It seems the entire central portion of Collins Avenue, from just north of Lincoln Road to the Fontainebleau Hotel is being constructed, renovated, master-planned or otherwise brought to life. Even though the southernmost portion of this area, between Lincoln Road and Collins Park, came back years ago with the rest of art deco South Beach... man oh, man. With a few projects completed already, and even more in the works, we took a look at what's currently under construction along the heart of Collins Avenue, and it's a lot.
From the opening the Roney Plaza Hotel in the 20s (now gone) to the late 50s and 60s, the heart of Miami Beach was not South Beach, or the larger parcels from the Fontainebleau Hotel north, but the stretch of oceanfront along Collins Avenue from Lincoln Road to the Sorrento Hotel on 44th Street. (now a wing of the Fontainebleau itself) Here the art deco hotels were bigger than those in South Beach, the lots had direct ocean access, and hotel expansions attempted to keep up with the postwar tourist boom. But as the big hotels to the north slowly drew tourists away, and later on South Beach became the runaway urban success it is today, the middle section lost much of its vigor. Although it never quite became the dangerous neighborhood that South Beach was in the 70s, the whole area (now on the National Register of Historic Places) was rather depressed for a long time, until quite recently when a building boom lit the area's ass on fire.