Partner Alexander Tachmes spearheads property owners’ vision for street reactivation, coordinates complex effort with City of Miami Beach
Shutts & Bowen Partner Alex Tachmes has spent the last several months working closely with Ocean Drive property owners and the City of Miami Beach to create a “Ten Point Plan for Ocean Drive” that will reinvigorate and improve what has become not just a top tourist destination but the iconic image of South Florida.
The 11-page plan was presented to the City of Miami Beach in September and was adopted by the city commission as the guiding document for the dramatic changes to come.
The plan, which will be fully implemented in 2017 through a series of city ordinances, resolutions, budget allocations and the work of the Ocean Drive Association, is aimed at creating a better, safer, more customer-appealing environment.
“We looked at all aspects of Ocean Drive – the open air restaurant seating, street vendors, type and mix of merchants, police presence, sanitation, noise issues, enhancements to Lummus Park, drugs, taxes, tourists’ wishes and expectations – and created a comprehensive plan that takes into account the interests of the City of Miami Beach, residents, businesses and tourists,” Tachmes said.
According to Tachmes, “Within the next few months, there will be a major visible change on Ocean Drive.”
One of the first ordinances to go into effect requires restaurants to move furniture to the west side of the sidewalk, providing for a clear five-foot wide pedestrian pathway. This will eliminate the tunnel effect that is currently created by table umbrellas on either side of the sidewalk. Restaurants will also have to adhere to a set of café guidelines, which delineate the height and width of umbrellas and awnings, the width of tables and lighting requirements among an array of other requirements. Some of the aspects of the “Ten Point Plan” include:
- Requiring restaurants and bars to clearly list menu prices.
- Requiring restaurants and bars to clearly list policies related to automatic gratuities on the menu, the bill, the credit card charge slip and have wait staff tell patrons verbally.
- Requiring third-party hospitality training for all café workers on an annual basis.
- The prohibition of using real and artificial food and beverage displays to attract the attention of prospective patrons.
- The banning of chain restaurants on Ocean Drive, with existing ones grandfathered.
- The creation of a Business Improvement District for Ocean Drive.
- Increased police, security and sanitation workers on Ocean Drive.
- Increased lighting throughout the street.
“If Ocean Drive and Miami Beach are to continue to attract visitors from around the world as well as local residents, we need to put our best foot forward. These changes provide continuity and consistency for patrons and are the best way to restore Ocean Drive to the charming and glamorous destination with which the world is familiar,” said Tachmes.
Tachmes will continue to support hotels and merchants throughout the ordinance process, budget allocations and the creation of a Business Improvement District.
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Established in 1910, Shutts & Bowen is a full-service business law firm with more than 260 lawyers in offices in Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Orlando, Sarasota, Tallahassee, Tampa and West Palm Beach.