$1.05 Billion Brickell City Centre Nears Construction Finish Line
In 2012, the massive mixed use development in the center of Miami’s Brickell financial district looked like a gamble by Swire Properties Inc., the U.S-based real estate subsidiary of Swire Pacific Holdings Ltd of Hong Kong.
The recession, after all, had crushed prices, wrecked demand and weakened the resolve of many developers to pick up the pieces and move forward. But now, three years after the project started, Brickell City Centre looms as a “city within a city” that has helped embolden other developers to build luxury hotels and condos in the same neighborhood.
The project, which encompasses 9.1 acres along South Miami Avenue between Eighth and Sixth Streets, contains 5.4 million square feet of office residential, hotel and entertainment space, in addition to a two-level underground parking garage that covers seven acres of the property. A so-called Climate Ribbon is expected to offer climate control for shoppers passing among stores and restaurants.
The Centre’s two condo towers, two office towers and hotel are expected to open this winter. The 500,000-square-foot shopping center is scheduled to open in the fall of 2016. The project – the largest of any of the others now under development in downtown Miami – has risen at an unparalleled pace. The last of its cranes were dismantled this summer. By contrast, Paramount World Center, announced at roughly the same time as Brickell City Centre, is at the groundbreaking stage.
Meanwhile, Swire has had to shift gears to accommodate growing demand for office space in the area. In early September, it announced a rebranding of its Three Brickell City Centre tower. Instead of wellness center, there will be more office space. The 12-story tower is already the new home of the law firm Akerman LLP, which has signed to lease 80 percent of the 130,000 square feet of leasable space. The other office tower, Two Brickell City Centre, has been in talks with other law firms and financial services companies, according to The Real Deal.
On the luxury retail front, Swire has said its shopping center will be anchored by a three-floor Saks Fifth Avenue. The lineup will also include Giuseppe Zanotti Design, the Italian shoe retailer, lingerie designer La Perla and the Italian clothier Kiton. Other European tenants include Ted Baker, Agent Provocateur, APM Monaco, Cole Haan, lululemon, Valentino and Chopard.
Other projects haven’t been shy about advertising their proximity to Brickell City Centre. SLS Lux Brickell Hotel and Residences, under development by the tag team of The Related Group, The Allen Morris Company and SBE, prominently notes on its website that the upscale tower, due for completion in 2017, is in the same neighborhood.
Overall, the 21st Century has been an explosive time for the area, originally used by Miami pioneer Mary Brickell and her husband, William, as an Indian trading post because of its closeness to the Miami River. Brickell City Centre is topping off decades of expectations that the district will always be a focal point of commerce and high-end living.
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