Jax vs. Miami: Downtowns Headed in Opposite Directions?

September 22, 2015 3 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

Both cities were developed in the era of sunbelt sprawl and both have visions of downtown revitalization. However, one has ambitions of international greatness and the other is still in search of its identity. Today, Metro Jacksonville visits the downtown streets of a Sunbelt city attempting to transform itself into an internationally known walkable community: Miami.




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


Miami-Dade College's Wolfson Campus opened in downtown Miami in 1970. Directly served by Metrorail and Metromover, the campus has an annual enrollment of 27,000. The campus also houses the New World School of the Arts, a comprehensive high school and college program, known as one of the best art schools in the country.




The bike-sharing program, Citi Bike Miami, was launched in December 2014. The program is operated by DECOBIKE LLC.



Plans are underway to physically transform Biscayne Boulevard into a vibrant, attractive public space that rivals the great streets of the world like the Champs-Elysees in Paris or Las Ramblas in Barcelona. In coordination with the FDOT, the hope is to convert Biscayne Boulevard into a roadway with 4-6 shared parking/travel lanes, a pedestrian promenade in the median, wide sidewalks and a separated cycle track.


The 21-story historic Alfred I. DuPont Building was the first skyscraper built in Miami after the bust of 1928. Similiar in design to Jacksonville's Ed Ball Building, the DuPont Building was designed by Jacksonville-based Marsh and Saxelbye. Like the Ed Ball Building, it was built for Jacksonville's Florida National Bank.



Construction continues 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. In addition, a ZipCar office is located across the street.




MDM Development's 32-story Met 3 includes a ground floor Whole Foods Market in an 11 story pedestal with 17 floors of 462 apartments above.


The Atrium offers luxury residential living in the heart of downtown Miami.



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