There is much uncertainty as to what will become of the site of the historic Deauville Beach Resort after its imploded during the weekend.
“Hopefully someone will enable it, build something that meets the expectations of the community, but that’s all a big question mark right now,” Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber said.
Miami Beach residents are also torn about what should be built there in the future.
Some said they wanted something more traditional that reflected Deauville’s original look. On the other hand, people are also saying it’s time for something new and fresh for the Miami Beach skyline.
The Miami Design Preservation League agrees with the latter.
“We believe that having brand new, super modern skyscrapers would not be in keeping with this site,” said Daniel Ciraldo, executive director of MDPL. “We prefer something that is in honor of Deauville, and not just trying to create a completely new building without context.”
Gelber doesn’t want the area left empty any longer.
“Right now, it’s very possible that there’s still an empty lot that attracts vacancy, it attracts crime and small creatures, and it’s surrounded by a big fence and serves no purpose in the community, which I think would be terrible,” he said. . “And that could happen for decades.”
Gelber said the recent referendum in which Miami Beach voters rejected an offer by Dolphins owner Stephen Ross to build a major project on the site had a lot to do with it. Moreover, it is about money.
“The problem is that the current owners, who have been poor stewards, wanted a very high price tag,” Gelber said. “It’s hard to find someone willing to buy it at this price.”
Sunday’s implosion was emotional for many.
“Part of the past is now gone,” said Daniel Nagler, who saw the building implode on itself. “It was intense.”
Miami Beach resident Shelley Tanner decided to watch the implosion from inside the water on the beach.
“It was pretty impressive to see an iconic building crumble to dust, literally,” she said.
Gelber also said the land where the Deauville was located was private property. The city will still be involved in the design, but the final decision on what happens to the land will come after it’s sold.