Margaret Pace Park would be normal, were it not surrounded by Biscayne Bay and seven new tower complexes. The South Edgewater park is becoming the city’s newest most attractive urban park. It sits on 8 acres directly on Biscayne Bay. Until recently, Pace Park was filled with trash, plagued by drug deals, and popular among the Homeless. The park was unknown except to the few that lived or worked in the area. The bordering North Bayshore Drive was a quiet residential street. There was a retirement community, quaint bay front homes, and some old apartment complexes. The development of the Grand, Marriot, and Omni International Mall, for a moment, seemed to bring progress to the neighborhood, but that quickly dissipated. The Omni was left a near empty shell. A failed dream.
The Grand, Venetia, and Marriot, assimilated into the city. Pace Park sat in the shadows of it all. Its eight tropical acres sitting patiently on the Bay waiting for its time to come. Some attention was given to the park after the development of Bay Parc Plaza. The rental tower sparked some new life into the area. Throughout the park colorful mosaic thrones were built at three points along the bay. Each mosaic throne represents a different faith. On the south side of the park, tennis courts were added and volley ball courts were added. A new bathroom and storage complex was added. The central and northern segments of the park remained largely the same. A basketball court was added to the north. The children’s playground was recently covered with awnings.
The major shift in momentum occurred with the announcement of the Performing Arts Center nearby, which sparked a flurry of development along N. Bayshore Drive: Opera Tower, 1800 Club, Quantum North and South, Cite, Paramount Bay, and the recently announced On the Park. From the park’s vantage point, looking west, there will be an impressive skyline of 9 towers. There aren’t too many parks that can make the claim of being surrounded by its own skyline while still being on the bay. Unlike Bayfront Park to the south, Pace Park is quiet and personal.
After the towers get built and occupied, however, that will change. It will be a hotbed of activity; packed till the evenings. Parking will be hard to come by. There will be further aesthetic and landscaping enhancements. There will be picnickers on the weekends, events hosted regularly, concerts, cricket matches, and soccer tournaments. Despite the long tradition of Bayfront Park and emergence of Museum Park, Pace Park has one of the brightest futures out of Miami’s urban parks.
The park is located at 1745 North Bayshore Drive between 17th and 19th streets. Paramount on the Bay to the north of Pace Park will have Edgewater Square. The latter being a sort of pedestrian plaza/retail component. The Performing Arts Center is a short two block walk to the south. The Omni is one block to the south and will comprise 6 towers in the near future.