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New Condo Building at Iconic Sagamore and Ritz-Carlton in Miami Beach Approved by Board

Lionstone Development, headed by Diego Lowenstein, along with Flag Luxury Group led by Peter Kanavos, and the Ben-Josef Group under the Ben-Josefs’ ownership, are advancing a proposal for a high-end condominium complex in South Beach. This 30-unit, 15-story building is planned to be situated behind the current Sagamore Hotel South Beach, cleverly extending over the existing Ritz-Carlton, South Beach cabana building. The project will be located at 1617 Collins Avenue and 1 Lincoln Road.

The Miami Beach Historic Preservation Board granted a certificate of appropriateness on Tuesday, following a continuation from a meeting on September 12th. This approval allows for the new building’s construction, provided it is set back a minimum of 15 feet to the west. The board members who voted in favor were Rick Lopez, Ray Breslin, John Stuart, Brian Ehrlich, and Linsey Lovell, while Stuart Reed dissented.

The architectural design of the tower will be entrusted to Kobi Karp Architecture & Interior Design.

However, the board did not greenlight a separate certificate of appropriateness for a multi-million-dollar public improvement and infrastructure project. This project encompasses enhancements to sidewalks, beach access, beach walk, and the addition of a Morris Lapidus-inspired arch. The historic preservation board has requested that the developers make revisions to the design, expressing concerns about stone selection, font usage, other design elements, and potential safety issues. The city will contribute to a portion of the project’s cost and is currently negotiating an agreement with the developers.

The board has unanimously decided to revisit this matter on December 12.

Attorney Tucker Gibbs, representing the nearby National Hotel, voiced support for the public component but objected to the notion that funding for these improvements is contingent on the approval of the private development. He engaged in disagreements with the developers’ attorney, Michael Larkin of Bercow Radell Fernandez Larkin & Tapanes, on multiple occasions during the meeting.

It’s worth noting that the Sagamore and Ritz-Carlton were previously under separate ownership until the families united in 2020 to consolidate their ownership of both hotels, along with the Ritz-Carlton Bal Harbour. The New York-based Flag and Miami-based Lionstone were former owners of the two Ritz-Carltons, while the Sagamore was owned by the New York-based Ben-Josef.

Several new residential projects are on the horizon along Collins Avenue in Miami Beach, many of which are integrated with or adjacent to existing hotels. Developer Michael Shvo and Deutsche Finance are planning the Rosewood Residences at the Raleigh in Miami Beach, which will feature a 60-key hotel and a 17-story, 44-unit condo tower, along with the restoration and renovation of existing structures. Additionally, Witkoff and Monroe Capital are in the pre-sales phase for their Auberge-branded 110-room hotel and 49-unit condo development at the Shore Club property, located at 1901 Collins Avenue.

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