Why Our Neighbors Support THE PARK ON FIFTH


“We really feel that a tower and an expansive park is the best for our neighborhood, the best for preserving the residential feel of the neighborhood… Residents whose views would be blocked are still opting for a tower because of the park space.”

“I can come and give you my plan just like Mr. Del Vecchio can come and give you his. But is the current plan that Mr. Galbut presented to us perfectly acceptable and is something that we are excited about at the Floridian and along West Avenue? Yes.”

- Dana Martorella


“We have an opportunity to make a difference on this site and we don’t want to spoil it. The primary concern of the Floridian [is] that West Avenue is a residential and relatively calm neighborhood in the middle of one of the most bustling cities in the United States and we want to keep it that way.” [The Floridian’s goals are] “that the park is as large as possible… and that there not be residential uses on the 600 block.” [The Waves project approved for the site] “was too intense and part of the reason why it was too intense is it put a lot of units over a large base. Keep in mind there’s a development that is already approved and what we’re trying to do is step away from that Waves project [and that] requires development of a higher height and larger parks.”

- Edward Martos


“We’re the most direct stakeholders here… we strongly favor moving forward as soon as possible with an economically viable project with Russell Galbut. We believe this will transform the neighborhood and the time has come after ten years of having an abandoned site which is an eyesore and a nuisance and really a security hazard for the entire neighborhood. The time has come to move forward with an economically viable project and a park. We strongly favor moving forward with this, one of the variations that is proposed here.

“I represent the Bentley Bay board of directors and I’ve spoken to the vast majority of the board of directors from West Avenue, which represent approximately 2000 unit owners and condominium owners and voters, and the vast majority of us are of the belief that this is a great deal for the city. What we know is a bad deal is what’s there now and what’s the entitled project.  We just want to urge the commission to do everything possible…to move this project along forward and to solidify this great deal for the city.”

- Allan Kleer


[South Bay Club (347 units) conducted a straw poll of its residents.] “A huge number responded. Only 2% wanted to keep the original design; 98% all went for the park option of which over 70% went for the larger tower with the retail-only on the 600 block and a minimal development of residential on the 700 block."

- Eileen Frazer-Jameson


“We’re here to speak up for ourselves. It’s been a long time coming that this silent majority and the block of the most interested people on West Avenue as you can hear from my neighbors, the Bentley Bay, the Floridians, North Bay building… Southgate and now Waverly, they’re all in favor, strongly in favor of supporting this project as is, at 38 stories or 42 or 50. The opposition groups, they’re disseminating this fear among the community which just is absurd and makes no sense... if we’re going to get a height variance we’re going to get something back for it which is a beautiful park. We have to have it. It’s long overdue. SOFNA, they’re the only ones entitled to this? That doesn’t make any sense and frankly I don’t understand why is SOFNA so involved in this?.. As far as the G.O. Bond [to pay for the park], that’s money that’s still coming out of our pocket... At this point we’re getting a free park from the developer, okay?, in exchange for some height and it’s going to be a beautiful thing and we need it... NOFNA represents over 2,000 unit owners and the vast majority of them don’t care how high that tower is... They don’t. They really don’t, I’m telling you that right now. We need to get this done as soon as possible. We can’t have it another ten years like that."

- Bernardo Sandoval



"[The recent ULI visit and summary of recommendations for the City’s resiliency efforts] “clearly stated that in order to deal with our future issues, more green space and vertical solutions would be necessary... If you keep pushing this issue ‘we don’t want towers, we don’t like towers,’ you’re living in the past. You’re not dealing with the future of where this city needs to go in order to solve its problems."

- Rich Cacchione


“You have the opportunity to do something to benefit our community that you know needs to be done [with regard to resiliency]. It’s not even a question. It’s are you going to have the courage to step forward and do what needs to be done... The idea of precedent is really not even something you should consider, because each deal looked at individually – who else is going to have a project where they can donate a 3- or 4-acre park? On a case by case basis you won’t find another case like this so there really is nothing to compare it to... You have an unbelievable opportunity to take care of water storage that we know we need, to create a park which will be an amazing amenity for the residents in the community... The Chamber of Commerce has taken a position to strongly support [one of the tower and park options proffered by Galbut in order] to capture the resilience dividend and make it available to the rest of the community. We strongly urge you to have the courage and conviction to move forward.”

- Jerry Libbin


"What I hear is consensus. People want a park. They want it to be as big as possible. They want to minimize the impact of the number of people that are in that area... This is very simple to me. Build a 50-story tower, minimize the space around that, build the park around it, have a small retail on Alton Road... This is not public land. To use public money to build a park that is going to be built with private money [under Galbut’s plan] doesn’t make any sense so there should be no G.O. Bond [funding]. That doesn’t make any sense... The fear mongering that I hear going on and the obstructionism by a few activists… the silent majority of working people who own units in this community, if you talk to them, they want something like this. They want to see something built that lets progress happen in Miami Beach. You see progress happening in Edgewater. You see progress happening in Brickell. You see progress happening all over Miami. Miami Beach is falling behind. We have an ugly entry. Build a 50-story tower, complement the Icon to turn the entry to Miami Beach into a showpiece, a legacy item for this community, and don’t allow obstructionists to block that. That progress has been blocked for ten years.”

