Category Archives: CBD: Parkwest

A Closer Look: Parkwest (interior)



I had to make a correction because in looking at the DDA’s maps, the area of this analysis is listed as Parkwest. The area that is referred to as the Media and Entertainment District is actually the area around the PAC, which is considered by many to be the PAC district. Regardless, it is important to adhere to government development designations, so I will. Parkwest is an interesting idea to entertain. I say idea because the area hasn’t exactly fully materialized. It is in the center of the city, situated directly next to over a billion dollars worth of new development, has seen a significant amount of recent land acquisitions, and is located right next to public transportation. The City of Miami has designated the area as the PArkwest which is directly to the south of the designated Media and Entertainment District. Currently, there are two huge clubs in Space and Nocturnal in the Parkwest area. There are a couple of other establishments including a strip club, but those aren’t as significant as the two aforementioned clubs. If you throw in the nearby Pawn Shop lounge across the I-395 then you have a viable clubbing district. Already if you drive by the area heading east on the I-395 you’ll notice the huge lit up outdoor ads. This is extremely important to take notice of, because this area lends itself perfect to outdoor ads and is designated by the city to be an outlet for the media. The neighborhood has high exposure to people and the warehouse-like buildings that compose the majority of the area have big bleak concrete surfaces that are just begging to be covered up with a posh outdoor ads. Piccadilly Circus in London, Ginza in Tokyo, and Times Square in NYC are perfect examples of highly evolved Media and Entertainment districts. Miami’s M & E District is a far cry from those and has a disturbingly generic name, but with the construction of Marquis, Ten Museum Park, Marina Blue, 900 and 600 Biscayne, Paramount Park, and Marquis West in Parkwest the whole area is going to surge with activity. The repositioning of the I-395 will add park space to the northern boundary of the Parkwest and the south boundary of the M&E District which will make it more accessible and pedestrian friendly. Already, when analyzing land acquisitions in the neighborhood one sees interesting patterns. Lev Leviev and Shaya Boymelgreen own a significant amount of prime parcels throughout the area along NE 2nd Avenue and NE 11th Street. Along the east side of NE 2nd avenue almost all of the parcels were bought after 2005. The Royal Palm Group owns a significant amount of parcels on 2nd Avenue as well although it is not clear what their plans are. The 2nd Avenue lots are situated directly behind the skyscrapers under construction along the Biscayne Boulevard portion of Parwest and the people mover line runs parallel to the plots as well. Through a convenience and centrality standpoint, the neighborhood is extremely valuable. Glenn Straub is not going to sit on the Miami Arena for much longer. Plans for that lot are likely to be ambitious if the arena is demolished. This will provide a positive development anchor to the south west of the M & E District. The emerging PAC District to the north will lend benefits to the neighborhood as well. Still, the development of the nearby Parkwest towers is what the neighborhood rests its promise on. The outcome may be similar to what is seen in the So Fi neighborhood of South Beach; near the Portofino Tower, Continuum, Apogee, and Murano. Those high rises straddle an area that has several major night clubs Opium Garden and Nikki Beach are just two. There are several restaurants nearby that are quite successful. This South of Fifth Miami Beach example is perfect because it too was once derelict like Parkwest currently is and blossomed subsequent to the development of nearby towers. The M&E District is seeing a high concentration of dense development surrounding it and there are other important neighborhoods emerging along side of it as well. This all stands to benefit the M&E District greatly. Currently the area is quiet, except for the clanking and banging of the construction nearby, but those sounds are a constant reminder of the future of this promising urban neighborhood. For more information on the designated M & E district or PAC district view the article from this url:

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Filed under BoB Series: A Closer Look, CBD: Parkwest

New Miami Skyline: Height/Density Distribution Charts

The Charts below are designed to track both the distribution of density and height of Miami’s proposed, under-construction, and recently topped off high-rise developments among three urban neighborhoods: Brickell Village, the Central Business District, and Uptown. Chart A, below, includes 97 of the newest and tallest projects in Brickell Village, Uptown, and the Central business District (CBD).

