Stephen Ross, Dolphin Owner, and Architect Frank Gehry Plans “Transformational” Development in Next Deauville-Miami

Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross signed a contract Friday to buy the North Beach Deauville Resort property with plans to redevelop the property.

Ross hired Frank Gehry, “one of the world’s greatest living architects,” to design the new project. The Herald reported that 93-year-old Jerry actually walked at the site on Sunday.

The new project will include a hotel and apartments.

Ross said in a statement that the new project will be “transformative,” “truly special” and “creative.” Jerry added that the project would become a “milestone”.

Mayo Dan Gelber said in an email to residents that he will propose a November vote that “will give Steve the ability and flexibility to do something transformative.”

The current Deauville building is in the process of being stripped of asbestos, and an implosion is scheduled. The asbestos removal is now scheduled to be completed by September, months later than originally expected.

Here’s the full message Mayor Gilber sent to residents:

Dear Neighbor:

Our city has struggled hard to maintain the historic Deauville Hotel on the 67th floor and Collins. Since it was damaged in an electrical fire five years ago, the owners have allowed the vacant property to fall into great disrepair. It was a terrible drag on the North Shore. Anyone who lives in the neighborhood or walks on the beach knows that there is only crime and pestilence in its shadow. Our city has sued the owners over and over again, but despite our best efforts, the courts and building officials found the structure to have deteriorated to the point that demolition became the likely outcome. A recent appeal by the Miami Design Preservation Association to halt demolition was rejected last week, meaning demolition is not certain.

So, what will happen next? We must be concerned that after being demolished, the parcel will continue to remain vacant, remain eye-staining and severely affect any positive growth in the area likely to persist for years or even longer. The challenge is that any redevelopment of this package will require enormous capital and commitment. I thought finding someone willing to invest and develop it in a responsible and thoughtful way – with the ability to invest and take a lot of risk – was highly unlikely.

That was until last Friday, when a kid who grew up, literally, in North Shore, took the first steps to purchase the property so he could develop it in a way that would restore his old neighborhood, and give us a chance to realize our history.

Stephen M. Ross, the developer and owner of Dolphins (and former North Beach kid), has signed documents that will allow him to obtain and control the package. Steve’s track record of pursuing and implementing transformative projects, such as Hudson Yards in New York and the Deutsche Bank (formerly Time Warner Center), makes him the ideal choice for this location. Incredibly, he actually hired one of the world’s greatest living architects – Frank Gehry – to design the project. Gehry is also no stranger to our city, having designed the famous New World Symphony Center.

Steve is committed to making sure his design pays homage to the original Deauville and wants to ensure the benefits of the entire neighborhood. It is not looking to increase density but needs more flexibility in design possibilities. He wants to do something special and beautiful for his old neighborhood. Something we will all be proud of.

For that reason, I’m going to ask the city committee to put in the November ballot for consideration a procedure that will give Steve the ability and flexibility to do something transformative.

There are still issues that need to be resolved. I think it is very important for any agreement to require the maximum number of housing units to be much less than what is currently permitted. Also, I won’t support any development unless I know Steve will still be the developer. There are many examples of people buying and flipping packages for quick profits, leaving the city with vacant and undeveloped property for many years. I also think we should anticipate some societal benefits that we are going to negotiate for.

All of these issues can be addressed. Steve doesn’t want to do a heavy project, and he doesn’t simply want to flip that package. I think he’s really excited to introduce something we’ll love about the neighborhood he grew up in, and his use of one of the world’s leading architects in Frank Gehry makes that point unmistakably clear.

Some demanded that the city and its councils require that any redevelopment of the flank be allowed only by the re-establishment of the original Deauville. Nothing different and nothing more. Although I appreciate this goal, it is completely unrealistic and impractical to expect such an outcome. If we stick to that, the property will undoubtedly remain undeveloped and vacant indefinitely.

The truth is that this is an opportunity to honor our history while continuing to pave the way for our future that raises the bar for the neighborhood and does something extraordinary for our residents. Details will be important, of course, but we will all get a chance to vote on the measure in November when it will be on the ballot for consideration.

What we do next is important, and this project allows us to create our own history.

So, we thank you for your interest in the city we love. And don’t be alarmed.


New World Symphony, designed by Jerry:

(Photos: Philip Pissar)

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