in our sister city to the south, North Miami, developers are falling all over each other to build there. What’s stopping progress in North Miami Beach is its reputation for incompetent management and pain in the ass litigation filed by people who just don’t want any development whatsoever. Ironically, those people are the first to scream about crime in our in our city. What they don’t seem to get is that development brings new revenue, and new revenue brings more money for additional police protection, among other things. No city can afford all the creature comforts of the idyllic life people demand without the ability of bringing in new revenue. Duh!
If North Miami Beach doesn’t start welcoming quality development, easing the burdens for new businesses and encouraging responsible economic growth, the taxpaying residents might as well put out For Sale signs and get the hell out of dodge.
As it stands now, the devastating combination of (a) no cohesive building code or enforcement, (b) the dismantling of our police department, (c) the proliferation of third rate businesses (especially those Asian “massage” establishments, tattoo parlors, pawn shops, and the like) and (d) rundown apartment buildings-slash-crack houses, it’s a freaking miracle that anyone still lives here. It’s even a bigger miracle that more criminals haven’t already moved in.
Upscale development in a city also increases the value of surrounding properties, making it that much more difficult for criminals to call a place home. It stands to reason that if you discourage criminals from hanging their hats here, we’d have less crime. I’m just saying.
In any event, if there’s ever a chance for North Miami Beach to make some forward progress in this county, we must get some new development here, and it must be done as soon as possible. If these projects don’t get off the ground, and new ones don’t follow, we’ll be having this same discussion ten years from now. Only by then crime will be even worse and our city will be even shabbier than it is now. And that’s almost impossible to imagine!
“Spreading the Wealth”