Chart A

Top 97 New Tallest

B. Village (red)

42 (43%)

CBD (yellow)

29 (30%)

Uptown (blue)

26 (27%)

Chart A indicates that Brickell is seeing the most development taking place. 43% of the newest high profile projects are in that neighborhood. Importantly, the Central Business District is not far ahead of Uptown. Only 3% percentage points separate the two. Let us take a look at chart B, below, which only factors in the tallest 20 new buildings.

Chart B

Tallest 20

B. Village (red)

8 (40%)

CBD (yellow)

9 (45%)

Uptown (blue)

3 (15%)

Chart B indicates that most of the top twenty tallest towers are being built in the CBD–9 in all. Brickell Village is not far behind with 8 projects in the top twenty. When it comes to the tallest of Miami’s new buildings, Uptown is far behind with only 3 in the top twenty. However, as recently as 3 years earlier, Uptown was barely a concept and would not have even been part of the discussion. Moving on to Chart C, below, which covers the tallest buildings after the top twenty up until about 102 on the list of new high density high rise developments, indicates some interesting patterns for Uptown.

Chart C

Tallest 20 – 102

B. Village (red)

36 (44%)

CBD (yellow)

20 (24%)

Uptown (blue)

26 (32%)

As you can see above, Brickell Village has the most developments with 44%, but Uptown is a surprising second with 32%. The Central Business District is last among the three urban neighborhoods. A decade ago, this would have been thought next to impossible. The Miami skyline has come a long way.

Importantly, the data indicates that although Brickell Village leads all three in development activity, it is by no means one sided. In fact, the new developments seem to be fairly evenly spread out–a pattern that has come to full fruition in places like New York City, Hong Kong Island, and Chicago. Miami, still has a long way to go, but is evolving in a rapid yet balanced manner that will render incredible results in the very near future. The Miami skyline, as it is turning out, will be quite wide or long (depending on how one views it), stretching from the most southern reaches of Brickell Avenue to the I-195 (Julia Tuttle Causeway). Based upon the anticipated new developments, there will be no obvious gaps in the skyline, at least from the Biscayne Bay vantage point. Currently, there are significant gaps as the skyline evolves.

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Filed under BoB Articles, Brickell Village, CBD: Financial District, CBD: Parkwest, Data, Maps and Illustrations, The Big Picture, Uptown: Edgewater, Uptown: Media & Entertainment (PAC) District, Uptown: Midtown Miami

Is the CBD Shifting to Brickell or Uptown? (Continued)

Defining a CBD 

What is a CBD? Central Business District: generally an area of intense commercial development in the center of an urban area. The CBD as defined in a transportation study may differ from the census definition. In the case of Miami, the CBD has always been in the Financial District where the Bank of America and Wachovia buildings reside. Now, with the dramatic influx of residential skyscrapers in the Financial District, the area is becoming less commercial and more residential. Within 3 years, residential and commercial skyscrapers will intermingle in a way that makes it difficult for the observer to employ the definition of a CBD as being mostly commercial. So then, 3 years from now, how will one determine where the CBD lies? Well, in the case of Miami, until a substantial commercial boom takes place, it is where there is the highest concentration of high rise density. Currently, the densest urban area remains the CBD.

However, Brickell Village is quickly coming into its own. Uptown, with several ambitious projects is not too far away from the CBD crown either. The only way to properly forecast where, or even if the CBD is shifting, is by gathering all the available existing and proposed building data and creating visual representations of the forecasted building density.

Above: Brickell Village Bar Graph-each bar represents a building that is either proposed, under-construction, or recently built. Right click to view full image.

Brickell Village’s Density 

Data can be misleading at times, whether it is in this case will soon be determined. I have employed the use of bar graphs that are designed to visually represent new building density in three neighborhoods, which will be the subject of this analysis: Brickell Village, CBD, and Uptown. According to the bar graphs (scroll down to view all), the current CBD seems to be in for an uphill battle, especially versus Brickell Village. BV has more new development taking place. The neighborhood’s newest buildings are going to be averaging the mid-500ft. level in height. There will be 7 buildings at, near, or above 800 feet in height. To put that in perspective, what was once the city’s tallest Wachovia tower is shorter than all of them. Already the city’s current tallest, the Four Seasons, is in Brickell Village.

