Hotels may be coming to Lincoln Road. Here’s what they could bring to the street

Commissioners voted in favor of advancing the hotel ordinance in September and will consider it fully in October. Most cited increased foot traffic as a major benefit. Commissioner Mark Samuelian recalled a pedestrian street in Barcelona, Spain — La Rambla — that has hotels.

“I think this is a concept that other great cities have had,” he said.

September 24, 2019 | Miami Herald | Hotels may be coming to Lincoln Road. Here’s what they could bring to the street

Walgreens Caught Between Plans and New Ordinance That Would Prohibit Them

Commissioner Mark Samuelian weighed in saying “I do have some sympathy on fairness. Directionally I’m comfortable with the policy and I can see the argument that many of our residents may not want a Walgreens there. But, as a point of fact, if Walgreens is gonna invest all this money to put it there, they must believe someone wants it there, that someone’s gonna be shopping in this environment and that there is a need. Maybe it’s not residents. It could be tourists or visitors. Either they’re making a really, really bad decision or some consumers see value in having it there.”

“The second thing I would say is really around fairness,” Samuelian continued. “I obviously trust our advisors and City Attorney on the legal side, so I’m not sure where that line is in terms of where you get to keep going [with plans]. My sense is we’re pretty close to it from a fairness standpoint.”

“We may not love the prospect of a standard Walgreens,” Samuelian said, “but If this doesn’t happen, are we going to have an empty storefront? What’s gonna happen? We talk about retail vacancies. This looks like it could go in, not sure of the timeframe. How quickly if they’re not allowed could a new deal be put [together]? When does something come in? What’s that process look like? Are we going to be here six months talking about more empty storefronts when there was a tenant who could have been there? So, I’m intrigued by Commissioner Arriola’s thought of looking at uses but, while I support the policy, I share Commissioner Alemán’s concerns around fairness for this one applicant.”

March 23, 2019 | RE: Miami Beach | Walgreens Caught Between Plans and New Ordinance That Would Prohibit Them

Restoring and Reinvigorating Lincoln Road

Commissioner Mark Samuelian said he appreciated the thought given to the various connection points in the 200-300 blocks at the entrance to the east and the side streets guiding traffic north to the convention center and cultural institutions, but he urged another connection point be added to the west, extending from Alton Road to West Avenue. As the City looks to complete its Baywalk, he said it should think about completing the “Bay to beach” connection.

The master plan as drafted, Samuelian said, left “two blocks in the middle” between Lincoln Road and the Baywalk where “you’re lost.”

“We’re talking about holistic connectivity,” he said. “The 2-300 block is serving hotels and tourists. Residents coming from the other end would like to see something beautiful.”

January 12, 2019 | RE: Miami Beach | Restoring and Reinvigorating Lincoln Road