Downtown Revitalization: Miami

January 6, 2014 34 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

Like many cities, Miami aspires to achieve greatness with its downtown. Judging from the amount of cranes dominating the skyline, Miami is well on its way. Today, Metro Jacksonville's Ennis Davis takes a look at the street scene of one of the country's most rapidly growing downtowns.

MDM Development's 32-story Met 3 will include a ground floor Whole Foods Market in an 11 story pedestal with 17 floors of 462 apartments above. Later this year, MDM Development plans to start construction on Met Square, across the street from Met 3. Met Square, a four-story entertainment center, will be anchored by the Silverspot, a 12-screen movie theater. These projects will complete the development of Metropolitan Miami. Met 1, a 447-unit condominium tower was completed in 2008. Met 2, now the 47-story Wells Fargo Center and 41-story Marriott Marquis, was completed in 2010.

The 47-story Wells Fargo Center rises in the background.

The 41-story Marriott Marquis.

The Mansard-style copper roof cladded Security Building was the most imposing building in Miami when it was constructed in 1927. In 2004, the historic highrise was converted into the Capital Building Lofts.

In 2008, the Carlisle Development Group and Carrfour Supportive Housing completed the renovation of the Royalton into affordable housing for formerly homeless individuals. Monthly rents at the Royalton range from $167 to $622 depending on income level. Approximately $18.5 million in financing was arranged for the development from a variety of funding sources including City of Miami HOME, Miami Dade County Surtax, Miami Dade County HOME, Federal Low Income Tax Credit Program which includes historic tax credits from the National Park Service and the State of Florida’s Homeless Housing Assistance Grant. Operating funding is provided under a U.S. HUD program administered by Miami Dade Housing Agency.

Construction has begun on the conversion of the historic Miami National Bank building (left) into a boutique hotel called the Langford. The project is being funded through a rather novel financing method called the EB-5 visa program. People are given green cards for a $500,000 investment in the US, basically investing their way into the country.

The 360' Miami-Dade County Courthouse was the tallest building in the State of Florida when it was completed in 1928.

Construction is occurring on Newgard Development Group's Centro Lofts. Miami's high-density district zoning rules exempt minimum parking requirements for residential buildings located within 1,000 feet of transit stations. This essentially covers all of downtown. Newgard is taking advantage of this exemption. The 352 unit, 37 floor Centro Lofts will offer a valet, a five-spot Car2Go autoshare hub, covered bicycle parking and a bike share station instead of a parking garage. Residents who need parking will have to get spots in a nearby city garage.

The Worldcenter will have direct access to the Metromover.

Flagler Street's historic Macy's (originally Burdines) days may be numbered. In December, Macy’s and its sister department store chain Bloomingdale’s were announced as the flagship tenants for the proposed Mall at Miami Worldcenter. Worldcenter will anchor the north side of downtown Miami with a 1,800-room Marriott hotel, a 600,000-square-foot convention center and 750,000-square-foot mall. Worldcenter will be within walking distance of All Aboard Florida's new downtown passenger rail terminal, AmericanAirlines Arena and Bayside Marketplace.

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