For the next month, two teams will be fighting tooth and nail for the chance to lead a billion dollar renovation of Miami Beach's convention center. But the Beach may soon have some serious competition on its hands for convention traffic, if a just released plan from downtown developers comes to pass.
A new player in the on-again, off-again Miami World Center project unveiled details today on YouTube for a twisty-looking Marriott and massive convention space on the old site of the Miami Arena.
The video comes from MDM Group, the developers already working on the massive Met Miami project downtown, who tell the Herald they've already got a contract to buy the former site of the Miami Arena from the group developing Miami World Center.
Their plans call for the biggest hotel in the city, an 1,800-room Marriott, plus a convention space with more than 600,000 square feet. In the video, they also tout the Florida East Coast railway's plans to build a mass train terminal nearby that would have links to Tampa and Orlando.
"You will be able to flow through and around this (convention center) facility and right into the station,'' architect John Nichols tells the Miami Herald.
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The group says it will privately finance the whole project (though the Herald notes that since it's in the Overtown/Park West redevelopment area, it could garner tax breaks.)
Developers claim the project, which they estimate at more than $1 billion, could wrap within four years. (Though it's worth noting that the Miami World Center project has stalled repeatedly thanks to the economic slowdown.)
How would the project affect the Beach's own ambitious convention center plans? It's not clear, though Nichols was quick to tell the Herald that the MDM's center would supplement Beach conventions, not poach them. "It's going after a different market," Nichols tells the paper.