The Miami Beach Community Church on Lincoln Road is still trying to lease its courtyard to a retail developer for fifty years in exchange for $100 million, and Miami Beach historic preservationists are still fighting to prevent that from happening. The public debate so far has been in all-or-nothing terms: Give up the grass for a three story flagship retail space designed by Touzet Studio or keep the whole, rather plain, plot just as it is.
A group of Miami International University students, as well as architect Bill Lane, have created two massing studies that try to achieve both goals of big retail and big lawn and have come up with rather interesting, and distinctly different, results. In his study, Lane placed the retail entirely in the current back parking lot, cantilevering some upper floors to take advantage of the open air above the church's historic structures. The students go one step further, creating a retail wing that extends out into the courtyard and acts somewhat like a large covered arcade to provide storefront exposure to Lincoln Road as while still maintaining most of the area as open public space.
· Miami Beach Community Church coverage [Curbed Miami]