Groundbreaking ceremony held for $1B project
MIAMI (WSVN) -- One part of Miami is slowly becoming the city's hot spot, and there is now a plan in place to keep it that way.
On Wednesday, a groundbreaking ceremony took place for a development project in Miami's Brickell neighborhood.
Swire Properties, the developers of Brickell Key, pumped over $1 billion into Citi Centre, the largest development of its kind in the area.
According to City of Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado, free public transportation options, including the Miami Trolley and the Metromover, are making pedestrian urban living easier in Brickell, and growing retail places, like Mary Brickell Village, are making the area a vibrant place to live. "I think there was a perception that downtown was difficult, that it was dangerous, and that is no longer the case," said Regalado.
For many years, the Brickell area was the heart of Miami's banking community. However, about 10 years ago, the area witnessed a residential boom. When that market slowed down, developers turned to office space. In the future, developers are considering mixed-use properties. Stephen Owens of Swire Properties said, "At the base of it is a major shopping center. Three levels, the top two levels are below-grade parking. It also has a hotel, service apartments, office buildings, and two residential condominium towers."
In all, a total of about 5 million square feet of new space will be developed along Miami Avenue, between Eighth and Seventh Streets. The first phase is scheduled to be delivered in 2015.
According to the Downtown Development Authority, growing activity in the urban core has increased demand for such a project. "We're a cultural hub: We have the Arsht Center, we have the new museums going into Museum Park. We also are obviously an entertainment capital with the Miami Heat. They don't play on South Beach; they actually play in Downtown Miami," said Alyce Robertson of the Miami Downtown Development Authority.
That excitement is what developers are betting on to take the Downtown Miami and Brickell areas into the future.
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