Rethinking Brickell’s Interior (west side)

Image: (from left to right) Infinity, Axis, and Vue on South Miami Avenue

Envisioning Brickell During the Boom

Since the inception of the surge in construction activity that later became known as the boom, I have envisioned how the skyline would transform. As activity picked up, so many projects were being announced that I found it increasingly challenging to remember them all off the top of my head. Still, I would look at the skyline and consider the height and design of those projects that were anticipated to fill in the sky. Now that the boom has dissipated, it has become clear that many projects that were announced may never come to exist. Several examples of this can be readily found on South Miami Avenue. Let’s see what I mean on a map:

Map:

  1. Brickell CitiCentre
  2. Premiere Towers
  3. Beacon (it’s not officially scrapped, so let’s call it dormant)
  4. Brickell Flatiron
  5. Pointe at Brickell
  • A total of eight towers in five separate projects



Image: The site of Flatiron up for sale

Rethinking the Vision After the Boom

The section of South Miami Avenue between 12th and 7th street is filled with examples of what could have been. Even Mary Brickell Village, which is beginning to fill with tenants, had a tower component planned that has not, and may never, come to fruition. It’s not clear what has happened. The area has excellent access to rail, is relatively stable, runs parallel to Brickell Avenue, is near the bay and Miami River, and has a robust restaurant scene. For all intensive purposes, it’s excellently situated. However, one project after another was scrapped.

Image: The site for Pointe at Brickell up for sale

Brickell Village’s interior (west side) has and is still seeing major construction activity with Avenue, Axis, Brickell Station Lofts, Infinity, Capital at Brickell, 1450 Brickell, BOR I and II, Brickell Financial Center, 500 Brickell, Latitude I and II, Neo Vertika, One Broadway, and Vue. The area is a success story despite the presence of so many scrapped projects. Proposals and approvals don’t mean anything until the ground is disturbed and the cranes and workers take the project vertical. Today, reality has set in, and there is a much clearer understanding of how Brickell Village is transforming. The future remains impressive

Image: The site of Premiere Towers up for sale

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9 Comments

Filed under BoB Articles, Brickell Village, Commercial Developments, Residential Developments, Scrapped, The Big Picture

9 responses to “Rethinking Brickell’s Interior (west side)

  1. Dave

    Retail, Retail, Retail. Thats what should fill South Miami Ave. It could be Miami’s 5th Ave (NYC) or Newbury St (Boston). One good thing about the end of the boom is that S Miami Ave was left in such virgin condition that a retail corridor could be constructed from scratch. It would help that the street already bisects MBV. Compare this to Brickell Ave which has so many pre-existing buildings that would be next to impossible to reconfigure their ground floors into workable retail centers.

  2. I was wondering what was going on with the Mark Brickell village tower…

    My only beef with the retail going into Brickell now is that they all seem to be “chain” businesses. Starbucks, PF Changes, Rosa Mexicana, even the Oceanaire… Granted, I am grateful for the choices I just wish the new retail spaces were within the reach of smaller businesses and not just established ones.

    I am honestly looking forward to Rosa opening up, my neighbors keep raving about the NY one. At least it will be unique to downtown MIA.

  3. James Wilkins

    Brickell Flatiron is a huge loss to archi-tourism in Miami. It always received significant attention from the world of design.

    I hope desperately that someone has the where with all to resurrect this project.

  4. Kevin

    Maybe Brickell Flatiron can be resurrected as an office tower. Same design, just go office. That triangle corner of Flatiron could easily be a great nightlife area with many bars and restaurants, and with that trend already in place down Miami Avenue, it could continue. I can imagine big neon signs on that corner and nice cafes and restaurants down Miami Avenue.

    It’d be really cool to imagine. People work on Brickell Avenue and one block west they go after work for cocktails and dinner and then up to their apartments and condos scattered around Brickell. Brickell is the ultimate in urban posh lifestyles and the opportunities are all there, it’s clean, safe, and high-class.

    It just needs to be tweaked and Brickell could be 10x more extravagant than what it is now. More retail, more restaurants, more bars, and we will have a great urban district. Go Brickell!

  5. D,
    SMA really is a blank canvas for development and retail should play a huge role. The area is becoming Grove-like in the form of restaurants, growing nightlife, and now the Cocowalk-emulating MBV development that is sure to spark an increase in retail activity along the periphery. 1450 and BFC are adding to the office mix. SMA may be the stage for future large-scale office projects as well–similar in scale to the scrapped ones mentioned here.

    C,
    Good point, but those are MBV establishments. Surrounding independent restaurants add dynamism to the scene, and wouldn’t expect that movement to diminish. That area is emerging as the heart of what could be, as Dave hinted at and Kevin mentions as well, a retail/activities hub. Where people go to pass their evenings, meet with friends, get tipsy and eat well–with a stupefyingly fresh backdrop of towers. Glad to hear another NY restaurant is delving into our scene.

    J,
    “Resurrect” is as accurate as it gets when considering the Flatiron going vertical. The plans are in place, impressive, approved, it has Kobi Karp’s stamp on it, and the parcel is one of the most unique in the area. It’s a package deal. It’ll get sold. If the same concept gets pulled from the scrapped book, it’ll be a good day.

    K,
    It wouldn’t be surprising to see a project such as Flatiron get pulled out of dormancy. High density office development is the future for Miami. The development scales have been drastically tipped in favor of the high density residential side. They have to even out. Brickell is the cream of urban living in Miami and its only getting better, but don’t under estimate the areas north of and along the river in the long run.

  6. Daniel

    Brickell is in my criteria the best area to invest in real estate for the long term. Prices will increase dramatically in the next 3 years making another new huge real estate boom.

    • Hey I came across your blog, not sure how… Anyway I love your poohts, they’re beautiful. Living in NY must give you an overdose on inspiration. When you go on an adventure do you use film or digital? I like shooting in black and white when I use film, but since digital I don’t use it as much. I live in a town that you have to drive a half hour to get to anything. Developing film can be expensive, and hard at times. I love how easy digital has made everything, but I still have my old film camera. Once I get some money I want to get a Supersampler Camera. 😀 Keep taking pretty unique pictures with a story. ❤

  7. The next 3yrs is probably more stagnant in prices except for a few good deals forclosures, short sales, that go under value. At this point, the only way RE prices can continue to increase is if our USDollar continues to drop in value and outsiders continue to buy here with their stronger currency. BTW, the canadian dollar has finally matched the US dollar, and the British currency is double ours.

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