Sunbeam Plans Major Mixed-Use Development in North Bay Village

Andrew Ansin with Sunbeam’s multi-tower project project (Getty)

Andrew Ansin with Sunbeam’s multi-tower project (Getty, Sunbeam Properties)

North Bay Village commissioners will take a final vote Tuesday on zoning changes that would allow for up to 650-foot towers in Sunbeam Properties’ bayfront assemblage.

Sunbeam, led by president and CEO Andrew Ansin, is a subsidiary of Sunbeam Television. It is the owner of WSVN-Channel 7, whose headquarters is in North Bay Village, which is part of the assemblage.

The billionaire Ansin family and its real estate firm have been assembling real estate in the town for decades, and their most recent proposal is garnering opposition from residents who say the height increase is out of scale.

The proposed multi-tower phased project would be spaced out in three areas of the town.

(Sunbeam Properties)

Sunbeam is seeking an increase in building height to up to 450 feet tall — from 240 feet that’s currently allowed — for the properties south of the 79th Street Causeway; and the ability to build up to 650 feet tall on properties in two areas north of the causeway, where zoning allows for 340-foot-tall structures. That could equate to 65-story towers.

Sherry Abramson, a planning and zoning board member, said the proposed height increase is “outrageous.” North Bay Village is a small two-island town that’s east of the mainland and west of Normandy Isle.

“If you look at Bay Harbor Islands, you would never see a project of this magnitude there,” Abramson said. “We just finished revamping our zoning code. Our mayor and commission need to work with that. … Height restrictions were implemented for good reason.”

(Sunbeam Properties)

The developer is proposing: nearly 2,000 residential units with fewer than 100 workforce housing apartments; a 300-key, 112,500-square-foot hotel component; 870,000 square feet of office and retail space; about 5,000 parking spaces, and open space. It could relocate WSVN’s studios to the project.

Commissioners will vote on second and final reading whether to amend Sunbeam’s special area plan, allowing for taller buildings on the 13-acre site, and changing the zoning for those properties to T6-30, from T6-24. They voted 3 to 2 in favor of the amendment Aug. 30 on first reading, but urged that Sunbeam hold a town hall meeting with the village residents, reconsider the building heights, and conduct a study of the expected shadow of buildings on nearby properties.

At Tuesday’s meeting, the commission will also vote on whether to approve a site plan for the mixed-use project, as well as a development agreement between the village and the developer.

The project could also include a marina, restaurants and retail along the bay, and a headquarters Class A office development, according to renderings in the town hall proposal. Sunbeam says it “does not want to build” the 18 buildings it is allowed to build as of right, and instead would prefer to build fewer (eight to 10), but taller towers.

Sunbeam would seek its first building permit within two years of securing approvals, and would have the first two phases completed and open within 10 years, according to the proposal. The first and second phases are at the western entrance to North Bay Village, north and south of the causeway.

Andrew Ansin, who goes by Andy, took over Sunbeam after his father Edmund Ansin died two years ago.

In 2020 and 2021, Sunbeam paid $56.5 million for the waterfront land next to WSVN-Channel 7’s building. Those acquisitions included the former Trio on the Bay restaurant site at 1601 79th Street, two waterfront acres at 1555 North Bay Causeway, and the waterfront property at 1415 Northeast 79th Street. Sunbeam has long owned that TV station property.

Shoma Group recently launched sales of a 327-unit condo project in North Bay Village called Shoma Bay. The Coral Gables-based developer changed its plans from apartments to condos for the 21-story mixed-use project at 1850 79th Street Causeway.

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