After outgrowing its home of a decade in Midtown, Art Miami is moving closer to the water for Art Basel 2017.
The annual art fair has signed a multi-year agreement with Resorts World Miami to temporarily rent out during December’s annual Art Week the vacant lot on Biscayne Bay where the former Miami Herald building once stood. The terms and exact length of the agreement are confidential.
The move will allow Art Miami’s two major fairs, Art Miami and CONTEXT, to operate out of the 14-acre lot — each fair’s tents are currently a block apart in Midtown — while offering room for the fair’s projected growth. Boutique art fair Aqua will remain at its current space at 1530 Collins Ave. on Miami Beach.
Art Miami’s three fairs, which signal the unofficial launch of Art Week, have been expanding annually. In 2016, Art Miami grew from 115 exhibitors in 2015 to 125. CONTEXT has gone from 68 dealers in 2012 to 100 this year. The shows attract more than 80,000 people, an attendance rate higher than the week’s premier event, Art Basel.
A lot of our clients have asked for more space. We just really needed to expand. Midtown has contracted; lots have been selling. The timing was correct. Nick Korniloff, partner, executive vice president and fair director of Art Miami
“A lot of our clients have asked for more space,” said Nick Korniloff, partner, executive vice president and fair director of Art Miami. “We just really needed to expand. Midtown has contracted; lots have been selling. The timing was correct.”
The expanded space on Biscayne Bay will give the fair room to grow by about 15 percent, said Korniloff, who plans to make use of the additional square footage by adding an outdoor cafe and bar overlooking the bay.
From an operational standpoint, the new site’s proximity to the MacArthur Causeway, parking garages and lots and public transportation, is also a win, he said. The show is projected to perform 80 percent better than it does now.
Renderings for the new site depict four waterfront Art Miami tents, plus a larger CONTEXT tent just west on the 1 Herald Plaza lot, two VIP parking lots and the multi-story Omni parking garage across the street.
We are confidant that our new location will offer an unprecedented level of convenience, ambiance and amenities for all collectors that attend Miami Art Week. Nick Korniloff, partner, executive vice president and fair director of Art Miami
“We are confident that our new location will offer an unprecedented level of convenience, ambiance and amenities for all collectors that attend Miami Art Week,” Korniloff said in a statement. “We are proud of the relationships we built and the contributions that our organization’s fairs provided in helping establish and creating international recognition for the Midtown / Wynwood arts district. We congratulate the land owners, developers and business owners on making their vision become a reality and an asset for our beloved Miami community.”
Casino giant Genting Group, which owns the Resorts World Miami project, bought the former Miami Herald campus for $236 million in 2011, with initial plans to develop a luxury Miami casino and resort, plans that were extinguished by Florida’s restrictive gaming laws. Rumors have circled for years about a potential luxury complex with no casino, then a partnership with David Beckham for a proposed soccer stadium, and most recently reported plans to sell the lot.
A spokesman for Genting said Wednesday the company welcomed Art Miami while still considering other options for the property.
“Art Miami is a world-renowned fair that we are proud to host while we explore other development opportunities and commercial uses for one of Miami's most picturesque and centrally located development-ready sites," said Genting’s Michael Levoff.