Convention Center Hotel Lease Approved

Commissioner Mark Samuelian said he supported the project because of what it could do for the City, noting that the current revenue from “a surface parking lot that generates about $100,000 a year” will convert to “$10m once we’re up and running at a steady state and that is goodness for our community.”

“In the last three years there have been 17 new hotels in Miami Beach,” Samuelian said, but “this is the one that really pays off for the public. This is the one that really delivers” for the City.

“I always have been sensitive to overdevelopment and construction, that’s sort of part of my value system,” Samuelian continued. “I think the concerns of the community have been heard and I’m fully supportive of what we’re doing today.”

July 29, 2018 | RE: Miami Beach | Convention Center Hotel Lease Approved

Agreement reached on 44-story tower for 500 Alton Road

When Commissioner Mark Samuelian proposed continuing the dialogue over the August recess and having another Finance Committee meeting to review the details of the deal, Galbut said he would take the Baywalk contribution off the table. He was looking for a unanimous vote of the Committee but said he was willing to take a 2-1 vote to move the item onto the Commission agenda in September.

Samuelian said, “I understand we want to move expeditiously but, on the record, this property’s been like this for 13 years… I don’t think an extra meeting would be a problem; in fact I think it would help the deal” saying he wanted “to get it right.”

Following another brief recess, Samuelian was willing to accept the redlined agreement and voted with Arriola and Commissioner John Alemán to instruct the Administration to draft a development agreement that allowed for the vacation of 6th Street and other ordinance changes to send to the Commission for first reading in September.

July 28, 2018 | RE: Miami Beach | Agreement reached on 44-story tower for 500 Alton Road

Miami Beach vigilará los menús de los restaurantes para evitar sablazos en la cuentas

Aunque la noticia general fue dada a conocer a inicios de abril, cuando los comisionados votaron a favor de la ordenanza propuesta por el comisionado Mark Samuelian, durante una reunión de la Comisión de Miami Beach ayer lunes fueron aprobadas las pautas concretas de diseño que deberá tener cada menú.

“Estamos tratando de garantizar que el cliente tenga claridad sobre lo que está a punto de pagar y que lo sepa”, dijo el comisionado Mark Samuelian cuando se se aprobó la medida en abril, y sus palabras van camino de convertirse en realidad.

10 Julio, 2018 | Ciber Cuba | Miami Beach vigilará los menús de los restaurantes para evitar sablazos en la cuentas

As Miami Beach battles sea-rise flooding, some neighbors feud over the fixes

“Dramatic street raising causes the city problems. It elongates the projects, it causes there to be a lot more cost and complexity and it is losing the trust of the residents,” said Commissioner Mark Samuelian.

Fighting over whether to elevate road or how high to raise them slow down other work that could help residents now, like installing more pumps and clearing drains. One of improvements delayed over the dispute about North Bay Road was repairing area fire hydrants, where the water pressure suffers because of leaky, aging pipes.

Samuelian sees street raising as an answer to tomorrow’s problems, not today’s, and unnecessary in some neighborhoods.

In some cases, he said, elevation could even hurt the neighborhood. Neighbors opposing street elevation consistently cite a loss in their property value as a big concerns. They also worry higher streets will make their front doors will look funny and potentially funnel damaging water into their homes.

“We’re counting on our property base to fund the projects. We had to be very careful about anything we could do that would impact that,” Samuelian said. “I think we need to stop.”

Samuelian and some residents point to the findings of recent expert groups, which advised adopting more natural solutions, like plants, to soak up excess water.

June 7, 2018 | Miami Herald | As Miami Beach battles sea-rise flooding, some neighbors feud over the fixes

After Years of Ocean Drive Restaurant Ripoffs, Miami Beach Now Legislating Menus

“We’re trying to ensure that the customer has clarity on what they’re about to pay and that they know,” Commissioner Mark Samuelian said when the measure was discussed in an April meeting. “That is the basic principle.”

