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Posts Tagged ‘17th street parking garage’

Welcome to Miami Beach signYears of discussion about renovating the outdated Miami Beach Convention Center have led to a fierce redevelopment plan competition. There are now two firms competing for the final of the mega project to renovate and redevelop 52 acres in the middle of Miami Beach, including the Miami Beach Convention Center, the ugly 17th street parking garage, the Miami Beach Botanical Gardens and the Fillmore-Jackie Gleason theater. This is the largest urban development, costing over $1 billion, to be designed in South Florida. The final two competing teams are led by Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas with the Office for Metropolitan Architecture and Danish architect Bjarke Ingels ( who is the designer behind BIG for Grove at Grand Bay new construction project which just broke ground in Coconut Grove ) for Tishman’s South Beach ACE Design.

Project designed by Rem Koolhaas

Project designed by Rem Koolhaas

Both projects are designed by European architects who probably understand somehow better how to design urban centers that connect to the rest of the city. Rem Koolhaas offers to link the new project to Lincoln Road while Bjarke Ingels incorporates a connection to the New World Symphony building on 17th street. Both developments feature a renovated convention center – build on and around the current one -, a hotel, a ballroom, a cultural center,  residential units and retail. We should find out which team will win the bid on July 17th.

Each mega development project attracts some controversy and this one is no exception. First, the City of Miami Beach owns the land, however, it is planning on leasing it for 99 years to the developer who wins the bid. Many are saying the city has enough funds and should not lease its land. Second, leasing the land for a century to a private developer would allow this company to take over control over the use of the land, which infuriates many residents, including organization Let Miami Beach Decide, which is asking for a referendum on the project.

Project designed by Bjarke Ingels

Project designed by Bjarke Ingels

What I personally wonder is why the current convention center will not be knocked down to create a totally new building. From what I read about the topic, the structure of the existing convention center will remain and the new developments will be built on top of it and around it. Where will the Miami Boat Show, Art Basel Miami Beach and other main local fairs will take place during renovation time ?

Although the additional retail and hotel spaces will certainly add competition to the retail spaces located on Lincoln Road and the hotels lined up along Collins Avenue, the current office, retail and residential markets ( for rent or sale ) of the area will keep increasing in value, especially around 17th street, James, Meridian avenue and its surroundings.

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