Density is spreading west from Brickell Avenue towards South Miami Avenue and west along the Miami River. There are impediments to the growth, however. To the south west of Brickell Village is an upscale residential area called The Roads. This area will not be touched by the wave of high density developments, although it is likely to be sandwiched in-between high rises in Brickell Village and mid-rises on SW 3rd Avenue. Still, the area creates a development boundary. Such a boundary does not exist in either the current CBD or Uptown. Brickell Village is seeing some interesting commercial development taking place with projects like Mary Brickell Village but there are no other major retail complex developments worthy of note. The current pattern of growth, despite its impediments, is rapid and aggressive; certainly enough to keep the CBD on notice. Through an urban density standpoint, Brickell Village seems to be on pace to outpace both the CBD and Uptown to the north. So what chance does the CBD have at maintaining its current status when the development is clearly tipping towards the Brickell Village side of the scale? Well, first one must consider events taking place north of the I-395.

Density in Uptown and the M&E 

Below: Uptown density Bar Graph-each bar represents a building that is either proposed, under-construction, or recently built. Right click to view full image.






In Uptown, the Terra Group has massive plans for the 10 acres bordering the east side of the PAC, and even plans for the actual Herald property and the land next to the Venetia Condo. Add one 700+ tower in 1490 Biscayne and a total of seven 600+ footers in the area; an amount that would outdo the current CBD were it not for the CBD’s current rate of development, and you start to get the picture. However, the Uptown area has a healthy concentration of 500+ footers as well; nine in all. This is without mentioning the New York based Argent Group’s plans to demolish the Omni and possibly build up to seven 600+ towers on the site. The details are sketchy, but the implications are that the Argent Group plans to demolish in order to build big. Certainly, the Argent development combined with Terra’s 10 acre project and the other impressive projects nearby, make for a compelling argument that the CBD has a rival to the north as well. But most importantly, the Uptown area has an excessive amount of vacant land and under utilized land, which make new developments much more practical and cost effective to initiate and push forward. Add access to the PAC, proximity to both the Design District and Midtown Miami and the formula for success is clear. However, the Uptown area would have to see a sustained commercial development pattern outside of Midtown Miami, if it were to realistically vie for the CBD title, but even with the advent of the Terra Group’s City Square, the possibility is too far along the road to ponder.

Defending Downtown

In defense of the current CBD’s status, for one, the CBD currently has the most density. All future development will only add to an already fairly dense area. Additionally, there are big plans for the Financial District, which for argument’s sake, I’m combining with Parkwest. After all, Parkwest is situated next to the Financial District and is not separated from it by any obvious barrier except the rail road tracks adjacent to the Freedom Tower. Parkwest’s boundaries are blurred at best. In mentioning “big plans” for the CBD,  I mean: the Empire World Towers,  the Lynx development,  and the 3-phase Metropolitan Miami project. These projects are truly monolithic by any urban standards. The proposed EW Towers at 1,124ft are to be the tallest condominium towers in the world. The aforementioned multi-phase projects, excluding Met 1 and 2, average out at approximately 965ft in height.

Other developments such as Epic, One Miami, Everglades on the Bay, and the other Metropolitan towers contribute with two towers each. Importantly, Parkwest has served to supplement the CBD’s density to the North. Parkwest will boast two 700+ and three 600+ footers. An extremely important factor in determining the location of a CBD is identifying where major transit lines meet and people congregate. Having the American Airlines Arena, Bayfront Park, Bayside Marketplace, and Museum Park located in your neighborhood can be considered obvious points of massive social congregation. The Government Center, which is the closest Miami has to a Grand Central Station is located in the CBD, and most of the People-Mover tracks and stations run in and around the CBD. Through a transit standpoint, no other neighborhood can get close to the current CBD. Access to the Port of Miami is found only in the existing CBD, and there is no clear strong pattern of commercial development in Uptown, although a decent amount is taking place in Brickell Village.

