Archives for posts with tag: Miami Beach Convention Center

This past year was one of growth in real estate, not only in South Florida, but all over the country. 2013 marked the first time since the collapse of the market that people truly started to feel a recovery. Putting the microscope over South Florida’s commercial real estate market, the year was littered with events that signaled the current and future expansion of our area. It was difficult to narrow it down, but below we have put together a list of the top five stories of 2013 according to the Top Commercial Blog.

5. Record Setting Deal on Lincoln Road

Lincoln Road is becoming the home for flagship retail and folks are looking to cash in on the trend. This December, Tristar Capital purchased 530 Lincoln Road for $30 million, setting a new record. At 10,000 rentable square feet, the deal amounted to $3,000 per square foot. The expectation is that Tristar will add more two-story, single tenant retail to accompany Forever 21, H&M, and Zara.

4. Swire Proposes 80-Story Tower

It wouldn’t be a countdown without mentioning Brickell CityCentre. This fall, Swire announced that they plan to add an 80-story tower to the already massive project to act as a gateway to the development. One Brickell CityCentre, as it would be called, would add more Class-A office space, condos, retail and even another hotel to the project. Phase one of the Brickell CityCentre is still currently set for completion in 2015.

3. All Aboard Florida Applies for Federal Loan

This past March, All Aboard Florida applied for a loan from the Federal Railroad Administration to begin work on their vision of a passenger rail service from Miami to Orlando. The train would also make stops in Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. Commercial real estate would be a large part of the project, with around $325 million being dedicated to develop about 1 million square feet of commercial real estate. The planned opening of the service would be in 2015.

2. David Beckham Eyes PortMiami for Soccer Stadium

In November, all anyone was talking about was David Beckham’s plans to bring a new Major League Soccer team to Miami. The famed footballer was touring the city, looking for a location to build a new stadium. Then we discovered that Beckham was eyeing PortMiami. A soccer stadium in the port would fit right in with their  master plan for the southwest corner that would include a hotel, retail and office space. If this idea moves forward, Beckham and his team will have to figure out how to better flow traffic into Dodge Island.

1. The Miami Beach Convention Center Saga

If there’s one story with enough action, drama and significance to come out on top of this list, it’s that of the Miami Beach Convention Center. First there was the showdown between South Beach ACE and Portman-CMC for the development deal, but ACE’s victory only marked the beginning. The convention center project became a top issue in Miami Beach politics, leading up to a heated election in November. The vote resulted in more difficulties for the convention center, as any new leases would need to be approved by a super-majority. The drama here is expected to continue well into 2014.


This year will be the 12th for Art Basel Miami Beach. Each year the event has grown and has continued to play an integral part in the development of South Florida’s artistic culture. This weekend, visitors can count on the festival to feature more than 250 of the world’s leading galleries.


Art Basel creates a key opportunity for continued growth

Art Basel Miami Beach has become an international artistic spectacle with visitors, including many celebrities, coming from all over the globe to get a look at the newest trends in the art scene. Miami expects more than 60,000 visitors to attend the event this year. Of course, with international cash-buyers playing such a key role in the revival of South Florida real estate, Art Basel creates a key opportunity for continued growth.

Brokers will be able to highlight South Florida’s latest real estate development to Art Basel’s international guests. Condominium inventory is running thin, thanks in large part to international buyers who accounted for approximately 70 to 80 percent of condo sales during the latest boom. South Florida is compensating for the diminishing inventory with 175 new condo projects planned for the area that would be of great interest to overseas buyers.

With the evolution of Art Basel over the years, the festival is no longer solely taking place in Miami Beach. Events and showings connected with Art Basel are popping up all over Miami-Dade County, creating unique opportunities for brokers to mingle with VIP guests over a meal or drink. Private events can be the perfect place to develop relationships today that will help sell a luxurious space in a development months from now.

A sign of the spectacular mark that Art Basel has made in the development of South Florida’s culture can be seen in the opening of the Perez Art Museum earlier this week. The building itself was touted as a work of art and contained 500 pieces on display the day it opened. The future of the Miami art scene and its contribution to the development of our city is bright.

This summer we discussed the battle for the future of the Miami Beach Convention Center between developers Portman-CMC and South Beach ACE. In July, beach commissioners decided that they agreed with South Beach ACE’s vision for the future of the convention center district. Little did the city know that at as quickly as one battle would end, a more onerous one would begin.

Tomorrow, when the voters of Miami Beach visit the polls, they will face a choice between candidates who would like to see the South Beach ACE vision through and those who would like to see the project scaled down. Citizens will also be voting on a referendum that could move the amount of votes to approve the convention center project from a simple majority to a super majority, requiring 60 percent of the vote and making the project more difficult to pass.

However, most agree that the issue is not whether the convention center should be renovated at all, as it clearly needs an update. The convention business is a key contributor to the tourism dollars that are the foundation of the city’s revenues. The city cannot afford to let that activity slide down.


