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Privately financed convention center planned for Miami

17 May, 2013 By: Elliott Mest
 


The MDM Group solidified a contract to purchase the previous site of the Miami Arena in Miami, Fla., with the goal of eventually constructing a privately financed convention center. According to CBS, the proposed convention center will bolster Miami occupancy with the addition of a 1,800-room Marriott hotel. Current plans place the hotel atop the 500,000-square-foot convention center.

The convention center is expected to have a 1,500-square-foot theater and a 2,300-car garage to be located partially underground.

Though the terms of the deal were not disclosed, MDM's architect, John Nichols of Nichols Brosch Wurst Wolfe, who was authorized to speak on the developers’ behalf, told the Miami Herald his client intends to begin development soon, and believes the high demand for hotels and meeting space in Miami can be filled by this property. Nichols claims the project could be completed within four years, and expects the total cost of the operation to exceed $1 billion.

“Miami is such a red-hot community, and this will be a true iconic landmark on the horizon,’’ Nichols told the Miami Herald. Nichols claims his firm has completed a conceptual design of the project. “This is a huge undertaking. We’ve blocked it out and we know it will work."

In other convention-related news for Miami Beach, Vornado Realty Trust and several Lincoln Road property owners endorsed South Beach Ace’s proposal to modernize the existing Miami Beach Convention Center. The Miami Business Journal reported that Vornado paid $132 million last year for the 1100 Lincoln Road portfolio, which included the Miami Beach Convention Center.

The endorsements of the proposed updates are important to the project because property owners of Lincoln Road fear retail developments in Miami's convention center district could potentially undermine business at open-air malls. Developer South Beach ACE is managing these concerns by planning the future entrance to the hotel and convention center on the southwest side of the center, driving event goers to Lincoln Road.

“The South Beach ACE team has purposely reoriented the convention center main entrance and concourse towards Lincoln road and also has made a pedestrian friendly median in order to cross 17th Street,” Steven Roth, Vornado Realty Trust CEO and chairman, told the Miami Business Journal. “The city of Miami Beach will benefit from the master planning firm of OMA focusing on the future of the City.” 

Topic : Miami, Development, Hotels, Conventions, Convention Centers
External Source : CBS, Miami Herald, Miami Business Journal
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