Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Miami Herald's executive editor refutes Mayor Philip Levine's charge that paper published 'factually incorrect article' [UPDATED x2]

UPDATED: with Miami Herald story posted Tuesday evening, Mar. 18 that includes comments from Levine.
Levine said Tuesday night that it was premature for him to take a position on the project because it would require dramatic regulatory changes before it could happen.

“This is a massive change that would require massive public input,” he said. “This is something the community would have to decide.”


UPDATED: Scroll down to bottom of this post to see the email and invitation sent out March 12 by developer Russell Galbut, Crescent Heights managing partner regarding 500 - 700 Alton.


Late this afternoon, Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine accused the Miami Herald of publishing a "factually incorrect story."

The paper's executive editor is denying the charge.

Here's the story by Miami Herald reporter Christina Veiga that was posted on the paper's website Monday evening shortly after 8 pm.
50-story residential tower proposed for Alton Road

By Christina Veiga
The Miami Herald

Developers Crescent Heights and the Related Companies are partnering on a proposal to build a 50-story residential tower at the foot of the Alton Road flyover in South Beach.

The developers will host a series of public presentations about the project, which spans the 500-700 blocks of Alton Road.

A model of the tower will be on display from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday, with presentations given at 8:45 a.m., 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. The model and presentations will be at the Related South Beach Sales Center, at 91 Collins Ave.

The residential tower was designed by international architecture firm Perkins + Will. The project also includes a three-acre public park that the designers, Miami Beach-based Urban Robot Associates, hope will help alleviate flooding.

Follow @Cveiga on Twitter  

Here's a status update posted to Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine's Facebook page Tuesday afternoon.

Levine's Facebook update links to an email sent to his constituents. In it, Levine faults the Herald for publishing a "factually incorrect article" that "mirrors a press release...issued by the developers."

The article simply mirrors a press release that was issued by the developers and unfortunately omits an essential point: the parcel of land upon which the proposed development is located is zoned CPS-2, which provides for a maximum of 7 stories vertically. A project of this size and magnitude does not meet our planning and zoning regulations.

Via Mayor Philip Levine.

Levine has made no secret of his dislike of the Herald.

In a Nov. 23, 2013 story published a few weeks after Levine's election, Veiga wrote "Levine has refused to speak to the Miami Herald, saying that the paper is biased and would distort his answers."

This morning, Veiga tweeted a photo of the 50-story residential tower that Levine says does not "meet planning and zoning regulations."

Within the hour, I emailed the Herald's executive editor, Mindy Marqués, for comment. I asked her to respond to Levine's charges that the Herald published a "factually incorrect story."

Just a few minutes ago, Marqués emailed this response:

There is no mistake to correct. Last night, Christina wrote a brief about the proposed project. Today, she saw plans and is following up with a full story.



In a follow-up email, Marqués wrote "And just to be clear, Bill, Christina did her own reporting for the brief."

I've reached out to Levine and his assistant, Alex Miranda, via Twitter for a response.


From: Russell Galbut <rgalbut@crescentheights.com>
Date: Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Subject: Alton Road - A Shared Vision
To: Russell Galbut <rgalbut@crescentheights.com>

My Dear Friends,
Crescent Heights and the Related Companies invite you to view a new vision of the Alton Road area of South Beach, including the entryway to Miami Beach at MacArthur Causeway.
Please come this TUESDAY, MARCH 18TH to the Related South Beach Sales Center at 91 Collins Avenue (Corner of 1st Street and Collins Ave) anytime during the day to see our vision and model of Alton Road. Walk-ins welcome all day. View the model anytime from 8am-6pm.
Full presentations will be done at: 8:45AM  •  11AM  •  4PM
You will have the chance to see and hear about this new vision for the 500-700 blocks of Alton Road,  including a new public park water containment lake and residential tower prepared by the international architecture firm Perkins + Will, with architecture landscape expert and flooding control analyst Justine Velez of  Urban Robot LLC.
Please feel free to send this email to all your lists and invite all members of our Miami Beach Community.
I look forward to seeing you this Tuesday March 18th any time after 8:30am.
Russell W. Galbut
Managing Principal
RGALBUT@CRESCENTHEIGHTS.COM  |  P:  305.573.4127  |  F:  305.573.8489


Source: Russell Galbut | Crescent Heights
(Click here to enlarge)


The Real Deal.com: Related, Crescent Heights team up on condo tower.

Curbed Miami: The Plans For 500 Alton This Time Include A Tower & A Lake.


  1. This project won't happen. The mayor hates Galbut and most people think this is a terrible idea. I can't see any commissioner supporting a zoning change.

    1. Levine hates everyone. He's a petty little man with a Napoleonic complex.

  2. I'm a little confused. The article says the building is being proposed. It doesn't say anything about it being approved and them actually being able to build it.
    Why is this a factually inaccurate story?
    A proposal is only an offer.
    I could propose a series of helipads on the beach with a volleyball net across for heli-ball but don't think it would be approved.

    1. "Why is this a factually inaccurate story?"

      It's not. Philip Levine just doesn't like that the Herald published the story without getting his permission.

  3. The developers need to bring in Scott Robins. Then watch the change of attitude from Mayor Levine.


Feel free to comment on anything you read here.

All comments must first be approved. Spam and spam links will not be tolerated or approved.