Miami, in the year 2011 looks like what?

Granted, one cannot know for certain how many of the almost enumerable new high-rise projects are going to finally get built. One can be certain that currently there are so many proposed projects and construction-phase developments that even if only half of them are built, the outcome will still be staggering, and not just by Miami standards. This means that Miami will, no matter what, look vastly different from what we see today, and it will be impacting. Already one can see the buildings, one by one, begin construction. The construction activity is heavy and getting heavier by the week, from Uptown all the way south through the CBD and down to Brickell Village.

This means that what we see today, will change tomorrow, literally. The ordinary resident or visitor probably won’t notice, but today some new building just had a floor completed, another building was demolished. Somewhere else two new cranes went up. The skyline changes almost as often as the weather down in Miami. It is astonishing. There is such a high degree of developmental activity that every week, if you’re actually paying attention, you will notice something different. Since in reality this is already happening, imagine what the city will look like in 5 years. It is impossible to do. No one can. Not the developers. Not the architects. The right is exclusively reserved by the Almighty. Importantly, taking into consideration that Miami is a young city, one must, at the very least recognize that we are currently in the initial stage of what is a major urban transformation. Five years from now, today will seem quite a distance away. Miami will be unrecognizable then. You will likely find it hard to believe that it looked the way it does today. In a historical sense, with respect to Miami, we are living in the past of what will undoubtedly become a future legacy of urban greatness that will compare to the development of the greatest centers of civilization.

Briefly, let us endeavor to imagine how Miami’s urban landscape is changing, neighborhood by neighborhood. Brickell Village, is turning out to be a dense urban neighborhood. In the recent past, projects on Brickell Avenue normally had one phase or building. For example, The Bristol, Santa Maria, Four Seasons, Espirito Santo, and the most recent being Skyline and Vue, but lately, that trend has shifted to more dense two and three phase projects. For example, with two phases there are Axis, 500 Brickell, Avenue, Park Place, Infinty I and II, Villa Magna, and the Capital Towers. With three phases there are Icon Brickell and Brickell Citi Center. Clearly, this shift towards cramming in more buildings per project is increasing the urban density of Brickell to a level never before seen in the area.

In the Central Business District, there is a unique occurrence. The formerly commercial hub is turning increasingly residential. Even today, there isn’t one occupied residential building in the CBD. Within 5 years several of Miami’s largest residential projects will have been built there; One Miami, Met1, Met2, Met3, 50 Biscayne, Everglades on the Bay, The Dupont Towers, Lynx Towers, The Loft I and II, Flager First, Capital Lofts, Lynx, Empire World Towers, and more. One Miami and the Loft I are near occupancy. Almost every other project is seeing major activity on their premises. There is much more happening in the CBD. The Jewelry District is getting modernized. Infrastructure throughout the area is getting improved. But still, what is most important is the shift towards a more residential identity than commercial. Will the current CBD shift north or south? Time will let us know.

Just to the north of the CBD is an area that just 3 years ago no one cared to even think about. The area is Park West. Now we are seeing so much activity there that it is simply mind boggling. On its current track, the neighborhood is pacing itself to become one of the most standout urban communities in the country and possibly even the world. Take into consideration the development of Marquis, Ten Museum Park, Marina Blue, Paramount Park, 900 Biscayne, and Empire World Towers. All of these towers are visually stunning, luxurious, and quite tall. Then consider Museum Park (currently Bicentennial Park): a large neighboring park set aside Biscayne Bay that will house two world-class museums. Then there is the Media and Entertainment District that hugs the west side of Park West. After the development of it’s tall neighbors to the east, the area will rival the nightclub scene in South Beach, guaranteed.

Uptown, or the area north of the I395 and east of I-95, will have develop into a mosaic of vibrant, cultured, and energetic urban neighborhoods. The Performing Arts District, at the southern end of Uptown will be the center of the music and dance culture. The Wynwood area, already becoming the heart of a genuine art movement in Miami, will have become a genuine Arts District. The Edgewater area, from Margaret Pace in the South to the Julia Tuttle entrance in the north will be lined with some of Miami’s most striking residential highrises: Opera Tower, 1800 Club, Quantum, Paramount Bay, Onyx I and II, Element, Platinum Bay, Blue, Soleil, Lima, Cardinal Symphony Towers, and a series of several other projects. Plus, there is the Midtown Miami project with its several phases, will be the center of the urban rennaiscance in the area. the area is also witnessing an influx of mid-rises development that is making for a unique urban enclave that will blend in nicely with the nearby highrises, making the area dynamically urban. Importantly, we do not yet know what the Terra Group will do with the 10 acres surrounding the Herald Building and we do not know what New York based Argent Ventures is going to do with the Omni. We do know, that with all the huge plans in the neighboorhood, both sites will have to undergo a massive transformation to keep up.
Miami, in five years, will be almost unrecognizable, except for its beautiful bay. The syline will be a vast wall of sleek skyscraper streching from Brickell in the South to the Julia Tuttle cauesay in the North. Our Areas of High Density Devlopment section covers all the activty with utmost attention to detail. In the next five Miami will start to feel like a true urban metropolis, and even the skeptics will be swayed and the pessimists left awe struck. As for the visionaries, it will be a dream come true.

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Filed under BoB Articles, The Big Picture

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