Miami-Dade County

Worldcenter developers free to seek building permits

A rendering of the Miami Worldcenter
A rendering of the Miami Worldcenter Courtesy of

The developers of the massive 27-block Miami Worldcenter say they’re set to break ground on the first phase of the $1.7 billion project this summer after clearing another major hurdle.

Miami Worldcenter Associates and partners announced Monday that they secured an administrative approval from the city’s planning and zoning department, giving them the ability to seek building permits. That’s a major step for the developers, who have been battling lawsuits and procedural challenges that for months delayed a project already stalled for years by the recession.

It seemed the Worldcenter was heading for more delays last month, when tenant and project critic Bradley Knoefler tried to file an appeal of the developer’s city-issued “warrant” through a non-profit. But the city, citing Miami law, told Knoefler he’d have to pay close to $250,000 to file the appeal.

Knoefler and his attorney, Paul Savage, who did not respond to requests for comment Monday, still have litigation pending with the developer and city of Miami.

But with the warant now in hand, the developers say they’ll break ground soon. The Forbes Company and Taubman are building a 765,000-square-foot shopping mall, anchored by Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s. The luxury Paramount condo tower is also included in the first phase, along with a 429-unit luxury apartment building built by ZOM.