Axios Miami

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Happy Valentine's Day! It's hump day.

Today's forecast: Mostly sunny with a high near 75° and low around 69°.

😍 Sounds like: "She Calls Me Back" by Noah Kahan and Kacey Musgraves.

This newsletter is 890 words — a 3.5-minute read.

1 big thing: Bills threaten historic Beach hotels

The Eden Roc Miami Beach resort. Photo: Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

A pair of bills up for committee votes today would make it easier to tear down historic buildings along Miami Beach in the name of climate resiliency.

Why it matters: The Beach's historic hotels, created in Art Deco and Miami Modern architectural styles, are part of the city's identity and a tourist draw.

Driving the news: The legislation would prohibit Florida municipalities from restricting the demolition of any coastal building that does not meet federal flood standards for new construction.

  • SB 1526 and HB 1647 contain exceptions for single-family homes, contributing buildings in historic districts listed in the National Register of Historic Places before 2000 and individually designated historic buildings. (The Miami Beach Art Deco District in South Beach is safe. It was listed in 1979.)
  • There are also exceptions for public safety issues and buildings in municipalities located on a barrier island with fewer than 10,000 residents and with specific flood zones.

Zoom in: There are about 2,600 buildings in Miami Beach that are part of locally designated historic districts, according to the Miami Herald.

  • Notable hotels that would be impacted by the bills include the Eden Roc, Casablanca, Carillon and the Savoy, according to the Miami Design Preservation League, a Miami Beach advocacy group.

How it works: Currently, Miami Beach property owners seeking to demolish a designated historic building must first obtain approval from the Historic Preservation Board or city planner unless immediate safety issues require it.

  • The preservation board has the power to decide what can be built in place of the demolished building.

What they're saying: The federal Advisory Council on Historic Preservation wrote in a letter to lawmakers that the bills would create "severe and irreparable consequences for Florida's coastal heritage."

Keep reading: Bill would restrict local governments

2. 🏗️ Mega housing development proposed

Conceptual rendering: Arquitectonica

A developer has pitched a massive redevelopment for 65 acres in Little Haiti and Little River, which calls for adding nearly 5,000 affordable and workforce housing units, the Miami Herald reports.

  • The plans were submitted by the Swerdlow Group in response to a Miami-Dade County request for proposals to redevelop four public housing projects in the area, the Herald reports.

Why it matters: The $2.6 billion, nearly 1-mile-long project, which still needs county approval, would bring much-needed housing to an area where locals are worried about gentrification.

Zoom in: The properties are mostly industrial, apart from the housing projects, and run from I-95 to Northeast Second Avenue, the Herald reports.

  • They line the Florida East Coast Railway tracks that Tri-Rail recently began using for connecting to downtown Miami.

The intrigue: Swerdlow tells the Herald that the proposal is one of the largest redevelopment plans in city history.

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3. Last Parkland anniversary before building's demo

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Photo: Getty

Today marks six years since the school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 people dead. And while the building where they were killed is still standing, this anniversary will be its last.

Why it matters: For many in the Parkland, the demolition is a way to find closure by eliminating a lingering reminder of the city's darkest day.

Between the lines: The building was preserved for years because of gunman Nikolas Cruz's trial, and then because the defense team of Scot Peterson, the former resource officer accused of failing to confront Cruz, requested it remain intact.

What they're saying: Ivy Schamis, a teacher at the school at the time, told the Sun Sentinel that driving or walking past the building is traumatizing.

  • "Everyone wants it torn down so we can move on."

The other side: Some parents believe the building offers a continuous lesson about school safety and should remain standing.

  • Fred Guttenberg, who lost his 14-year-old daughter Jaime and has become a well-known gun safety advocate, told the Sun Sentinel the building "still serves a meaningful purpose."
  • It will have served its full purpose, he said, "when all schools are safe."

Of note: The Broward County School District has yet to finalize plans for the land, but a memorial is expected to be built on a 150-acre preserve that borders Coral Springs and Parkland, according to the Miami Herald.

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4. Cafecito: Sip these headlines

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

⚖️ Former Miami Commissioner Alex Díaz de la Portilla, who is awaiting trial on corruption charges, is alleging the city of Miami violated state law when commissioners approved changes to a voting map. (Miami Herald)

🦀 About two dozen conservation groups are calling on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to add the horseshoe crab, which nests on Florida's beaches in the spring and fall, to the endangered species list. (WLRN)

🍹 Nick Jonas is opening a rooftop tequila bar and Mexican restaurant, Villa One Tequila Gardens, in downtown Miami in 2025. (Miami New Times)

5. Love lands at MIA

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Whether you're giving or receiving flowers for Valentine's Day, chances are the bouquet made its way through Miami International Airport.

  • According to the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, about 90% of all Valentine's Day flowers pass through the city's airport from South America.

By the numbers: In the weeks leading up to the big day, hundreds of flights stop through Miami's airport carrying some 18,000 tons of flowers, the Associated Press reported.

  • This season, around 460 million flowers came from Ecuador and Colombia, Diogo Elias, senior vice president of Avianca Cargo, said Monday during a news conference in Miami.

Go deeper: How Customs screens the shipments

💃 Sommer is dancing to "Single Ladies."

🌭 Martin still has heartburn from his Super Bowl party.

Tell your gastroenterologist to subscribe!

This newsletter was edited by Jeff Weiner and copy edited by Nicole Ortiz and Carolyn DiPaolo.