With the convention center’s decision almost upon us, the city is starting to divide right down the middle with people debating the pros and cons of each plan.
The owner of Lincoln Road’s Sterling Building, Sam Herzberg is one such person and he decided to publicly voice his choice in an open letter to the Miami Herald last week. Herzberg has given his support to the South Beach ACE convention center plan.
In a letter to the editor sent to the Miami Herald (yes, they still have those), Sam Herzberg explains his concern that 185,000 sf of retail space in the competing Portman-CMC plan could divert shopping traffic away from Lincoln Road.
The letter follows:
South Beach ACE understands the area’s needs
Lincoln Road is one of the most visited destinations in Miami Beach. This rise in popularity has taken shape without much help from the nearby Miami Beach Convention Center, which is only two blocks north. Yet it’s disconnected when it comes to pedestrian access.
As a Lincoln Road property owner, I support efforts to redevelop the convention center as part of a master-plan project, including a hotel, green space, cultural outlets and retail offerings that will complement the surrounding neighborhood.
I have reviewed both plans and think that the South Beach ACE proposal is a better fit for our community. A number of Lincoln Road business owners have arrived at the same conclusion.
South Beach ACE envisions about 60,000 square feet of new retail space at the base of the 17th Street garage.
This will act as a critical link between the convention center site and Lincoln Road to the south.
The competing Portman-CMC group calls for 185,000 square feet of new retail space that will divert business from Lincoln Road and Miami Beach’s existing shops and restaurants.
Equally important, South Beach ACE has teamed up with the international architecture firm OMA, which is led by Pritzker Prize winner Rem Koolhaas. OMA’s iconic designs will serve as a magnet for visitors and create additional economic impact for our city.
I have seen this dynamic unfold at 11 11 Lincoln Road, the mixed-use complex at the west end of Lincoln Road Mall. Developed by South Beach ACE team member Robert Wennett and designed by Herzog & de Meuron, 11 11 Lincoln Road has become a landmark for Miami Beach and an economic engine for our neighborhood.
South Beach ACE understands what Miami Beach needs and wants, and members of its team have demonstrated an ability to change our city for the better through smart development and world-class design.
Sam Herzberg, Miami Beach