Dr. Robert Cornfeld, the longtime owner of the Newport Beachside Resort, has been an advocate for the City since before incorporation. He supported the Concerned Citizens of Northeast Dade for many years by hosting their monthly meetings. He established lifelong friendships with community leaders. He supported city initiatives that led to the transformation of Sunny Isles Beach into a world class city. Most notably, he entered into a public / private partnership with the City to rebuild the Newport Fishing Pier.
The pier had suffered irreparable damage during Hurricane Wilma and was closed to the public. It sat as an eyesore in the ocean until a partnership was formed between Dr. Cornfeld, the owner of the land lease with the State of Florida, and the City. Dr. Cornfeld agreed to transfer the lease to the City and contribute two million dollars of his own money towards the rebuilding effort. This was a generous demonstration of his commitment to the City of Sunny Isles Beach.
Working together, the new pier was finally completed and opened to the public in June 2013. This past October the Historic Plaque, missing since 2005, was placed back on the pier and City Officials with Dr. Cornfeld and his partners were present for the celebration. Dr. Cornfeld’s speech during the ceremony said it best:
Thank you for sharing this historic occasion with us. This pier has had a special meaning to me for the past 30 years. The former pier on this site had gone through thick and thin….almost 80 hurricane seasons and 22 direct hits. Finally, Hurricane Wilma caused such extensive damage that it could not be further repaired. The decision for me was either to abandon it or return it to its former glory. If it wasn’t for my partnership with the City of Sunny Isles [Beach], the Mayor, the commissioners and their staff, we would not be standing here today. Thanks to you, the pier is now restored and will serve as a proud jewel for Sunny Isles Beach and its citizens for generations to come.