Miami Beach Convention Center to receive a State-of-the-Art Renovation

The new Miami Beach Convention Center will be a state-of-the-art facility that will continue to be the “Gateway to the Americas”. It will accommodate and attract new international and national events and conventions assuring its significance as one of the largest visitor draws for the South Florida region.

Groundbreaking is scheduled for December 2015, with a grand opening planned for Art Basel 2017.

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Our Promises, Our Progress

When I decided to run for Mayor of Miami Beach last year, I began with a door-to-door journey. I knocked on over 6,000 doors, meeting with the people who call Miami Beach their home and listening to what they had to say about themselves, about their lives and what they want for the future. I resolved that if I were honored to be elected as Mayor, we would “take back the Beach.” We would remind our local government that its role is to serve the people, and we would restore the traditions that made Miami Beach one of the greatest cities on earth.

I reassured residents that the government works for them, not the other way around-even if it seemed City Hall often forgot this fundamental principle of representative government.  It’s a principle that I won’t ever forget.

I have been serving as Mayor of Miami Beach for a little over 90 days now, and I want to take this opportunity to provide an update on how we are doing on some critical fronts.

In the months ahead, I will continue to walk door-to-door to hear the ideas and concerns of our residents, discussing everything from making Ocean Drive a better place for the people of Miami Beach to creating master plans for Alton Road and West Avenue. Miami Beach is blessed to have an outstanding City Manager and staff as well as a pragmatic and progressive City Commission. I look forward to working with them both to move our city forward as we make Miami Beach the city that works… for its people.

Philip Levine

Flooding Mitigation

Miami Beach is in a unique situation regarding sea-level rise and climate change due to its coastal status. As a result, the City is installing a total of approximately 60 pumps throughout the city to reduce flooding and is raising streets and sidewalks to adapt to sea-level rise.

Everyday, we learn more, getting smarter about what questions must be asked. And there’s nothing we won’t do, no place we won’t go as we seek the answers.

Transportation Infrastructure

We are excited to report that the Alton Road improvement project is in its final stages. Landscaping and final storm water pump work is ongoing and construction will be ending soon.

In the spirit of true partnership, we will continue to maintain an open dialogue and to work with our county and state elected officials to expedite future capital improvement projects.  We must get Miami Beach traffic moving again.

Miami Beach Convention Center

In January, the City Commission voted unanimously to cancel all existing bids for the renovation of the Miami Beach Convention Center. They then issued a new solicitation for design and/or construction services for a state-of-the-art renovation and a ballroom addition to the Convention Center. In February, the City Commission approved the Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to create the design criteria package for the Request for Proposals (RFP).

To ensure that the renovation is expedited, the newly approved renovation project decouples the Convention Center from a hotel component. We will not be transferring or selling city-owned land to a private developer, negating the need for a referendum. Separately but independently, we will identify parcels of land for a Convention Center hotel, to be financed exclusively by private dollars. Lastly, the renovation will include a major park and green-space component.

This important renovation project will now be in line with what the residents demanded: respectful of their quality of life, fiscally responsible, and fully transparent.  My goal for Miami Beach is not to make things bigger but to make them better.

Public Transportation

We implemented a free trolley service on an emergency basis to serve Alton Road and West Avenue businesses and residents affected by road construction. We hope to launch several similar trolley services throughout Miami Beach. Moreover, I am aggressively exploring an intermodal system to connect Miami Beach with the mainland in an effort to reduce traffic congestion in and out of our city.

Public Safety

As promised, the City Commission approved independent audits of both the Miami Beach Police Department and the Miami Beach Fire Department. The Police Department audit is currently underway. Upon its completion, we will make any and all changes deemed necessary.  There is nothing more important than making our city safe. Our first responders not only need to be second to none; they must also have the public’s trust.

North Beach Revitalization

Earlier this year, we held two public input meetings at the North Shore Youth Center to have an open dialogue with residents about the future and vision for North Beach, one of Miami Beach’s true gems. We are already in contact with universities to explore an education component to the revitalization, and we’re exploring potential public-private partnerships for 71st Street. Additional entertainment amenities such as a skateboarding park and an off-leash dog beach are also being contemplated.

Building and Permitting Departments

Residents and businesses should be treated like customers. Our Building and Permitting Departments have taken great strides to provide a higher level of customer service and expedited processes for everyone, whether it’s a resident who wants to make renovations to a home or a small business owner who wants to open on Miami Beach.