starts to drive Omni Mall up high-tech lane
new owners of the Omni mall are proceeding with plans to convert the
1 million-square-foot retail complex to high-tech use.
Teitelbaum, principal of Argent Ventures, which bought the Omni this
spring, said demolition of interior spaces is under way. The developer
plans to renovate the three-story mall as a web-hosting and data center.
Ventures is among 10 to 15 companies bidding to become South Florida's
Network Access Point, observers say.
Teitelbaum said he is in discussions with several possible tenants
and hopes to announce the first deals within 30 to 60 days.
first to lease will probably be the technology space," Mr. Teitelbaum
said. "It's unclear what the total square footage will be. But
it will be significant."
Teitelbaum said the mall is too large for the current retail market
but stores may be added later as the retail market improves. He said
retail remains the best use for the ground floor.
are creating a master plan for routing fiber-optic networks and power
supplies needed by Internet service-providers and other telecommunications
Peters, CEO of Technology Real Estate, who is leasing agent for the
project, said he expects 10 to 30 high-tech tenants.
interior demolition is complete, he said, contractors will create
shafts for fiber-optic cables. Vaults will be created on exterior
walls to bring the fiber-optic cables into the building.
Peters said the high ceilings, heavy-duty floors and large interior
spaces make it easy for high-tech companies to install computers,
generators and other equipment.
well under way with our construction to do our infrastructure improvements,"
Mr. Peters said.
going to bring a high level of jobs to the area," Mr. Teitelbaum
said. "It's going to be one of the biggest telecommunication
facilities, certainly in Florida."
will obviously have a very positive effect on the immediate area if
they are successful in filling it up," said Jack Lowell, vice
chairman of the Codina Group. "The facility has a lot of the
elements that are appealing to the telecommunications industry."
think everybody's question," Mr. Lowell said, "is just how
deep is that industry?"
said several downtown Miami conversions for high-tech uses have already
proven successful. "We're hoping that the market is there for
more of it."