Comparing All Three Areas 

However, a decent amount of commercial development is not going to make up for the Financial, Jewelry, Media and Entertainment District, and Courthouse Districts of the current Central Business District’s fold. Furthermore, the current CBD has more park space in Bicentennial (the proposed Museum Park) and Bayfront Park than its counterparts to the north and south. Parkspace is another important social congregation requirement in identifying a CBD’s location.

So maybe, after all, the visual data is misleading and the CBD is not going to shift north or south. Maybe despite there being a potential surpassing of building density in Brickell Village or even Uptown, the CBD simply has too many strategic variables in its favor; transit centrality, major civic centers, government facilities (local, state, and federal) and public parks. It is hard, if not impossible, to depict the social and transit advantages of the current CBD on a building height/density bar graph, but regardless the bar graph illustrates a compelling occurrence: the densification and expansion of the Miami skyline well beyond its current confines.

Below: CBD density Bar Graph-each bar represents a building that is either proposed, under-construction, or recently built. Right click to view full image. Continue reading past bar graph for additional notes.










Understanding the bar graphs:

I have taken a number of buildings, most of which are proposed or under construction, others which have just recently been topped off. This study has been aided by three bar graphs. Each bar graph is named after and represents one of three neighborhoods: CBD/Parkwest, Brickell Village, or Uptown. Each bar within the graph represents a building. The number scale on the left vertical margin of each bar represents height in feet. Therefore if a vertical bar reaches the 750 hash mark then the bar represents a 750ft. tall building in the neighborhood referred to at the graph title.

Side notes:

1. I have excluded most buildings on the Miami River both on the Brickell Village and CBD sides. I have done so because I believe that the riverfront development needs to be analyzed separately. The riverfront represents a different kind of neighborhood from its urban counterparts.

2. Not all buildings have been included in the bar graph. Certainly it was not necessary to display all building representations. For the sake of simplicity I have included each neighborhoods most significant developments. Typically, “most significant” means above 250ft in height; considering the level of development taking place that’s no small umbrella.



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Filed under BoB Articles, Brickell Village, CBD: Financial District, CBD: Jewelry District, CBD: Overtown, CBD: Parkwest, Data, Maps and Illustrations, The Big Picture, Uptown: Edgewater, Uptown: Media & Entertainment (PAC) District, Uptown: Midtown Miami, Uptown: Wynwood Arts District

Project List: Central Business District

Central Business District:
Empire World Towers I 110 floors 1124ft Residential—Proposed
Empire World Towers II 110 floors 1124ft Hotel/Residential—Proposed
600 Biscayne 62 floors 649ft Residential—Proposed (Park West)
Met 1 40 floors 400ft Residential—Construction
Met 2 40 floors 400ft Residential—Approved
Met 3 74 floors 866ft Residential—Approved
Paramount Park 68 floors 756ft Residential/Hotel—Approved (Park West)
Lynx 75 floors 745ft Office/Hotel/Residential—Proposed
900 Biscayne 63 floors 740ft Residential—Construction (PArk West)
Marquis 63 floors 679ft Residential/Hotel—Approved (Park West)
Marquis West 41 floors 496ft Residential—Proposed (Park West)
330 Biscayne 56 floors 659ft Residential—Proposed
Marina Blue 57 floors 615ft Residential—Construction (Park West)
Dupont Plaza 60 floors 609ft Residential/Hotel—Construction
Dupont Plaza II 60 floors 609ft Residential—Construction
50 Biscayne 55 floors 554ft Residential—Approved
Everglades 49 floors 538ft Residential—Approved
Everglades 49 floors 538ft Residential—Approved
Island Gardens 48 floors 535ft Hotel/Residential—Approved
10 Museum Park 48 floors 528ft Residential—Construction (Park West)
Riverfront West 1 630ft Residential—Approved
Riverfront West 2 533ft Residential—Approved
Riverfront West 3 512ft Residential—Approved
Riverfront West 4 384ft Office—Approved
Riverfront East 1 601ft Residential—Approved
Riverfront East 2 501ft Residential—Approved
Riverfront East 3 500ft Residential—Approved
One Miami I 45 floors 480ft Residential—Construction
One Miami II 44 floors 460ft Residential—Construction
The Loft 23 floors 274ft Residential—Construction
Loft II 35 floors 433ft Residential—Construction
City of Miami Development 33 floors 357ft Residential/Parking—Approved
1001 Center 27 floors Office—Approved
Mirasol 24 floors 255ft Residential—Proposed
NeoLofts 21 floors Residential—Completed 2004
U.S. Courthouse 14 floors Office—Construction
Chanticleer 21 floors 196ft Residential/Office—Proposed
Riverview Square 8 floors 136ft Office—Completed 2005
Transit Village 17 floors Office—Construction
Galardi South 10 floors Retail/Nightclub—Proposed
City View 41 floors 418ft Residential/Parking—Approved
The Promenade
Downtown Overtown
Crosswinds 1,000 units

