Related Group plans entertainment plaza in Brickell
By Marilyn Bowden
Plans for an entertainment plaza at the north end of Miami's financial district are the latest steps toward turning Brickell Avenue into a 24-hour urban environment.
Roberto S. Rocha, executive vice president of the Related Group of Florida, said the Plaza on Brickell, a two-tower mixed-use development to rise at 901 Brickell Ave., will incorporate a major restaurant or club fronting Brickell and a 30,000-square-foot open-air square with interior eateries, bars and gardens.
The development is a joint venture of Related and French investor Claude Dray.
Mr. Rocha said the project's two towers - one running north-south, parallel to Brickell Avenue, the other with an east-west orientation - will form a triangle with the existing and neighboring One Brickell Square, 801 Brickell Ave.
A restaurant will be created on the ground floor of the building with broad Brickell frontage where outdoor tables could be set up.
"We're looking at a club or restaurant that could create a destination," Mr. Rocha said, "sort of like a Houston's. Right now, if you live on Brickell Avenue, you can go to Capital Grill, Morton's or across the bridge to Azul if you want to eat out. But if you want to congregate, Gordon Biersch is the only choice."
He said Related is talking with a major restaurant chain about the space.
The open-air square, in the enclosed space between the three buildings, is conceived as a focal point for casual dining, meeting and relaxing, Mr. Rocha said.
It likely will contain two freestanding buildings of about 1,000 square feet each, he said, that also could accommodate a standing bar and a pizza restaurant or sushi bar.
"It will be landscaped with lots of trees and fountains," he said. Plans also call for a meditation lawn and Zen garden.
The project consists of two towers incorporating about 1,000 residential units ranging from 700 to 1,400 square feet. Presale prices start in the $170,000s.
Mr. Rocha said there will be about 35,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space.
A luxury hotel might be added to the mix, but Mr. Rocha said hotel space would not be set aside until a deal is inked.
Groundbreaking is scheduled for late this year, with completion set for 2006.