- Published: Friday, May 17 2013 07:11
Miami's future is looking bright as investors prepare billions of dollars in capital for projects guaranteed to change the face of Miami's urban core. From Brickell Citicentre, to Miami Worldcenter and the recently announced Downtown Convention Center, this handful mega-projects will, on their own, transform 'The Magic City' in the coming years.
Add to this, a slew of condominium developments, the Resorts World Miami project, two new museums, and major infrastructure projects like the FEC downtown train station and the Port of Miami Tunnel project, and you have the start of a big transformation in the works.
(1)Miami Worldcenter [click for (1) on map]
At more than 28 acres, Miami Worldcenter achieves the heights of a world-class destination in what will be one of the largest private developments in the city's history. Increasing the Miami's central business district by 12-15%, this project will span over 9 city blocks and include over 13 million square feet of exceptional retail, restaurant, entertainment, hotel, residential and commercial offerings in one unique location. The project has had a difficult past, persevering through the recession of 2008. In December of 2012, the owners of the development purchased 2 additional pieces of property to add to the project. While this effort seems to have dragged on for too long of a time, something this large does not go up overnight.[d]
(2)Downtown Convention Center [click for (2) on map]
Topped with what will be the largest hotel in South Florida, MDM Group is planning on constructing a new convention center for downtown Miami. While the developer has declined to elaborate on the massive project's cost, plans call for an 1,800 room Mariott hotel tower to sit atop a podium containing 500,000 square feet of convention space, a 1,500 square foot theater, and a 2,300-car parking garage.
Also incorporated into the design is an 80,000 square foot outdoor event deck and pool deck, creating a truly unique venue offering elevated views of the bay, the American Airlines Arena, and the downtown skyline. MDM's architect has stated that the project would easily cost more than $1 billion. MDM will be coordinating its efforts with the developers of Miami Worldcenter to ensure the convention center meets the goals of the broader development.
The plan for the this project was directly influenced by the FEC Downtown Train Station. Via skybridges, the convention center will be linked directly to the train station as well as the Overtown Metrorail station. By tying the three facilities together, transportation for convention goers will be made seamless.
(3)Brickell Citicentre [click for (3) on map]
This $1.05 billion shopping and mixed-use project will, when finished, span four blocks to the west of Brickell Avenue and to the south of the Miami River.
The project is being developed by Swire Properties Inc, and will span 9 acres and include a department store, luxury shops, restaurants, an hotel, office towers and condominiums. In February 2013, Swire Properties and the owners of Bal Harbour Shops announced that they had come to an agreement to co-develop the retail portion of the development.[a]
(4)Museum Park (formerly Bicentennial Park) [click for (4) on map]
Host to many large-scale events, the park can hold around 45,000 people and regularly features events like the Ultra Music Festival, Warped Tour as well as various other concerts and conventions. Following its renovations Museum Park will be host to the new Miami Art Museum and the Miami Science Museum. Designed by celebrated Swiss architects, Herzog and de Meuron, the art museum will house 120,000 square feet of interior exhibition space as well as 80,000 square feet of exterior square footage. The total project cost is estimated at $220 million with a $35 million gift coming from real estate developer Jorge Perez. In exchange for this gift, the museum will be named PAMM (Perez Art Museum of Miami). The Miami Science Museum will include 55,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor exhibition spaces and will feature a 35,000 square foot aquarium and a planetarium. To be named the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science, the project cost is estimated to be $275 million.[b]
(5)Resorts World Miami [click for (5) on map]
Developer Genting Group, originally proposed in 2011 a grandiose $3 billion complex which would contain the world's largest casino, 5,200 hotel rooms, and over 50 restaurants and bars. After purchasing the site from the Miami Herald for $236 million, Genting was planning on the passage of new gambling laws in Florida to pave the way for the casino component of the project. With these laws currently stalled, plans have been scaled back, but the developer still intends to move ahead with what they are calling a "phased approach." The current plans call for new towers on the site as well as the redevelopment of the historic Boulevard Shops on Biscayne Boulevard. In addition Genting would like to construct a 50-foot wide promenade alongside the bay with 3 to 4 waterside restaurants. In an effort to connect this complex to the new museum park, there are also plans for a boardwalk on the bay to allow pedestrians to to cross the Interstate 395 overpass.[c]
(6)Downtown Train Station (All Aboard Florida) [click for (6) on map]
World renowned architects, Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill, are developing the master plans for 10 acres of surface parking lots that once were the site of Miami's original train station. Scheduled to break ground in late 2013, the project is being described as a "very connected urban village" that will serve as an intermodal facility connecting the All Aboard Florida rail project to the various forms of transportation in the area, like the Metrorail and Metromover stations adjacent to the site.
The aim of the All Aboard Florida program is to create convenient and cost effective travel by connecting South and Central Florida through a 230 mile route of combined existing and new railroad tracks. Each train will have the capacity to carry 400 passengers and provide amenities such as WiFi internet service, gourmet meals, and beverage service to its riders.[e]
(7)Port of Miami Tunnel [click for (7) on map]
Nearly 16,000 vehicles travel to and from the Port of Miami (POM) through downtown streets each weekday. Truck traffic makes up 28% (or 4,480) of this number. Existing truck and bus routes restrict the port's ability to grow, drive up costs for port users and present safety hazards. They also congest and limit redevelopment of the northern portion of Miami's Central Business District. The Port of Miami Tunnel will provide a direct connection from the port to the highways via Interstate 395. This will make the port more competitive and while making the downtown streets safer through the reduction of congestion on downtown streets. The total cost of the project is estimated at $663 million.
(8)Island Gardens [click for (8) on map]
There are currently no large marinas for megayachts in the U.S., but if plans for the Island Gardens development at Watson Island become a reality, Miami will be prepared for the world's elite. The project is slated to have 50 slips specifically designed for megayachts, each positioned to capture unobstructed views of downtown Miami, as well as two luxury hotels, fractional residences and of course, spas, restaurants and shops. Over it's difficult history the the scale of the project has grown from around $400M in 2008 to levels in excess of $1B today.