It’s taken a decade of planning, budgeting, conceptualizing, delays, debate, sound and fury. But shovels are finally hitting the ground.
The renovation and expansion of the Miami Beach Convention Center and some of its surrounding area has begun. The re-do of the 58-year-old building will cost about $515 million, with another $100 million in contingencies, insurance, the final portion of design work and money for public art installations.
With a total budget of about $615 million, the center will get a makeover, the parking lot across Convention Center Drive will be replaced with a 5.8-acre park, public art pieces will be installed and drainage improvements will be completed.
Crews will be tearing down the 21st Street Recreation Center starting Monday. The programs in the center have already moved to the Scott Rakow Youth Center at 2700 Sheridan Ave. The nearby historic Carl Fisher Clubhouse will be restored. Next to the clubhouse, a park will run along the Collins Canal.
Work on stormwater drainage will also begin Monday. Traffic along Washington Avenue will be closed in both directions from 19th Street and Dade Boulevard for about two weeks.
For safety, the contractor will also close the bike path/walkway along the Collins Canal on the south side of Dade Boulevard.