Miami's Latest Face Lift: Foreign-Backed Projects Set to Break Ground in 2012
|by Mike Vogel|
» Resorts World Miami
Genting Group has paid more than $400 million for real estate in downtown Miami for its Resorts World Miami.
» Brickell CitiCentre
Swire Properties of Hong Kong's multiblock Brickell CitiCentre will include a stop for Miami's mass transit Metromover and will be the first project built under the new Miami 21 building code. CitiCentre will have an ecological roof that ties the three-block project together, providing shade and collecting water. Swire's $700-million project will hold half a million square feet of retail and restaurants along with office towers, a 290-room hotel and 270-unit residential tower. Groundbreaking is scheduled for the second quarter of 2012. Nearly all of the project will be built in a single phase. Attorney Neisen Kasdin says Swire sees a market in downtown's 70,000 population, double the population 10 years ago. Swire has a long track record in Miami, including as developer of Brickell Key, the 44-acre development on the triangular island at the mouth of the Miami River.
» Mixed-use project
Espacio USA, part of Spain's Grupo Vilar Mir, reportedly spent $34.8 million to acquire two office buildings, including the 1400 Biscayne Center, on three acres west of what's become the Genting site. Espacio is leasing space in the buildings while making plans to replace them with an I.M. Pei-designed mixed-use project.
Melo Group, an Argentina family business, is self-funding its construction of 23 Biscayne Bay, an 18-story, 98-unit condo tower on Northeast 23rd Street, its seventh Miami project since 2001. As of October, Melo has sold 95% of the units, says broker Linette Guerra of La Playa Properties, which is marketing the project. "We launched in March. We went to Argentina to launch the first marketing campaign," Guerra says. Most buyers have been from Argentina and Brazil.
» Brickell House
Developer Harvey Hernandez, a native of Venezuela, plans to break ground on Brickell House, a $170-million, 46-story, 374-unit condo tower in the second quarter. The project is funded by foreign and domestic investors.
» Oceanfront condos
Consultatio, a Buenos Aires firm, will build luxury condo buildings totaling 154 units on 10 oceanfront acres on Key Biscayne. Eduardo Costantini, principal, is self-financing his first U.S. project.
» 396 Alhambra
An offshoot of the Mexican family behind Jose Cuervo Group, Agave joined with a group led by longtime Miami developer Eduardo "Eddie" Avila to build the 273,000-sq.-ft. class A 396 Alhambra office building opening in 2012 in Coral Gables. Agave also spent $30.6 million to buy nearly six acres of the Old Spanish Village project in Coral Gables but is still working on its plans for the site.
» Saxony Hotel redevelopment/condo tower
Buenos Aires developer Alan Faena, working with Russian-born billionaire Len Blavatnik, is redeveloping the Saxony Hotel on Miami Beach and building a companion condo tower.
» Miami Art Museum/ Miami Science Museum
Construction began in January on the $220-million Miami Art Museum, opening in 2013. The museum home is Museum Park, the new name for 29-acre Bicentennial Park, which also will house the Miami Science Museum, a $275-million project also being developed with public money and private donations, led by a $35-million gift from medical entrepreneur Phillip Frost and his wife, Patricia.
Published 12/5/2011 in Florida Trend