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Front Page » Top Stories » Developer Wants To Put City Square On Fast Track

Developer Wants To Put City Square On Fast Track

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Written by on September 14, 2006

By Deserae del Campo
If they get their second green light from Miami city commissioners, officials of development firm Terra Group say they would plan to complete a 641,104-square-foot retail complex next to the Carnival Center for the Performing Arts in a little more than a year.

Terra Group and partner Maefield Development Group passed their first hurdle last week when city commissioners gave approval for the planned five-story retail center and two residential towers. David Martin, Terra Group’s director and chief operating officer, said the big-box retail complex would create 3,200 permanent entry-level jobs.

"With the construction timeline, we want to move forward as quickly as we can," Mr. Martin said. He said a quick turnaround would be designed to limit interference with operations of the Carnival Center. The retail center is to be built behind the Carnival Center’s east hall.

He said "the city will take pride" in the projects planned for 10 acres of Miami Herald property that would create a vibrant and attractive area for downtown.

In a special planning and zoning meeting last week, commissioners granted two major use special permits for the projects. Commissioners also approved in a 4-1 vote a rezoning request for the parcel at One Herald Plaza. The governing board rejected requests, however, to rezone the Herald building and printing plant.

The approvals to rezone and grant the major use special permit for the planned 64-story tower at the Herald site requires a second reading and approval by commissioners.

The retail center, called City Square, is to be 130 feet tall and include 4,052 parking spaces.

"The project will also create a baywalk from the Miami River to downtown Miami," Mr. Martin said. "Right now, the property has no public access."