With Miami’s creative world on the rise, the need for affordable working spaces is rapidly growing. And though traditional places such as Büro, Pipeline, and Miami Shared have had their share of success, creatives are seeking spots that offer not only office space but also a shared community where creativity thrives. Incubators like LAB Miami and Venture Hive have championed the movement, but MADE (an acronym for Makers, Artists, Designers, and Entrepreneurs) at the Citadel plans to take it to the next level.
Located in the heart of Little Haiti, MADE's building was constructed in the 1950s and for decades housed BellSouth headquarters. It's situated across the street from another unique building, the Citadel (probably named for the large mountaintop fortress of the same name in Haiti). At 55,000 square feet, that office building once housed the Federal Reserve. (Fun fact: A bank vault is located inside the building.)
Both owned by local developer Conway Commercial Real Estate and Urban Atlantic Group, they will be the site of some cool things planned for the neighborhood, which is already rich in cultural history. For now, organizers are keeping mum on what's to come at the Citadel and are concentrating on MADE. The company has brought on Joey Butler to helm the project. A local, she comes armed with a background in real estate and art public relations and is wholeheartedly invested in Miami’s creative scene.
New Times took a tour of the nearly completed space. The first thing that grabs one's attention is the intricate chandelier. It's an original piece of the building and beautifully preserved. From the lobby, the adventure begins. Go left and you will find a combination of shared desk spaces and small private offices. Go right and you find two lounges, offering a Bookleggers' library, a pool table, a refrigerator stocked with beer, a repurposed organ to which you can hook up your iPod, and lots of comfortable seating.
The chandelier at MADE at the Citadel is original to the building.
Photo by Sarah MK Moody
Farther back sits a conference room, a kitchen, bathrooms, showers, a ladies' lounge, and a locker room. Upstairs are the rest of the private offices, a total of 27. Once the construction has been completed, the outdoor area will also be transformed into another usable space. But the secret weapon is a mixed-use space scheduled for the first-floor right wing. Once it's completed, it will be part photography studio and part workroom offering workstations with sewing machines and the like. “More equipment will be purchased due to the needs of our tenants,” Butler says.
In terms of interior design and art curation, they have tapped locals Sarah MK Moody, who will also serve as the space’s art director, and Deon Rubi, who is best known for her acrylic cube necklaces. “The building has a lot of natural light, and we wanted to build upon that as well as keep the integrity of the original space,” Moody says. “We got creative with materials, repurposing furniture and mixing fabrics inspired by the neighborhood, all while making sure everything was comfortable and chic.” It all has an overall Florida '70s tropical vibe.
Expect to see work from local artists such as Yuri Tuma, who will outfit the lounge’s walls; Michael Clifford, who will revamp the lobby; Nicole Salcedo, whose popular Jungle Vision murals will be featured in the bathrooms; as well as John Michael McMahon and Rodrigo Gaya.
Mural detail at MADE at the Citadel.
Photo by Sarah MK Moody
Some of the space’s tenants include Shake 108 radio station and the Focal Point, an innovative nonprofit that teaches Overtown kids about photography. The group will eventually host a show at the space showcasing the young students' photography. Classes and programming are slated to begin in April. “We want the space to be fluid and grow with our partners and their needs,” Butler says.
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So what can you get for the money? "Just MADE" shared desk spaces are $100 per month, "Custom MADE" dedicated desk spaces are $250 per month, and "MADE Up" private offices start at $300. Another fun fact: The tables in the Just MADE area were constructed from doors recovered from the old Everglades Hotel. A number of other options are available; more information can be found at madeatthecitadel.com.
MADE is accepting applications for more tenants and aims to be fully operational by next month, with a grand opening party April 3.