Four Seasons employees to be booted out of parking garage
By Samantha Joseph
Developers of Brickell Avenue's Four Seasons Hotel and Tower will need to find offsite parking for about 600 workers as office tenants start moving in next week.
Millennium Partners, the tower's developer, is working with the Miami Parking Authority to find space in other garages. The tower's hotel, parking, sports-club, office and support staff now use onsite parking but won't be able to do so once commercial tenants move in.
HSBC Bank USA, the first office tenant, plans to move in Monday with a staff large enough to take up 150 spaces in the building's 950-car garage. More tenants are set to arrive in the next two months.
"Eventually, we will run out of capacity in the garage," said Millennium Partners vice president Richard Baumert.
Millennium needs to find a spot large enough to accommodate about 575 employees' vehicles a day, or about 250 per workshift, he said.
Mr. Baumert said he met last week with Arthur Noriega, executive director of the Miami Parking Authority, which manages the county's public parking spaces.
"The dialogue has begun, and I am optimistic that we will have at least a short-term solution in the very near future," he said. "We need a plan by the end of June."
The authority intends to submit an offer by early next week to Millennium.
"The idea is for us to accommodate their immediate demand and look for a more long-term solution, probably at a new facility that we're considering developing," Mr. Noreiga said.
One possibility that arose in brief talks, he said, might see the authority team with Millennium Partners to use other property owned by the developer to create a parking garage on Brickell Avenue.
"The first hurdle is to assist them with the demand they have now," Mr. Noreiga said. "We are in the process of looking at our inventory. If we can reach an agreement, we'll have immediate parking available for their employees."
His proposal would have employees use a downtown site that can accommodate 1,400 vehicles. The garage is next to Miami Dade Community College and provides easy access to Metromover, he said.
Another option is for Millenium to create a shuttle service to move passengers from the garage to the tower at 1435 Brickell Ave.
"Our ultimate goal is to find something that's convenient for our staff here," Mr. Baumert said.
Neither Millennium nor the parking authority could say Tuesday what a move to offsite parking would cost and who would carry the expense.
Mr. Noreiga said hopes to present Millennium next week estimated monthly parking rates. "It will be their decision to see if the employees are going to pick up the cost or if the Four Seasons will pay for their parking," he said.
Millennium said the parking shortage would not affect hotel guests, office tenants, residents or anyone else occupying the $400 million building.
"This is a good problem for all of us to have," he said. "This shows you the kind of development that's happening down here."