Miami Life: Our Lincoln Center, Fascinating Facts, Floating Screens, Invite

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Believe it or not, Miami Beach has a Lincoln Center. It’s not as massive as the Lincoln Center in New York, but it certainly is an important building thanks to owner Mel Schlesser. Miami is more than just a pretty face. We loved Time Out’s recent article on 10 Interesting Miami facts. The Perez Art Museum has created a new movie experience that you won’t want to miss. There’s a slew of new $30 million condos on Fishers Island. But get this—you have to be invited to buy. Maybe your invite got lost in the mail.

Mighty Mel

Mel Schlesser

Believe it or not, Miami Beach has a Lincoln Center. It’s not as massive as the Lincoln Center in New York, but it certainly is an important building to the creative community in Miami Beach thanks to owner Mel Schlesser, who is also president of Jameck Development Inc. Lincoln Center is located at Lincoln Road and Euclid Avenue.

The real estate developer decided to bring back the artist community to Lincoln Road during the pandemic by providing them with affordable studio space to create their masterpieces at the Lincoln Center. It turned out to be one of the most popular creative spaces for artists because of its location and surrounding amenities. Art collectors often stop by to see new works and to converse with the artists. The art complex is called Peekaboo Studios.

Jayda Knight, artist and Peekaboo Studios Manager, Mel Schlesser and yours truly.

Mel said he is very interested in making sure Lincoln Road makes every effort to keep its status as one of the most important areas for arts and entertainment. “There are other areas of Miami (Wynwood, Allapattah, Miami Design District) that have the same goals, but the beach is the beach. You can’t compete with that. Everyone wants to be in close proximity to the water. That’s why Lincoln Road has more potential than any where else.

“It’s true that Lincoln Road is going through a transformation now because of the pandemic, but so is every other area. I know the Lincoln Road Business Improvement committee has many exciting plans for the near future so I am very optimistic.”

Mel was one of the founding members of the committee years ago because he truly believed Lincoln Road is a city treasure. “I have been developing real estate properties in this town for four decades so I know a gem when I see it.  The combination of a long string of restaurants in an outdoor mall along with one retail establishment after another, is the right formula to draw traffic. People love to eat and shop all the time.”

It was at this moment in the interview that Mel revealed that he is going to turn the Lincoln Center building into an unique arts and entertainment hotel. “It’s truly going to be amazing. We are adding two more floors to the building and expanding out into the parking lot. We have been working on this for quite a while. All of the permits and legal documents have been taken care of.”

The new hotel is going to feature art galleries, art studios and public space. It’s going to be a major destination for everyone who loves culture and entertainment.  Mel is very excited about this expansion because he wants to give back to the community that he dearly loves.

In addition to that,  a 90 ft by 30 ft Keith Haring banner will be on display on the south side of the 1111 Lincoln Road from November 15 to the end of January. This is just in time for Art Basel. Called “Miss Liberty,” the banner was originally commissioned for the “City Kids” charity in New York.  It has been on display in Philadelphia, Europe, and New York City. Mel has been working on the details of this project for a while and knows this is going to be the talk of the town during Art Basel.

Another major attraction coming to Lincoln Road is a holiday market.  Urbanspace, the company that operates the biggest holiday markets in New York City, has picked Lincoln Road, Miami as their next location. As previously reported in The Three Tomatoes, the new holiday pop up shops will be open from November 15th to February 15th.

Urbanspace is hoping to have 100 local and out-of-state vendors participate in this first venture. That means all kinds of goodies will be sold including home goods, children’s toys and apparel, stationery, books and prints, men’s and women’s apparel and accessories, jewelry, kitchen and garden items and food and drinks.

Mel was one of the early real estate developers in Miami along with Tony Goldman, Craig Robbins,  and Saul Gross. These are the men who saw the potential of Miami Beach when Grandma and Grandpa were sitting on their rocking chairs in front of their rent control apartments.

As Mel puts it, “I was tired of the cold weather in New York. I could only use my sail boat a few months a year. My grandmother was living in Miami so I knew my way around. One day I was sitting on Ocean Drive looking at the ocean, the sand, and the sun  thinking “this is paradise. This is how I want to live. I have to get in on the action.”

The other real estate developers felt the same way. The one difference was that Mel had a major criminal law practice in Manhattan. Most of the time he was representing murderers, thieves, and con artists. He loved his work but he was intrigued by a new way of life under constant sun.

He took the leap and has never had a minute of regret.  He has built some of the grandest buildings in Miami Beach. Nothing can be more satisfying than walking past one of his projects knowing his vision built that place.

He’s not done yet. He hopes the new hotel will be his biggest and his best. “You can’t go wrong when you combine arts and entertainment. It’s a natural draw.”

Everyone Thinks Miami Is Just a Pretty Face

There is so much rich history and culture in Miami that we applaud Time Out magazine for publishing some of this city’s most interesting facts. We will try to build on this list because it’s important that people all over the world give Miami the respect it deserves.  Don’t judge a book by its cover. We look beautiful but we are full of substance too.

Here are three fascinating facts I bet you didn’t know:

  • Miami is the only major city in the world where most of its population was born in a different country
  • Miami has the oldest building in the United States.
  • There was a European presence in Miami before Virginia

For more fascinating facts about Miami, read the full Time Out article: 10 Facts About Miami That Sound Fake but are (supposedly) true.

Watch A Movie on Floating Screens 

The Perez Art Museum has created a new movie experience that you won’t want to miss. You can now go to the Pérez Art Museum Miami’s (PAMM) beach to watch a series of floating films thanks to a collaboration with Ballyhoo Boats!

The films will be screened from the water and guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets. Food and drinks will be available for purchase. 5–8pm | Happy hour at Verde  5–6:30pm | Live music by Backroom Sessions   6pm–8:30pm | Movie Screenings   9pm | Galleries and museum close

Access to the PAMM terrace and beach is free with RSVP. Admission to the galleries is $16 for adults and free for PAMM members.

On November 3 for  National Novel Writing Month, the museum screens the documentary Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am, which chronicles the legendary life of the Nobel and Pulitzer Prize-winning author.

The series closes on December 22 with a timely showing of “The Holiday”. A decidedly cozy flick but do resist the urge to dress the part—it’s still Miami and the movie will be shown outdoors.

Visit Address: 1103 Biscayne Blvd., Miami FL 33132.

Did You Get Your Invitation?

You know that expression. It really means have you been invited to the party? The Related Group, the real estate developers who created many of the condo high risers in Miami Beach, (including mine) has taken the party question to a new high level. The Related Group and partners are building “a slew” of new $30 million plus condos on Fisher Island and you have to be invited to buy them.

How’s that for a PR angle? While crude, I must admit it is smart. Rich people like to belong to clubs. If you are rich and not invited to a party, that probably means you want to it even more. The Related team knows how to lure customers.

Fisher Island is just south of Miami Beach and has a private golf course, a tennis court, and two marinas for its about 600 full-time residents. The Related Group and its partners have closed on the last developable parcel of land on Fisher Island.

They are planning a 50-unit condo building that will be shown to buyers on an invite-only basis. A typical residence will cost $30 million, while penthouses will seek upwards of $60 million

Business Insider was one of the first online newsletters to report on this development.   They describe the private island as a seven-minute ferry ride south of Miami Beach that sits at the intersection of Biscayne Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. It has long been the stomping ground of the elite. It’s only reachable by ferry or by boat — or, let’s face it, often by yacht.


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