Malaysian hospitality and gambling conglomerate Genting Group took Miami by storm back in 2011 by buying up the old Miami Herald building and a bunch of surrounding properties with plans to build a major destination resort and casino. Those plans were scrapped after lawmakers refused to rewrite gambling laws, and we were left with only vague hints of things to come. (The company is probably still holding out hope the state legislature will expand gambling in the state.)
Besides tearing down the Herald building, Genting hasn't done much with the property since. Hey, when you're a giant conglomerate headquartered half a world away with real estate all across the globe, sometimes it's easy to forget about some land, even if it is in the middle of an otherwise booming downtown area.
Well, Genting finally appears like it's ready to do something on the bay front. It purchased the historic Boulevard Shops building on 14th Street and Biscayne Boulevard as part of its spree and is looking to renovate the place.
The Next Miami got a hold of the proposed plans. They're up above. Here's what the site, adjacent to the Adrienne Arsht Center, currently looks like via Google Maps.
via Google Maps
It's not a drastic renovation, at least from the outside. Genting is only putting $2.5 million into the makeover. The building is also designated historic by Miami's historic preservation program, meaning it can't be gutted too completely.
The building, also known as the Shrine Building because it was home to the Mahi Shriners during its earliest history, dates back to 1930 and was designed by Miami architect Robert Law Weed.
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"This sleek three-story commercial building is a striking example of the Art Deco style," is how the Historic Preservation Board describes the currently empty building. "The architect's use of Seminole Indian figures and oolitic limestone veneer gives the building a distinctive local flair. The Shrine Building was constructed as part of the Biscayne Boulevard Company's effort to develop Miami's new main thoroughfare as a major shopping area just outside of the downtown center."
Genting's filings with the city claim it will become a "recreational facility," which doesn't really mean a lot. They've hired leasing brokers Prime Sites to find potential tenants. The rendering seems to suggest that Genting certainly wouldn't mind having a restaurant taking up part of the space. The plan notes that there is also 7,800 square feet of space on the second floor for private dining. Since it's right next to the Adrienne Arsht performing arts center, it only makes sense that Genting would want to make "dinner and a show" even easier.
The building was part of the deal when Genting bought the Herald property. It also bought the nearby Omni Center and spent a grand total of about $420 million amassing properties in the area.