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Miami’s Building Boom

James W. Shindell

While the rest of the country is slowly pulling itself out of recession, Miami is in the midst of a building boom that not only signifies its strong recovery, but is putting South Florida on par with New York City as a global power center. At the time of the 2008 economic downturn, Miami had the third largest skyline in the U.S.; now that skyline is set to get even bigger.

With a 40% rise in Miami condo rents since 2009 and a current 97% occupancy rate, there are 186 condo buildings planned in South Florida including 25 in downtown Miami.  Though one of those – the Crescent Heights and the Related Group’s 50-story luxury tower – is currently on hold, other proposed and in-progress projects include:

  • 1000 Museum – a luxury high rise residential tower, complete with a spa and helipad, with prices starting at $4.9 million.
  • Met 3 – a 74- story luxury residential sky rise – the tallest south of New York City – with a Whole Foods Market on the first floor.
  • Brickell City Centre - a $1.05 billion mixed-use development and the single largest project currently underway in downtown Miami.  It includes 820 condominiums in two towers; a 625,000 square-foot shopping center; 263 hotel rooms; 89 serviced apartments; a wellness center; 128,580 square feet of Class A offices; and 2,600 parking spaces.

In addition to this increase in residential space are massive commercial projects.  There is nearly one million square feet of warehouse space under construction, with another two million square feet planned.  Notable commercial projects include:

  • Brickell World Plaza – a high tech, high amenity 40- floor office building designed for modern business.
  • Miami World Center a 30-acre retail, hotel and convention center complex that will include a Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s and a giant Marriott hotel, and will be a “pedestrian-friendly city-within-a-city.”
  • Skyrise Miami – a proposed 1,000 foot building with three observation decks, a restaurant, nightclub, SkyHigh Club, ballroom, meeting room and rides.
  • Museum Park – includes both an art museum and science museum and is designed to be an educational, cultural and social hub.
  • The Miami Design District – a luxury fashion and art neighborhood described as a “destination for cutting-edge fashion, art, design and culture.”  includes high-end fashion occupants such as Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Prada, Cartier, Dolce & Gabbana, March Jacobs, Valentino, and others.

Along with all of the residential and commercial development is the growth in Miami’s transportation infrastructure, with the current expansion of the Port of Miami and the creation of the privately-funded All Aboard Florida passenger train. It has been reported that this will be an express intercity passenger rail service with connections to Ft. Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, and Orlando, and will be designed to “provide access to international airports, seaports, and existing and future transit systems, such as SunRail in Orange County, and Metrorail and Metromover in Miami-Dade County.”

Miami’s extensive growth and development will not only add to its skyline, but facilitate its role as an international center of business and trade.  Now, in addition to being famous for its fabulous beaches and as the cruise capital of the world, Miami will be known as one of the top cities in the world for art and culture, shopping and investment.

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