Dead end: Nakash entities sue Miami Beach for closing off Ocean Drive to vehicles

Ocean Drive properties
Joe, Ralph, and Avi Nakash with their Ocean Drive properties: Hotel Edison, Hotel Breakwater, Casa Casuarina aka the former Versace Mansion, Hotel Ocean & The Strand (iStock, via

Ownership for four hotels and a commercial space allege street closure is creating check-in chaos for guests

The New York-based Nakash family that owns four Art Deco hotels, the former Versace mansion and the commercial space in an Art Deco condominium is accusing Miami Beach officials of creating check-in chaos for their customers by banning vehicular traffic on Ocean Drive.

In a lawsuit filed in Miami-Dade Circuit Court last month, entities controlled by brothers Joe, Ralph and Avi Nakash are suing the city and seeking an emergency injunction to allow automobiles on Ocean Drive again. The iconic neighborhood’s street has been closed to cars and trucks since May 2020, except for a brief two-week period in July of the same year.

A hearing is set for Nov. 16. But the Miami Beach City Commission may have already preempted the legal action when it voted this week to allow traffic on the southbound lane of Ocean Drive to resume in 45 days. Earlier this week, Miami Beach voters approved a non-binding ballot question to roll back last call for alcohol to 2 a.m. in the Art Deco Entertainment District.

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In an email, Paul Figg, an attorney for the Nakash entities, said his clients are “hopeful” the city commission’s vote “represents a change of direction,” when it previously seemed that Miami Beach officials were intent on permanently closing Ocean Drive to automobiles.

“Assuming the city follows through on its commitment and takes no other steps to materially impair access to our clients’ properties in the future, we believe we can reach a settlement,” Figg said. “As always, our clients remain committed to working with the city on solutions to the problems the city is trying to address.”

By Francisco Alvarado
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