Item Coversheet



TO: Finance and Economic Resiliency Committee Members

Alina T. Hudak, City Manager

DATE: April 21, 2023



The Byron Carlyle Theater complex is located at 500 71st Street, between Byron Avenue and Carlyle Avenue, where it opened in 1968 as twin cinemas hosting first-run movies. The City purchased the Byron Carlyle Theater (the “Theater”) from the WBC Broadcasting Corporation in 2001 and partially renovated it to spur economic development and bolster North Beach arts and culture.  In 2014, the City executed a Management Agreement with Living Arts Trust d/b/a O Cinema, who occupied the Theater’s western portion. The remaining eastern portion remained uninhabited. On October 31. 2019, the Theater was permanently closed.

Since its closure, there have been several discussions held regarding the condition and future of the Byron Carlyle. In 2019, the Mayor and City Commission approved and authorized issuance of RFP No. 2019-100-KB to establish an agreement for a long-term lease with a private developer for the development of a mixed-use project that incorporates a cultural component. On February 24, 2021, the Mayor and City Commission rejected the RFP proposal from the Developer and terminated negotiations.

Subsequently, on April 21, 2021, the Mayor and City Commission referred two (2) items to the Neighborhood and Quality of Life Committee (NQLC) requesting the Administration to present short and long-term alternatives and recommendations for the Byron Carlyle Theater. The two (2) items were subsequently consolidated into one item that was discussed at the June 21, 2021, NQLC meeting. At said meeting, the Administration presented the findings of the Conditions Assessment and Recommendations report prepared by third-party consultant retained by the City, M.C. Harry & Associates. The report detailed existing building conditions, including a hazardous materials survey, along with two options with recommendations for repairs and improvements to the venue, and a third option of building replacement.

In addition to the NQLC’s discussions on the Theater’s potential renovation or redevelopment options, the Finance and Economic Resiliency Committee (FERC or the Committee) held discussions regarding funding the Theater. At the September 24, 2021, FERC meeting, the Administration presented a cost estimate for developing conceptual design options (Conceptual Design). On September 30, 2021, the Mayor and City Commission accepted FERC’s recommendation and approved an allocation of $400,000 to fund the development of conceptual designs and charettes for the Byron Carlyle Theater project.

Consequently, on January 20, 2022, the Mayor and Commission adopted Resolution No. 2022-32021 directing the Administration to immediately initiate the conceptual design options process for the Byron Carlyle theater renovation, which was to be informed by community outreach, survey remits, and input of industry professionals, using the previously allocated funding of up to $400,000 from the City’s FY 2022 budget. Consequently, the City engaged Shulman + Associates (Shulman) to facilitate the charettes and develop the Conceptual Design Plan.


On February 9, 2022, at the request of Commissioner Richardson, the Mayor and City Commission approval referral of item C4-G to the Finance and Economic Resiliency Committee to discuss exploring different financial and funding options for the Byron Carlyle. The options to be considered are:


1. A stand-alone City-owned project built entirely by the City with the City’s own funds;

2. A privately funded long-term project with the City to control the ground floor cultural space;

3. A City-owned project, developed as a public-private partnership (P3) with project revenue bonds (and no sale or lease of the property); and

4.  Other options that may be identified with all of the foregoing options to identify sources and public or private financing alternatives.


The North Beach community and the City Commission have expressed interest in exploring various uses for the building, primarily as a cultural center, but also considering potential use as a museum, a business incubator gallery space, artist studios, a film or arts center, as well as retail or office space. On September 13, 2021, a citywide survey was issued to better understand the community’s desire for the future of the Byron Carlyle. On October 26, 2021, the results were published via LTC #452-2021 (Exhibit A). According to the results, most respondents (59%) indicated they would prefer to moderately of fully renovate the existing theater and maintain public access and use.


Accordingly, on April 27-28, 2022, the City held two publicly noticed meetings to obtain community input regarding the future use or redevelopment of the Theater. Shulman compiled the findings of these meetings (Exhibit B) and has prepared a Conceptual Design plan for review and comment during a final community input session which has not yet been scheduled (Exhibit C).

On November 8, 2022, the City’s voters approved a $159 million General Obligation Bond (GOB) for Arts and Culture that included $30,570,000 for the redevelopment of the Byron Carlyle Theater. On December 14, 2022, in response to item R7 E, the Mayor and City Commission directed the Administration to seek expressions of interest from cultural institutions to occupy and/or activate the Byron Carlyle venue.

Consequently, on January 25, 2023, the Administration issued Request for Letters of Interest (RFLI) 2023-261-KB for Cultural Partners for Byron Carlyle Theater. The RFLI was developed with input gathered from the Cultural Arts Council and Michael Spring, Director of Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs. On February 22, 2023, responses to the RFLI were received and publish via LTC 106-2023, attached hereto as Exhibit D. The Administration is in the process of reviewing the proposals from the cultural institutions and operators that have expressed interest in activating the Byron Carlyle Theater.

Additionally, pursuant to the recommendation of the Finance and Economic Resiliency Committee at the January 27, 2023, meeting, the Administration, under the City Manager’s authority, will be engaging with cultural and art consulting firm(s) to provide additional input. The consultant will provide the insight and technical advice on best practices and models for developing an innovative cultural center. At current, the Administration is in the process of procuring the services of the art consultant.


As next steps, the Administration will evaluate collectively, the information gathered from the proposals, the charettes, Conceptual Design Plan, and input from the consultants for the vision for the Byron Carlyle Theater.


Based on the foregoing, the Administration recommends the Finance and Economic Resiliency Committee discuss the information gathered from the community charettes, the Conceptual Design Plan, and responses gathered from the RFLI, in consideration of the Byron Carlyle Theater’s development.

Applicable Area

North Beach
Is this a "Residents Right to Know" item, pursuant to City Code Section 2-14? Does this item utilize G.O. Bond Funds?
Yes Yes 
Referral MemoMemo
Exhibit A - LTC 452-2021- Byron Carlyle Community Survey ResultsMemo
Exhibit B - Public Meetings InputOther
Exhbit C - S+A Conceptual Plan Memo
Exhibit D - LTC 106-2023 - RFLIMemo