Tallahassee OKs $5M for Makeover of Lincoln Road Beach Entrance

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The eastern part of Lincoln Road, Miami Beach’s famed shopping promenade, is getting a makeover.

The owners of the Ritz-Carlton, South Beach hotel have secured $4.9 million from the State of Florida to reconfigure the final block of Lincoln Road, which abuts the 250,000-square-foot hotel and leads onto the beach.

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The revitalization project, designed by Kobi Karp, includes turning the two-lane 100 block into a four-lane road, adding landscaping and putting murals near the neighboring Decoplage condo building, which the hotel owners have dubbed the “ArtWalk.” 

Another addition is the so-called “Lapidus Arch,” which famed architect Morris Lapidus designed in the 1960s as a beach entrance, but was never built.  

The plan is part of the Ritz-Carlton hotel’s redevelopment. In October, Miami Beach Historic Preservation Board approved a controversial plan to add a 15-story condo building to the oceanfront hotel, whose room count would decrease by 43 to 434 rooms. 

In tandem, the Ritz-Carlton owners — the Kanavos, Lowenstein and Ben-Josef families — pitched a proposal to beautify that portion of Lincoln Road, committing $4 million of their own money. 

They argued that the street’s makeover and the addition of the residential component were crucial to reviving their sidewalk, which has become afflicted by crime and homelessness.

But critics — which included preservationists, the owner of the neighboring National Hotel and some residents of the Decoplage condo — had objected to the height of the 182-foot high-rise, saying it would be out of character and create a shadow over the beach. 

The Ritz-Carlton owners plan to present the final development agreement to the Miami Beach Commission in early summer 2024, and expect to start construction by the end of the year.

The City of Miami Beach has also committed $4 million of its own to the project, bringing the total financing to nearly $13 million. The state funds come from the $117.5 billion budget that Florida lawmakers approved this month. But Florida’s governor, Republican Ron DeSantis, still has the power to siphon off individual spending items before the state budget goes into effect in July. 

Still, more could be coming to the Miami Beach promenade. The ownership group plans to put forth proposals for the 200 and 300 blocks of Lincoln Road.

“Our vision is that the activities on east Lincoln Road become the catalyst for a longer-term movement to revitalize the urban core of our entire city center,” Peter Kanavos, a partner at Flag Luxury Group, said in a statement.

Update: The story was amended to include details about the construction timeline.

Julia Echikson can be reached at jechikson@commercialobserver.com