Real Estate News

The last remaining parcel of vacant land at massive Miami Worldcenter project is for sale

The last vacant block in the massive Miami Worldcenter downtown development is up for sale.

The parcel of land is located along Northeast First Avenue between 10th and 11th Streets and measures 2.18 acres. The parcel, known as the western portion of Block A, is zoned with the density to accommodate 1,092 residential units with no parking requirements or a total of 1,713,114 gross square feet.

The block is on the northern edge of the 27-acre Miami Worldcenter development, a $4 billion “city within a city” that will include various apartment rental, condo and office towers, hotels, an expo center, public spaces and retail.

Miami Worldcenter Associates managing partner Nitin Motwani, who has guided the project since its inception 15 years ago, said Block A was always intended to be the final parcel to be developed, because of its proximity to I-395.

“There are real estate developments in Miami where their success has also become their challenge,” Motwani said. “The better they’ve done, the harder it is to get in or out because of the traffic they generate. Our proximity to I-395 gives us the best egress and regress in Miami.”

Phase 1 of the Miami Worldcenter project includes a 1,700 room Marriott Marquis hotel, a 348-room CitizenM boutique hotel, a 45-story Hines mixed-use office tower, a 320,000 square foot retail and dining component and two multifamily towers with more than 800 apartment rentals combined. Those projects are scheduled to be completed between 2020 and 2023.

Completed portions of phase 1 include the 58-story Paramount Miami Worldcenter tower, which has sold 95 percent of its 562 units, and the 43-story Caoba Residences, which is 75 percent leased.

Motwani said that Miami Worldcenter ticks off all three of the most pressing issues around major real estate developments throughout the U.S.: Proximity to public transportation, resiliency (the Worldcenter project sits between 12 and 16 feet above the water table) and infrastructure. The developer has spent more than $100 million improving the infrastructure of the site, which was previously occupied by parking lots and warehouses.

Robert Given, vice chairman at Cushfield & Wakeman, the real estate broker hired to marketing the Block A property to international buyers, said that by the time the remaining parcel is fully developed, the $800 million redevelopment of I-395, which will include a signature bridge designed to look like a spider, will have been completed, adding more value to the parcel.

“A development of this magnitude is going to take a year of planning and preparation before you can put a shovel in the ground,” Given said. “You’re talking at least three to four years from today. By that time, the bridge will have been completed. and then it’s going to take 2-3 years to complete. You’re talking about 3-4 years from today. By that time, the bridge will have been done for a year or two. This property is not quite there yet, but it is obvious that the center of Miami is moving toward the Miami Worldcenter location.”

Rene Rodriguez has worked at the Miami Herald in a variety of roles since 1989. He currently writes for the business desk covering real estate and the city’s affordability crisis.
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