Skyline Gap a Reminder of Miami’s Possibilities

Image: The empty gap between Parkwest’s towers on the right and the Financial District to the left (Firefox users right click to view larger image).

In 2005, the Parkwest side was flat. Today, four towers are jutting into the sky. Most skyscraper enthusiasts have been envisioning this “Parkwest Wall” since the towers were announced, but now that they are a reality, there is a pronounced gap between Everglades on the Bay and Marina Blue.

Rendering: The Biscayne Wall as it would appear with Paramount Park and 600 Biscayne in the mix.

Four developments are planned within the gap. The Empire World Towers, Paramount Park, 600 Biscayne Building, and MDC Wolfson Campus building, would convert the area from a gap to the focal point of the skyline.

Rendering: The Oppenheim-designed MDC Wolfson building as it would look with 600 Biscayne and Paramount Park to the immediate north

Currently, there is no activity to speak of regarding any of these developments, but the plans are in place. It’s just another reminder of what could be. If the gap is filled with existing plans, Miami’s skyline, will for the first time appear seamless (no major gaps) from the MacArthur Causeway vantage point–that is until Island Gardens partially blocks the view.

Rendering: Empire World Towers

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18 Comments

Filed under BoB Articles, CBD: Financial District, CBD: Jewelry District, CBD: Overtown, CBD: Parkwest, The Big Picture

18 responses to “Skyline Gap a Reminder of Miami’s Possibilities

  1. Elvio

    It seems very unlikely, given the current state of the realestate industry that the existing plans for the Gap will come to fruition. More realistically the Gap will be a blank canvas to be filled in the next building boom in decades to come.

  2. That is unless the projects adapt their use to evolving market conditions. Anyone outside of Miami would look at any of the four renderings and assume they are office buildings. These developers will attempt a use-adjustment before they fold their hands. The scales of development are titled too far on the residential side. Office development is in order. Also, keep in mind, the MDC project is not a condo.

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  3. Brad

    Based on that rendering “Empire World Towers” looks like it is about 300 stories. What is the actual info on that proposed project and who owns the land/developing it?

  4. Elvio

    There would have to be a significant shift in use, and at this point it seems questionable whether a shift to commercial or other use will meet any seen need. A sit and wait for more favorable conditions is clearly the direction the once heralded but now very quiet, projects for the Gap are implementing.

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  5. James Wilkins

    MDC Wolfson came along well into the Bust of the market. It has many uses…Hotel, office, college, retail, residential, spa. I think there may be a possibility for it…because of the cache of occupying great design.

  6. Elvio,
    A significant shift is exactly what I’m talking about. There has been a shortage of new office space built over the last decade, and class A office vacancies are declining. The pick up in office development in Brickell may hint to a trend in office development that might spill over into the CBD. Still, the necessary office space demand, as you say, is questionable.

    Brad,
    It’s planned for 106 floors (although some sources point to 110 floors) and 1,200 feet, but you’re right the rendering makes it look taller than what the actual dimensions call for. The land is owned by Leon Cohen under a Limited Liability Corp.

    James,
    Is the residential use for the college? Or is it a mixed use complex with MDC as the biggest tenant?

  7. James Wilkins

    My understanding is that MDC hopes to leverage their rights to the prime property and get a developer to foot the bill for the building, paying for the college facilities in exchange for the air rights.

    The residential is expected to be separate private residential. It seems like a reasonable plan for all parties and the creative structuring may also contribute to the greater chance of it happening. Just think of what Terra group haad to pay for the site behind the herald. 90 Million?

    That savings by the MDC developer could make the construction costs attainable.

    Not to mention a shockingly cool DT hotel, and a mini college town at the base of the building with an arts center and a sports complex, all of which that could be very active and support the facility economically.

    This creative planning has me very excited and hopeful.

    In all honesty however I don’t know how realistic any of this is. It sounds good.

  8. Thanks for the great update James! From what I understand, Terra hasn’t closed on all of the Herald land yet. I wonder what the hold up is. Talking about a “cool DT hotel”, Ian Schrager still owns the Continental Riande, which is also in the gap, but his firm hasn;t disclosed any plans for t hat or the Miami Beach location. I wonder what he’s waiting for. I hope he doesn’t pull out. DT could use an Ian Schrager hotel.

  9. James Wilkins

    Although it may mean nothing I am sorry to report that MDC has been taken off of the Oppenheim webs site. Could be any reason I suppose.

  10. It may mean nothing but it ain’t good news.

  11. FrenchyMiami

    Midtown3 is still on their website Does it mean it is a go? lol

  12. I’m convinced the fact that I was missing my native NYC skyline spearheaded this. 😉

  13. I can’t deny that it’s alluring, though the sight of the Freedom Tower (aka the old Daily News building) being dwarfed so gives me chills. At what point does the underlying bedrock beneath the South Florida marle scream out, “enough!”

  14. BoB

    NEVER!!! I’m bullish about development what can I say.

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