Years of talk are turning into action. On We d n e s d a y , December 12, the Miami Beach Commission voted to continue with the Miami Beach Convention Center renovation and expansion project. This update will help the Convention Center continue to host world-class events such as Art Basel as well as add events to its calendar.The Convention Center was last renovated in 1989, and in recent years has lost convention clients such as Microsoft for lack of adequate technology. The City of Miami Beach is a top 3 destination, but the Convention Center only ranks 30th nationally. The renovation is meant to catapult it back to a viable venue.
Current plans for renovation and enhancement would include updates to the building itself, the construction of an adjacent hotel to house event attendees, as well as mixed-use development of the area that will become the 52-acre convention center district. The vision is one of a vibrant, walkable community that is pleasing to Miami Beach residents and fits seamlessly with nearby communities and businesses.
The top two teams are accepted, and were selected after close consideration by the commission and the evaluation committee. The finalists are: Portman- CMC and South Beach ACE. Portman- CMC is composed of Portman Holdings, developer of the Peachtree Center in Atlanta, partnered with Miami condominium developer Ugo Colombo, Cirque du Soleil and the Bal Harbor Shops. South Beach ACE is led by Tishman Hotel and Realty, Miami developer Robert Wennett and acclaimed architect Rem Koolhaas. South Beach ACE is collectively responsible for the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin, the Miracle Mile revitalization in Coral Gables and Lincoln Road’s 1111 building.
The commission is most concerned with following a process that will allow for the most public involvement. Focusing public evaluation on only two proposals and master plans allows for more significant consideration and feedback.
From here, the two shortlisted bidders will move on to RFQ phase 2, which requires community input and will result in a detailed proposal of plans for the district. These are exciting times for Miami Beach, and it appears that great improvement is on the horizon. A renovated and enhanced Miami Beach Convention Center is not only much anticipated, but much-needed if the city is to keep pace with more modern centers around the country.