Aon expansion drops residential, switches to office
By Marilyn Bowden
A 13-story addition to 1001 Brickell Bay Drive will now house additional office space instead of residential units, said Julio Diaz of Fullerton Diaz Architects, the project's architect.
"The appearance hasn't changed," he said. "But since the condo market is having a hard time, office space happens to be a good alternative."
According to a third-quarter office market report prepared by Jones Lang LaSalle, the Brickell area has an 11.16% vacancy across all classes.
Mr. Diaz said the addition would house 60,000 to as much as 100,000 square feet of office space, plus ground-floor retail and an oceanfront restaurant. The existing 32-story office building, built in 1985, has 280,500 square feet of commercial and office space. Aon has signage rights, but in reports the project is referred to by address or as Brickell Bay Office Tower.
"All the offices will have views of the bay," Mr. Diaz said, "so it will be prime space."
In exchange for reducing the setback from the bay at the 1½-acre site from 50 to 20 feet, developer Maurizio Cavalieri has agreed to create a one-acre public park on submerged land behind the building, pending a thumbs-up from the state's Department of Environmental Resource Management. Mr. Diaz said the City of Miami is seeking the permits on behalf of the developer.
Mr. Diaz said he is working on the construction documents, and building could get underway by next summer. That would put opening of the new space at about the end of 2009. Also due to the market in mid to late 2009 are 600,000 square feet at Brickell Financial Centre, 585,000 square feet at 1450 Brickell, and 750,000 square feet at Met II just across the Miami River.