Performing Arts Center, museums attract developers to Park West
By Claudio Mendonça
Construction of the Miami Performing Arts Center and plans to move three museums to nearby Bicentennial Park are attracting other development to Miami's Park West neighborhood.
At least three mixed-use projects including upscale residential are under way in the once-decaying neighborhood east of Overtown.
Planned for Park West are Marina Blue, a 60-story, 516-condo structure at 888 Biscayne Blvd. expected to be completed in early 2007; 900 Biscayne, 60-story, 516-unit tower, and Ten Museum Park, a 50-story building at 1040 Biscayne Blvd. to be finished in winter 2006.
"Park West will be exploding with the construction of restaurants and nightclubs," said Gregg Covin of Gregg Covin real estate, developer of Ten Museum Park, which is to include 200 condos, 10,000 square feet of retail space and 20,000 square feet of office space.
Mr. Covin predicted that in seven years, Park West will be a vibrant community with continuing growth potential. "Park West is going to be an axis of culture and entertainment," said Mr. Covin.
The developer said he is planning a restaurant and a bar lounge on the ground floor of Ten Museum Park. The city requires residential developments downtown and in Park West to include commercial establishments on the ground floor.
Ten Museum Park is also to include spa chain Clinique LaPrairie on the eighth floor.
Mr. Covin said that as residential projects begin to unfold and people move to the area, there will be more need for retail. He said condo projects take years to be developed but can be completed quicker than retail venues.
City Commissioner Johnny Winton, whose district includes Park West, said there is plenty of land available in the area. "There is lots of vacant land," said Mr. Winton, owner of WynCo Realty.
He said he expects the neighborhood to be completely transformed in 10 years. "The reason for improvements are the Performing Arts Center, the museum park and some hot real estate," he said.
Mr. Winton said the major incentive to build in the area is its proximity to Interstate 95, Key Biscayne, Miami Beach and Coral Gables.
Frank Rollason of the city's redevelopment agency said Park West's location is the reason property is being grabbed up quickly. "It's within a 15-minute drive from any major workplace in Miami-Dade County such as Jackson Memorial Hospital, the seaport and Miami International Airport.
"People, especially younger people, are fed up with long commutes and want to stay closer to work where there is nightlife," Mr. Rollason said. "Developers are realizing this is the last land left close to downtown and Miami Beach."