‘Mega’ Mixed-Use Projects Become New Trend in Miami

By Georgiana Mihaila, Associate Editor In an attempt to create Miami’s own Rockefeller Center, Hong Kong-based Swire Properties, the developer of Brickell Key, has recently revealed his plans for the $700 million urban gathering place—Brickell CitiCentre. Spread over 9.1 acres west [...]

In an attempt to create Miami’s own Rockefeller Center, Hong Kong-based Swire Properties, the developer of Brickell Key, has recently revealed his plans for the $700 million urban gathering place—Brickell CitiCentre. Spread over 9.1 acres west of Brickell Avenue and south of the Miami River, the development will include (in addition to a major retail component) restaurants, a hotel, office towers and apartments or condominiums.

According to The Miami Herald, Brickell CitiCentre is expected to generate $1 billion in overall economic impact, taking into account the 1,700 construction jobs per year of construction and the 3,800 jobs after completion. The annual taxes the CitiCentre will have to pay to the city of Miami will amount to $5.4 million, while another $9.6 million will go to Miami-Dade County. The ambitious project is modeled after similar ones that have been developed in Asia by Swire’s parent company, Swire Pacific Holdings Ltd.

While the first phase, comprising 500,000 sq. ft. of retail shops and restaurants, a 290-room four-star hotel, a residential tower with nearly 270 units and two eight-stories office towers, is supposed to see the light of day within four years, most of the office space and a second residential tower are scheduled for later based on market demand.

Miami-based Arquitectonica will be in charge of the design and developer Swire Properties’ vision of having bridges and covered walkways connecting the four-block area. With the full support of Miami’s Mayor, Tomás Regalado, construction may begin by the end of this year or by early 2012, pending the final approval from the Miami City Commission in July.

This is not the only larger-than-life mixed-use project planned for Miami. Developer Mark Siffin has recently been eyeing a new site for his mall and parking garage, topped with huge electronic towers. According to the South Florida Business Journal, Siffin is attempting to purchase land owned by the Miami-Dade County Public Schools for a portion of his project. The land is set in a prime location along Interstate 395.