Real Estate Advisors & Property Strategy Consultants

J Richard Hill

Miami World Center

Miami World Center

Miami, Florida // Under construction
J. Richard Hill and Co. produced the retail, dining, and entertainment strategy for Miami World Center, a 4-million-square-foot urban district currently under development on Biscayne Boulevard, adjacent to the Miami Cruise Terminal and American Airlines Arena, just north of downtown Miami, Florida.

Working with Elkus-Manfredi of Boston, we created the original street level and upper level garden walk concepts for the development. The retail plan includes 300,000 square feet of retail, restaurants, cinemas, entertainment, and cultural uses. The entire development is fully integrated with a metro mover system, a light rail line, adjacent interstate highways, and a high-speed train currently under development, which will connect Miami to Orlando.
Miami World

A living, breathing
cultural hub

Analysis of Existing Conditions
The site of Miami World Center is located north of downtown Miami in the Park West neighborhood and south of the rapidly developing Arts District further to the north. The area was the original home of the Miami Heat’s arena, which was surrounded by a large surface parking lot. The arena had been developed to spur further development in the surrounding area, which was ultimately unsuccessful. The area has long been overlooked, as the majority of high-rise hotel and residential development has occurred south of downtown Miami on Biscayne Boulevard. The large and antiquated warehouse district north of the site went through a renaissance as an Arts Warehouse District where leading collectors kept their art.

In 2000, the Miami Heat moved to the new American Airlines Area. The former arena was demolished in 2008, at the height of the financial crisis, leaving the area with no attractions. In essence, the area of the site of Miami World Center was depressed because of the demolished area and the abundance of available adjacent parcels which were never developed, given that other nearby areas were seen as more desirable. This created an opportunity for the developer to assemble almost 27 acres in a vibrant urban location near the Miami waterfront.

In addition to an abundance of relatively inexpensive land, the area included easy access to significant transportation networks, including a planned high-speed rail terminal, the adjacent highway I-395 (a primary access to Miami’s South Beach), and the Miami Cruise Terminal, all a short distance away.
Miami World
Concept Generation
Building on the research, we developed a strategy to create a vibrant street scene with ample outdoor public gathering places and major art and water experiences, built around living and creative production, with a variety of additional environments to facilitate the formation of communities.

Neighborhoods of like merchants were planned, ranging from a fashion promenade to working artist studios. A cluster of open outdoor kitchens was designed to replace the proverbial food court; and a rooftop garden, cabana, bar and pool district spanning three blocks of upper level hotels and condo podiums was designed for the anticipated 3,000 residents and the 2,000-per-night guests of the hotels.

In addition, we developed a strategy to create a fashion innovative center for the design and marketing of the cruise and swim wear industries, including a “black box” cultural production facility for the filming and showcasing of fashion shows for resort, island, and beachwear fashion industry.

A focal point of the street-level plan was the creation of a three-story outdoor video wall to showcase content developed created in the “black box,” large public plazas and greens, major areas for public gatherings, and areas for intimate socializing.

10-mile Demographics
1,249,222 – population
475,418 – households
$74,979 – Avg. household income

celebrating Miami's
Latin community.

Miami World
Market Research
Our consumer research found a significant demand for quality high rise living near major entertainment destinations. The market was cosmopolitan, intercontinental, diverse, and aspirational. To attract this market, the project needed hotels, restaurants, fitness centers and spas, public outdoor gathering places, and places for socialization as well as as an intercontinental marketing campaign which would establish ties to the social and cultural institutions.

A major takeaway from the research determined the development could achieve a competitive advantage if it became the center of a celebrated contemporary South American culture in South Florida. But the question was how? Two conclusions were reached. First, make the development a living and breathing community, where contemporary Latin culture would be shared, and produced as much as consumed. Second, ensure a vibrant street scene of shops, cafes, and restaurants and create other areas to facilitate more intimate formations of connected communities.

In addition, we discovered a major emerging sector of the fashion industry rooted in the area, serving as the center of swim, island, cruise and resort wear. Other research suggested heavy demand for a convention hotel along with smaller upscale hotels and high-rise condos.
Miami World
The 43-story Caoba apartment town is now open at Miami World Center and the 60-sotry Paramount Condo Tower is under construction. A 1,700 room Marriott Marquis hotel and 60,000 square foot convention center are moving toward a construction start. A 12-story 348 room affordable luxury CitizenM hotel from the Netherlands has been announced, and the 300,000 square feet of street level retail will soon be under construction.
J Richard Hill
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