Civic Center:
Seybold Pointe 11 floors Residential—Completed 2005
Riverside 18 floors 190ft Residential—Proposed
Terrazas Park 20 floors Residential—Approved
Terrazas River 27 floors Residential—Approved
Miami Rivertown 35 floors 368ft Residential—Approved
Riverhouse 25 floors 299ft Residential—Approved
Brisas Del Rio 20 floors 247ft Residential—Approved
1690 North River 22 floors 240ft Residential/Office—Approved
Hidden Harbor 20 floors 200ft Residential—Proposed
Urban River 19 floors 197ft Residential—Proposed
Urban River II 19 floors 197ft Residential—Proposed
Miami River 16 floors 178ft Residential—Proposed
Wagner Place 17 floors 174ft Residential—Proposed
Miami CityView 13 floors 149ft Residential—Approved
Tuscan Place 13 floors 130ft Residential—Approved
Coastal I 12 floors 120ft Residential—Proposed
Coastal II 12 floors 120ft Residential—Proposed
North Riverview 10 floors 109ft Residential—Proposed
Amber Garden 10 floors 100ft Residential—Approved

The Grove:
Mercy Hosp. 33 floors 389ft Residential—Proposed
Grovenor 33 floors 341ft Residential—Construction
Gateway to the Grove 12 floors Residential—Approved

River Rapids 1 17 floors 200ft Residential—Proposed
River Rapids 2 17 floors 200ft Residential—Proposed
River Rapids 3 17 floors 200ft Residential—Proposed
River Rapids 4 17 floors 200ft Residential—Proposed
River Rapids 5 17 floors 200ft Residential—Proposed
Blue Lagoon 17 floors 215ft Residential—Proposed (7 towers)
Mediterranean Tower, 15 floors, Lejenue Rd and n.w. 2 nd st., airport area.

Little Havana:
Capital Place 19 floors 181ft Residential/Office—Proposed
Capiro Tower 15 floors 150ft Residential—Approved
1377 Condo 15 floors 149ft Residential—Approved
VOA 12 floors 132ft Office—Proposed
Palma 14 floors 124ft Residential—Approved
Latin Q Tower 14 floors 122ft Residential—Approved
Ehden Place 13 floors 121ft Residential—Proposed
1800 Club 14 floors 120ft Residential—Approved
Nuevo Centro 11 floors 117ft Residential—Approved
San Lorenzo 10 floors 110ft Residential—Approved
Brickell West 10 floors 105ft Residential—Approved
216 SW 12 AVE 8 floors 100ft Residential—Approved
Brickell Vista 17 floors Residential—Construction
Douglas Place 14 floors Residential—Construction
Diamond 10 floors Residential—Proposed
Altos De Miami, 16 floor condo tower, Flagler st. and 22nd Ave
Capital Place 17 floors 167ft Residential—Proposed
World Crystal 12 floors 150ft Residential—Proposed

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Filed under CBD: Jewelry District, CBD: Overtown, CBD: Parkwest, Civic Center