Nobody Knows What to Do With The Empty Bacardi Buildings

Like a model in the VIP room or a cheerleader hankered by an ankle sprain, the Bacardi buildings just kind of sit there and look pretty. The historic buildings have pretty much sat empty since Bacardi moved its headquarters to Coral Cables a year and a half ago, and now community leaders in the Omni neighborhood are looking into ways to give them new purpose. Problem is the City of Miami doesn't have much money to do anything with them.

The buildings, still owned by Bacardi, were granted special historic status in 2009. Though Bacardi recently won rights to develop some of the land around the buildings as long as new construction doesn't block the view of the artwork on the side of the blue and white building from Biscayne Boulevard. Though, Bacardi has no plans yet to do so.

According to Open Media Miami, local community leaders have suggested using the buildings to display artwork by local artists (which would be awesome, assuming it doesn't involve Britto):

Arlys Raymond, executive director of the Bakehouse Art Complex, said if Bacardi wanted they could lease the buildings to the city for a "reasonable fee."

The problem, she says, is that even at a low rate the city might not be capable of paying for it since there's been so many budget cuts.

"It would be great to make it public, I just don't see it happening," she said.

Raymond thinks the property could be made into a park if trees and sculptural artwork were to be added in the land surround the structures.

Bacardi says it's keeping its ears open to possible uses for the iconic buildings, but it doesn't seem like any plan will be set in motion anytime soon. So, for now, they'll just continue to sit empty and look gorgeous.

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Kyle Munzenrieder