The Miami Herald
October 26, 2004
Beach's South Pointe Nears Point Of Build-Out
After Much Debate As To How Best To Build Up South Pointe, Developers Are Planning The Final Two Condo Towers In The Once-Blighted Miami Beach Neighborhood
By Matthew Haggman
After years of false starts and fierce fights about how the southern tip of Miami Beach should be developed, a decade of high-rise condominium construction on South Pointe is set to culminate with two final towers.
Before the end of the year, the New York developer Ian Bruce Eichner plans to break ground on the 38-story Continuum North Tower and Jorge Perez's Related Group will begin marketing its planned luxury condo, Apogee.
Construction of the two buildings effectively ends years of debate about how the Miami Beach neighborhood south of Fifth Street should be developed.
The two new towers will leave nine high-rise condos dotting a South Pointe waterfront that had virtually no tall buildings 10 years ago.
Zoning restrictions snuff out any more high-rise development in the neighborhood, which, before the recent spate of development, was known for its crime rate and as home to Joe's Stone Crab restaurant.
City leaders, meanwhile, are finishing plans to redevelop South Pointe Park, a 17-acre green space overlooking Government Cut that is slated to grow by two acres under a recent deal with Perez's Related Group.
On Friday, a city selection committee is expected to recommend a designer for the park. The City Commission is to decide on Nov. 10 what course to take.
NOT ALL ARE HAPPY
Despite South Pointe's emergence in the past decade, not everyone is happy about its sky-scraping evolution.
''We have ended up with a concrete jungle on South Pointe,'' said Dan Paul, a longtime Miami lawyer and activist, "a high-rise, concrete jungle."
But the once-impoverished neighborhood, where some Miami Beach residents once feared driving, now bids to be home for the super rich. When Apogee units go on sale next month, the starting price will be a cool $2.5 million.
A penthouse in the building -- where both Perez and business partner Tom Daly plan to make their new homes -- will cost $15 million. By comparison, the neighborhood's median household income as recently as in 1990 was just $7,780.
Rising 22 stories, Apogee will have 67 units ranging from 3,100 to 6,900 square feet in space. Ceilings will run 10 feet high. Balconies will extend 11 feet, complete with a built-in outdoor grill.
Each owner will have a private two-car enclosed space within the main garage for the condos at 800 South Pointe Dr. The Cuban artist Jos