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Front Page » Communities » Rail station’s impact may alter neighborhood

Rail station’s impact may alter neighborhood

Written by on January 7, 2015
Rail station’s impact may alter neighborhood

Plans for a 9-acre train station with accompanying residential, retail and office space in downtown Miami might have a ripple effect of sorts on the rest of the neighborhood.

All Aboard Florida, a subsidiary of Coral Gables-based Florida East Coast Industries, plans to run a passenger train between Miami and Orlando with stops in Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach.

MiamiCentral, as the future downtown Miami station is called, might prompt a rise in future office, retail and residential property uses near the station site.

Miami Today asked local industry experts whether they think MiamiCentral would prompt adjacent development and property use changes in downtown.

The short answer was ‘yes.’

“There’s already that sort of interest brewing,” said Tere Blanca, CEO and founder of Blanca Commercial Real Estate.

Indeed, several land purchase deals in and near downtown have closed in the past couple of months, Ms. Blanca said.

A company listed as Carrera USA LLC purchased land at 462 NW Eighth St. in October for $110,000 and a holding company purchased land at 216 NW Ninth St. in June for $600,000, according to the Miami-Dade Property Appraiser.

“Those buyers may be speculating and some may be ready to start development,” Ms. Blanca said.

Miami Worldcenter, a multi-block development that’s to include retail and residential space, is to rise across the street from MiamiCentral.

If leasing activity at MiamiCentral and Miami Worldcenter is any indication of increased interest in the area, then it would be fair to say that more and more tenants want to set up their operation in the area.

“We’re seeing tremendous demand from office users already at MiamiCentral,” Ms. Blanca said.

All Aboard Florida selected Ms. Blanca’s real estate company, Blanca Commercial Real Estate, as the exclusive office leasing agent for the future MiamiCentral.

Blanca Commercial is negotiating with several future tenants and is to sign the deals within two months, Ms. Blanca said. She didn’t want to disclose names of the tenants who are expected to set up offices at MiamiCentral.

Nitin Motwani, managing principal of Miami Worldcenter, said interest in leasing office and retail space at Miami Worldcenter is high.

“We are taking a number of calls from office developers that are very interested in developing office space in our part of the city, closer to public transport, closer to the highway system and close to the arts and culture,” he said.

Together, MiamiCentral and Miami Worldcenter are in a way creating a city center.

“And whenever you see that happening, that tends to spur tremendous demand from all sorts of uses, from retail to hotel to office to residential,” he said.

In particular, other local real estate professionals said, a high demand for office space near MiamiCentral is expected.

“I’m hearing interest from my client base for Class A office use,” said Tom Capocefalo, corporate managing director for commercial real estate firm Savills Studley’s Miami office. “Whereas now rather than looking at conventional office building along Brickell and the downtown core, we are being asked by clients, ‘Hey, anything out there closer to the station to be built?’And the reason being, it’s perceived to be the center of the new business activity in general.”

An increased demand for office uses near MiamiCentral is also likely because the passenger line’s connectivity to Fort Lauderdale.

“It would be easier to commute because you could come from Fort Lauderdale and work in downtown Miami,” said Boris Kozolchyk, director of retail services at real estate firm PointeGroup.

When it comes to the retail demand, Mr. Kozolchyk added, future tenants and developers would probably first have to wait and see what kind of retail the train station and Miami Worldcenter would bring. Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s are to open retail stores part of Miami Worldcenter.

The two large developments coming to downtown might also serve as catalysts for more development to both markets in the area – the market in the east and the market to the west of All Aboard’s station.

“If you look at west of the [Miami] River, there is no major retail hub. So if the parking is convenient and access is convenient, you have a reasonable amount of population that’s looking not for the city center, but it’s looking more middle of the road and more convenience. More, perhaps, the Target level and Walmart, and neighborhood stores,” Mr. Kozolchyk said. “There are a number of services that could be attached to that market.”

5 Responses to Rail station’s impact may alter neighborhood

  1. Ben Grimm

    January 9, 2015 at 3:17 pm

    Would you pay $400k for a condo sitting atop a train station? Maybe an office or retail space sure. The station would bring in maximum traffic into your business. But live there in expensive residencies. No. I see reasonably priced rental apartments and little more.

    The area where Carrera is buying up property is next to or inside Overtown. There’s also private-public residential towers located there. I hope Carrera or any similar company doesn’t have ideas of luxury mixed use mega towers because they can’t control the neighbors. No one can.

  2. Florida Transit Alternatives

    January 10, 2015 at 11:15 am

    It’s a pretty silly question. Adding numerous towers and acres of retail obviously will have an impact on Downtown. I find it equally silly calling this a train station. It will have, what, 36 commuter rail trains coming and going. Living in one of these apartments/condos will not be like living above a train station but more like living above a mall that happens to be connected to the commuter rail. Not exactly Grand Central Station. It will be more like another TriRail stop.
    This MALL will attract all right. It will attract the Macy’s and other street level shops that make up a vibrant city and consolidate it into another mall. Let’s call it OMNI. Oh that was already used wasn’t it. Just another real estate sheme that will get huge amounts of public funding to place more luxury housing

    • Ben Grimm

      January 13, 2015 at 12:22 am

      Some folks here don’t seem to have a grasp of the scale of things, apparently. And some folks sound like mouthpieces for developers. Miami IS a developer’s town after all.

  3. SEFTA

    January 16, 2015 at 5:49 pm

    There is no doubt the scale of this project. The impact it will have on downtown is massive. I really don’t see being above a station will be an issue. The entrances of the buildings appear to be on street, separate from the station. It will be a very busy area but that is a part of living downtown. It seems to even be addressing the issue of being pedestrian friendly, in some ways.
    The project is massive. The part that falls short, in my opinion, is the scale of the actual transit part. A heavy rail system with little connection to all the communities between Miami and Fort Lauderdale. I find it disappointing. AMTRAK could be heading directly into this station also.
    People that choose to live above or near a transit hub because of the conveniences that come with it. A better transit solution would make for a better and more attractive location.


    February 12, 2015 at 4:36 am

    Thats what happens when you don’t plan for growth.