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Miami Beach moves toward banning chain restaurants and stores in Sunset Harbour

Commissioner Ricky Arriola
Commissioner Ricky Arriola and an aerial of Sunset Harbour in Miami Beach (Compass) via

Commissioner Ricky Arriola said rule is necessary to prevent local businesses from being replaced by corporations willing to pay higher rent.

A ban on chain retail stores and restaurants in South Beach’s Sunset Harbour is moving forward with the backing of three Miami Beach city commissioners.

The Miami Beach Land Use and Sustainability Committee — made up of commissioners Mark Samuelian, Michael Gongora, and Ricky Arriola — unanimously backed a proposed ordinance banning “formula” restaurants and stores during Tuesday’s meeting.

Arriola, who proposed the rule, said it is necessary to help prevent unique local businesses in Sunset Harbour from being replaced by corporate establishments willing to pay higher rents.

“The concerns I have and neighbors have, and certainly a lot of the commercial tenants, is that as the area gets more popular, we see rents rising and tenants forced out by landlords,” Arriola said. The commissioner said that out-of-town landlords are taking advantage of the Covid-19 pandemic by trying to push out small businesses and “replace them with big-box retailers.”

The ordinance will forbid “formula commercial establishments” with 10 or more similar retail operations in the U.S. and “formula restaurants” with more than 75 identical establishments across the U.S. from opening within most of the Sunset Harbour Overlay District between Purdy Avenue, 20th Street, Alton Road, and Dade Boulevard. The code also won’t let restaurants and stores with five other establishments within Miami Beach open within Sunset Harbour.

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