After developer Russell Galbut discussed plans for his latest residential and retail project with the Miami Beach Planning Board (MBPB), the Board voted to hold off on a vote until each board member had a chance to share and discuss his or her views on the project. The 500-600 Alton Road project, now called The Wave is a planned mixed-use residential-retail project in South Beach which was the subject of the nearly four-hour hearing with Galbut pleading his case before the MBPB. The most troubling aspects of the project identified by the MBPB were potential issues with the planned underground parking garage in a flood-prone neighborhood, exacerbation of an already heavily trafficked area, and the noise factor in regards to late-night restaurants and bars.
The design for the project formerly known as SoBe Park has three DecoBike stations in a two block radius, some shopping but not enough of it to annoy the neighbors, a completely open and pedestrian friendly ground level, underground parking, low building heights, rooftop pools, green central courtyard, and even a very ‘noir’ nighttime lighting scheme that promises not to shine too brightly in anyone’s windows. The street level is quite excellent. Aesthetically, however it rehashes some nauseatingly overdone themes of Miami Beach like cruise ships and waves, according to a group of concerned citizens and local architects who have submitted a letter of objection to the project’s current architect, Stanley Saitowitz Natoma Architects. Cruise ships have been the standard Miami Beach trope for a hundred years. And waves? For a city with such crappy surfing (our waves are tiny, people) Miami Beach has always overdone it in the ‘wave’ department.
The project is a massive undertaking requiring 60,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space including room for 444 apartments and 1,073 underground parking spaces. Constructions would include a seven-story and a five-story building built on the 500 and 600 blocks of Alton Road, respectively. The 10 story South Shore Hospital building were be assimilated into the project and completely repurposed. The ground level construction would give pedestrians access to an open-air thoroughfare with outdoor restaurants restricted to a midnight curfew.
On April 3, the MBPB reconvened and ultimately approved of the project attaching several key conditions to the massive project. Some of the most vital conditions include the prohibition of outdoor speakers anywhere other than at cafes and restaurants and a restriction against entertainment stages or any other outdoor entertainment in the vicinity. Now that the project has been approved by the MBPB, it is set to be reviewed by the Design Review Board before development can move forward.