North Beach’s Biggest Development Rejected? What’s Next for the Site of the Deauville Hotel?
Nov 15, 2022 November 15, 2022
After years of sitting in disrepair due to a fire, the beloved and historic oceanfront Deauville Hotel site in North Beach has been waiting for its fate. Bought by Miami Dolphins owner and billionaire Stephen Ross, earlier this year he revealed plans for the site with a 373-feet, “six-star luxury,” two-tower vision designed by stararchitect Frank Gehry. With one a 175-key Equinox-branded hotel and the other with 150 luxury condos, the preliminary renderings for the project looked nothing short of transformational for this quiet neighborhood that still retains its nostalgia for the heydeys of the 1950s.
However, Ross’ vision, in partnership with his Related Companies, required significant government upzoning approval given its proposed size and location at 6701 Collins Avenue. In July, the Miami Beach City Commission voted to approve the proposal submitted by the Related Companies, submitted in October of 2021, including the first architectural renderings of Gehry’s design for the two-tower project with initial plans for a partnership with the Equinox Hotel brand.
Further development, however, would require voter approval to upzone the buildable areas along this four-block stretch of Collins Avenue between 65th and 69th streets. In this month’s election, Miami Beach voters rejected a referendum that would do this, essentially increasing the allowable floor-area ratio for buildings set within the zone of this project,
The referendum’s defeat halts plans for the Equinox Hotel & Residences, at least for now, leaving the proposal by Stephen Ross to build here up in the air. Ross has invested close to $1.9 million in a Political Action Committee to support the referendum on the ballot, and was expected to seal his purchase of the property once the referendum passed, then go on to negotiate with the city on plans for the development. Now, those plans are on hold and it remains unclear what Ross’s next steps will be in the process of acquiring the property.
Had this referendum passed, it would have granted Ross’ Related Companies the zoning required to build his proposed condominium tower with neighboring hotel on the site of the the 65-year-old Deauville Resort, which was imploded this weekend.
What’s Next for the Equinox Hotel & Residences?
The Related Companies did not comment on the election results. A spokesperson for the Political Action Group known as Yes for a Safe and Strong Future, which supported the passing of the referendum, released the following statement: “While we are disappointed with the outcome, we know North Beach deserves an economic engine, not an eyesore. We appreciate the tremendous support we received from thousands who backed a real vision for a better North Beach and still believe there is a brighter future ahead.”
We will be watching this space for more details on the next stages of development for one of Miami Beach’s most historic structures and prime oceanfront locations.