Rendering of the proposed Miami Beach Convention Center renovation

The real debate is in regards to whether the project is worth the bill to the taxpayers or if the vision is too grandiose. If the project were to stay as is, taxpayers in Miami Beach would be on the hook for $600 million. An amount that would be covered by a pre-approved increase in hotel taxes, as well as land leases and county taxes.

The 800-room hotel proposed by South Beach ACE has also been the center of quite a bit of controversy. If approved, South Beach ACE would lease public land for 99 years in order to build a hotel for the convention center, as well as 90,000-square feet of retail. Some city officials worry that 99 years would be too long a period for the city to lease such important land.

High-end hotels have also taken issue with the idea of making the hotel a place where convention-goers could escape some of the higher hotel rates in the beach area. The Fontainebleau, for example, has donated $15,000 to Let Miami Beach Decide, an organization supporting efforts against the current plan. Beach Commissioner Jonah Woflson, who set up the Let Miami Beach Decide movement, agrees with the Fontainebleau’s motives, claiming that Miami should stay “a high end destination.”

Either way, the saga of the Miami Beach Convention Center renovation continues to captivate with every new chapter it enters. This week will be the biggest milestone yet for the future of the project. All eyes in Miami-Dade County will be on the voters in Miami Beach tomorrow.

For more on the politics behind tomorrow’s decision, take a look at this article from the Miami Herald.

The moment is finally here. Those who closely follow Miami’s progress have been seemingly waiting a lifetime for this decision to be made. Now they have less than a week. Commissioners are set to make a final decision on which Miami Beach Convention Center proposal will move forward.

Both groups, Portman-CMC and South Beach Ace, have identified over $1 billion in renovations to be made to the convention center. Both groups are projecting to create well over 10,000 jobs for the community. Most excitingly, both groups have taken the initiative to team up with world-class architects, Portman-CMC with Bjarke Ingels and South Beach Ace with Rem Koolhaas. Neither proposal is anything less than extraordinary and the community of Miami Beach is extremely lucky to have these two groups competing for their approval. Though it has made for an unbelievably compelling race, there can only be one victor crowned. So without further ado, we shall take a look at a brief summary of both proposals.


The Portman-CMC group has proposed creating a central square, which will be surrounded by a Latin American Cultural Museum, City Hall, and the landmark Jackie Gleason Theater. A low-height hotel will be attached to the southern end of the convention center. The planned hotel will be a monument to healthy living, as it is rumored to feature daylight-simulating alarm clocks, vitamin-c showers, and other mind-blowing innovations. The hotel will also have a viewing terrace on the roof, with a view of the planned “art roof.” The 17th Street garage will also be completely rebuilt and low-rise residential buildings will surround the west of the ballroom.

Here’s a preview:


South Beach ACE

The South Beach ACE proposal is just as exciting, though strikingly different. They have proposed completely reorienting the convention center, adding a concourse to the south and a loading & unloading area to the north. Their hotel will be built on top of the convention center and contain 800 rooms, each with their own private balcony. With Rem Koolhaas on the job, one can be certain that these balconies will be of the highest quality art deco design. Hotel meeting spaces will also be on top of the main convention center. The defining feature of the ACE proposal is their expansion of the botanical garden. Their desire is to surround the center with greenery and create a Central Park atmosphere for the Miami Beach community. A plaza to the south of the center will link the Miami Beach City Hall, Jackie Gleason Theater, and a retail/residential area to the west. The ACE plan also includes a preservation of the 17th Street garage, with added ground-level retail.

Here’s a preview:



So far each proposal has their fair share of endorsements. South Beach ACE recently received a big endorsement from the Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce as well as Planning Board Chair, Charles Urstadt. Amongst their endorsements, Portman-CMC can point to a 4-3 vote in their favor from the Miami Beach Convention Center Advisory Board. However, none of that matters after next week, when the final decision is made. Residents of Miami Beach and admirers of the South Florida culture are on the edge of their seats.

For more information on the race, take a look at this brilliantly detailed overview of both proposals from The Miami Herald:

Miami has long been one of the most rapidly developing cities in the world. Therefore, it is no surprise that the future of the city holds much to be excited about. Many famed architects have recently decided to use Miami-Dade and/or Broward County as locations for their latest projects. The Beach and Downtown areas of the city, in particular, have attracted many new condominium developments in recent years.

The best, however, is yet to come. Star architect, Bjarke Ingels, has recently created designs for the Marina Loft in Ft. Lauderdale and the Grove at Grand Bay in Coconut Grove, all while competing with Rem Koolhaas for the right to design the new Miami Beach Convention Center. Koolhaas has also teamed up with Lord Norman Foster to create the Faena Saxony in Miami Beach.

Famed architect, Enrique Norten, also has several projects set for Ocean Drive in Miami Beach: the Ocean One and 321 Ocean buildings. Meanwhile, Carlos Ott (designer of the Bastille Opera in Paris), has five projects in the area that are set for development!

These are just a few of the many new projects from star architects that residents of Miami and potential buyers have to look forward to, as displayed by this interactive map: