Miami-Dade County

Developer of downtown Miami expo center and hotel tweaks design

A new rendering of MDM Development Group’s planned expo center and hotel in downtown Miami. The developer is breaking up the project into two phases.
A new rendering of MDM Development Group’s planned expo center and hotel in downtown Miami. The developer is breaking up the project into two phases. Courtesy Nichols Brosch Wurst Wolfe & Associates

With the market shifting, the developer building a $525 million convention center and hotel on the site of the former Miami Arena is tweaking the project’s design.

The Marriott Marquis Miami Worldcenter Hotel & Expo will still be built with roughly 365,000 square feet of meeting, conference and exhibit space. But MDM Development Group will now construct the project in two phases in order to split an attached hotel into two towers, one with 1,100 rooms and the other with 600.

Previously, MDM planned to develop the entire project in one phase and include an 1,800-key hotel. But the developer is tweaking its plans for financial reasons.

“Phasing the construction of the hotel component will allow MDM to more quickly assemble the necessary financing for each phase of the hotel,” said Javier Fernández, a Stearns Weaver attorney representing the developer.

Fernández said MDM hopes to break ground by the first quarter of 2017.

It’s possible the developer will have to return to Miami City Hall to seek new City Commission approval for the redesigned project. MDM is also still negotiating an economic incentive package with an Overtown community redevelopment agency that would offer local hiring and wage commitments in exchange for property tax rebates worth up to $115 million through 2042.

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