- Alan Sugarman


“It’s amazing to me that we’re talking about this project as if the land is public land. It’s private land that a developer has a right to do, a developer that owns in this community, lives in this community, has family that is entrenched in this community, and that we’re treating the developer as if he’s somebody that’s outside the community that doesn’t have a vested interest, that the land is public and that we have a right to decide what’s done on that land. I’m finding that mystifying... The second thing is the density issue. If you deal with the existing plan now you’re actually going to create more traffic problems… when you have luxury condominiums, those people aren’t going to be here all year. If you do the existing project you’re going to have tenants all the time, every day, 365 days.

“The last thing that no-one is really talking about is the infrastructure that would be created down the road so that we can really make Miami Beach an international city that connects our waterways, because…this project will  allow for larger easements in and out of the city… [so that] if the city decides later that it wants to connect the baywalk, [it can] connect South of 5th with North of 5th… As I travel the world, this is one of the few cities where we have bay-views and waterways that we don’t allow our international tourists to take advantage of…”

- Valerie Crawford


"[Belle Isle neighborhood] is a place with a lot of high rises and a lot of green spaces. It’s worked really, really well. It’s time to stop equating height with traffic. I’ve said it before, and a five-story building with 600 units creates a lot more traffic than a 50-story building with 300 units. We need to start looking forward and stop looking backwards. As far as aggregating land for a green space, I hope this is a precedent and I hope it happens other places in the City. I’d like to see a lot more height and a lot more green space when it’s not directly affecting our historic districts.”




“The height really doesn’t bother me and it really didn’t bother a lot of our residents because in reality, whether its 22 stories or 42, it’s the placement that really matters…What difference does it make, if its 24 or 42?... Placement is the important thing and that’s the important message that we sent to our residents in the letter saying that we were able to negotiate with Russell…the furthest Northeast quadrant that takes away any problematic view obstruction to the residents that sit on that side….We love the idea of the park.”




“I hate living across the street from what’s [currently] there…If you asked me what my two wants were…what I don’t want…is what’s currently permitted to be there, and what is existing to be there…I think that we are getting a huge benefit as a community…so I really think that it’s something that you should have move forward.”



“One of the reasons I’m willing to accept the tower is because we got these studies back from Harvard and ULI, and when you see these studies, what it does is it envisions the City a little differently… if we go taller and skinnier there and the residents do get this park, assuming they get the 3 acres that were promised which I’m operating under the assumption that that’s going to happen, I have no opposition.”

- Kristen Rosen Gonzalez


“How much is Flamingo Park worth? How much is Central Park worth? I mean if you were to try to sell Central Park right now, what would it be worth? So, to say that you’re taking away the FAR and therefore there’s no real value [to the parkland that is being donated]” is incorrect… There’s actually immense value. You can’t place a value on a park in a city like this… What other project are you going to be able to find that you’re going to be able to get a park right now? I think it’s important the neighborhood get as much as we can and I think that’s very important for all the immediate neighbors. Like my fellow presidents around me, we are fully engaged in this process. We want to get a park. We want a great park.”

- Seth Froelich

NOFNA MEMBER (North of Fifth Neighborhood Association)




"Moving to Miami Beach was a dream years in the making for my family, highlighted by my beautiful daughter Capri being born here 1.5yrs ago - and with a birthdate on New Years Eve, Capri was the last baby born in Miami Beach in 2016. We live at 650 West Avenue and this is more than a project or real estate deal for our family. This park will be where Capri shares endless laughs and memories growing up in Miami Beach. Perhaps this park will be where she first learns to ride a bike, or scrape her first knee playing, or even share her first kiss (not if I have anything to do with it). This project is the transformation of a bunch of condo buildings isolated by major streets into a community, and will provide generations of Miami Beach residents the opportunity to share laughs and create memories with friends and family for years to come. Yes, if the developer executes his plans properly, he likely will make a profit. But we are fortunate enough that in this case, that is not mutually exclusive with our community receiving a benefit incalculable in dollars and cents" - Joseph Magazine (via email)

"Go for it, total support 😍"Naddia Prandelli (via Facebook)

"I have been following this pretty closely, as I live right across. I understand the hesitation, but I truly do believe this may be what's best for the neighborhood. Currently, the company owns the lots on 500, 600, 700 Alton Road and has the approval to build a 7 story complex across all of these lots, which would result in ~500 units. This proposal would allow them to build a taller structure on the 500 lot, but then 600 and 700 would be given to the city as a public park. I have a 1yr old daughter and it would be a blessing for her to have a park across the street while growing up. Also, the proposed building would have ~400 units, so it would bring less density and traffic to the area than what is already approved. Just my opinion of course, as most people in the neighborhood really would like to see something happen with this property."Joseph Magazine (via Facebook)

"Lets get it done! Fully support this." - Daniel Fingerhut (via Facebook)

"Very good idea." - Gerardo Scassino (via Facebook)

"An excellent and very generous offering to the community that benefits all as opposed to how most developers would just proceed with the mass of units by zining with appx 100% lot coverage. It needs buildings (cafes, flower stands and snack bar) to buffer Alton to create calm." - Roger Shields (via Facebook)





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