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Miami hedge-fund manager Bruce Berkowitz is happy to have survived the white-knuckle roller-coaster ride — and we don’t mean the wild stock-market swings of the past few days.
After months of scrutiny and delay, Berkowitz said, Miami zoning officials on Friday cleared the way for him to build a starkly imposing private Biscayne Boulevard museum designed around a pair of monumental artworks, thus securing the newest keystone in the city’s expanding cultural grid.
“The last thing was to make sure we have the parking space dimensions correct, and that went well, so we should be done very soon,” a Berkowitz said by phone. “Once that gets done, we finalize the building plans. And we get going.”
The preliminary zoning OK, which necessitated multiple design revisions, comes two months after Berkowitz, manager of Fairholme Fund, said he was pulling the plug on his proposal because city officials had been sitting on his plans for months, apparently unable to reconcile the unconventional building with the Miami 21 zoning code.
Berkowitz said he was persuaded to give it one more try by Miami art collectors including auto magnate Norman Braman and developer Martin Margulies, who called him with encouragement and publicly expressed concern that the city would blow a chance to become the permanent home to two major, and well-known, works of art at no public expense. […]