To Island Estates homeowners suing Gary Cohen over the development of Privé, a Sieger Suarez-designed 160-unit condo, the case rests on the sidewalk. A single, two-lane road connects Williams Island, built by Cohen's parents, to Island Estates, also known as the South Island, and further on to the North Island, where the upscale Privé would be built.
In the 1990s, Cohen submitted plans to build Mediterranean-style mansions on both islands, all with generous Intracoastal Waterway frontage, starting with Island Estates. He asked Aventura commissioners for a variance (see the document above) to waive the city requirement that he install two sidewalks.
Aventura commissioners granted the variance, according to a copy of the 1998 resolution shared with Curbed, and Cohen only installed one sidewalk. However, the commissioners stipulated that if Cohen ever decided to build "residencies other than single-family homes" there, he would be on the hook for the second sidewalk.
This condition, Island Estates homeowners say, will keep Privé from ever being built. The only way to build that second sidewalk is if Cohen buys back a portion of some of the properties from Island Estates homeowners. Never going to happen, one homeowner says. "We will fight this to the bitter end," he adds. Sidewalk or no sidewalk, Cohen is said to be taking presale deposits for units at Privé.
· Previous Privé coverage [Curbed Miami]