July 6, 2018 | Miami New Times | After Years of Ocean Drive Restaurant Ripoffs, Miami Beach Now Legislating Menus

Revisiting Miami Beach’s Road Raising Policy

Samuelian acknowledges, “’Do nothing’ is not an option.” He said, “The City has made some important progress over the last few years.” With that learning and the recommendations of outside experts from the Urban Land Institute (ULI) and Harvard, Samuelian said, “We’re in a situation where we are going to… ‘reorient’ our resiliency program which, to me, means real change in how we’re doing it.”

“There’s one specific item that jumps off the charts and that is the idea that we have a policy in place to elevate streets to 3.7 NAVD across the City unless hardship is proven, so there is an out clause. That policy, in my opinion, is flawed and we need to change it,” Samuelian said.

“First, putting private property below grade is never a good thing. There are significant downsides and risks to doing that including potentially flooding. Why might you have flooding? It could be an event that’s outside of what was contemplated in the design. It could be a drain that gets clogged or the system may not function exactly as it was designed,” he said, mentioning Sunset Harbour.

June 2, 2018 | RE: Miami Beach | Revisiting Miami Beach’s Road Raising Policy

Miami Beach cataloging storefront vacancies

Commissioner Mark Samuelian said once the initial data is collected, he would like to see it updated periodically to show trends. He also wanted to know if the vacant storefronts were following City code with regard to aesthetics.

Currently, Huttenhoff responded, vacant storefronts are required “to have an opaque window covering and then if they don’t have that then they are able to purchase the blue window wraps from the city but they do need to have a covering.”

“I think this is an important priority,” Samuelian said, “because getting the market to find tenants, you know that’s a tough one but making the aesthetics more pleasant is something we can do.” He asked Saunders to come back with thoughts on any legislation that might be needed to help them do their jobs. “My thought is we need to nail the aesthetics quickly.”

May 22, 2018 | RE: Miami Beach | Miami Beach cataloging storefront vacancies

More Police Officers for Ocean Drive

Resolution sponsor, Commissioner Mark Samuelian said, “It’s a wonderful collaborative opportunity with the Ocean Drive Association.” He told his colleagues the action will be easily measured in terms of its impact on crime and the willingness of the business community to continue to pay for the additional officers.

May 19, 2018 | RE: Miami Beach | More Police Officers for Ocean Drive

Misleading specials and $55 cocktails could be a thing of the past on Ocean Drive

The regulations come in response to complaints that some Ocean Drive restaurants trick customers into ordering expensive food and drinks at outdoor tables or fail to include prices on menus, hitting unsuspecting tourists with hefty bills. At a few restaurants on the popular South Beach street, a single cocktail can cost more than $50 and food specials can stick tourists with checks in the hundreds of dollars, the Miami Herald has found.

The rules aim to “improve the way some bad apples have been treating our customers on Ocean Drive,” said Commissioner Mark Samuelian, who sponsored the amendment. “We’re trying to ensure that the customer has clarity on what they’re going to pay,” he added.

April 11, 2018 | Miami Herald | Misleading specials and $55 cocktails could be a thing of the past on Ocean Drive

Diners felt ripped off and misled. Now this Ocean Drive café is closed until July.

“The few bad apples on Ocean Drive need to clean up their act,” said Commissioner Mark Samuelian, who is sponsoring an ordinance that would give the city more power to crack down on businesses that do not clearly advertise prices at sidewalk cafes. “This ruling shows the consequences will be severe.”

Some Ocean Drive restaurants attract customers to sidewalk cafes using misleading food or drink specials or fail to include prices on menus, the Miami Herald has found. A tourist hoping to take advantage of a 2-for-1 drink special, for example, might unknowingly end up ordering a $55 fishbowl-sized cocktail.

The sidewalk cafe ordinance sponsored by Samuelian, which is up for a final vote at the Miami Beach commission’s April 11 meeting, would enable the city to revoke restaurants’ permits for sidewalk cafe tables if they don’t clearly advertise prices.

The ordinance “will be another step toward improving Ocean Drive for residents and visitors,” Samuelian said in a text message.

April 4, 2018 | Miami Herald | Diners felt ripped off and misled. Now this Ocean Drive café is closed until July.