Public-private Miami administration building deal nears
The City of Miami’s administration team could finally be moving away from the Miami Riverside Center in a public-private development deal with the Adler Group.
City commissioners are to vote today (5/13) on whether a new headquarters building will be located as long planned at the Nexus site at 230 SW Third St. This formal decision on the site is necessary for the city to negotiate and finalize agreements before they come before the commission.
The city says it is interested in moving the administrative building to accommodate an increasing number of employees.
On July 26, 2018, the city commission approved ballot language for the Miami Riverside Center sale/lease and development of a new administrative facility, which voters supported Nov. 6. Together with the ballot language, commissioners also directed the administration to review all city-owned properties and prepare an analysis and report on the most ideal site for the facility’s location.
The city and realty consulting firm CBRE prepared a site selection analysis, which considered available sites for the new building. According to the legislation, the privately owned property immediately adjacent to the north of the Riverside Center provides substantial benefits including its centralized downtown location, adjacency to major thoroughfares and proximity to public transportation, familiarity to employees, long-term property value appreciation, least amount of risk for land availability and fastest development.
If approved today, City Manager Arthur Noriega will be authorized to negotiate agreements for development of the facility with top-ranked bidder Lancelot Miami River LLC, an affiliate of Adler Group.
The city commission approved an agreement with Adler/Lancelot to build a city administrative building to replace the existing Riverside Center, characterized by city officials as “functionally obsolete.” The building was originally constructed for Florida Power & Light offices before the corporation centralized operations in Juno Beach.
The overall plan will free up the city-owned riverfront site for a private mixed-use development from Adler/Lancelot.
Rachel Schapiro, an Adler Development principal, told Miami Today in September that “during the pandemic, Adler and the city have been collaboratively working together to make significant progress. The site plan has been approved and (we) are now focused on the building plans.”
“The city has had internal discussions, as well as dialogue with our design partners, about how the use of an office building, which is frequently used by the public, may change post-covid,” a city spokesperson wrote in September. “Conversations have ranged from redesigning spaces to ensure physical distancing to restricting movement in congested areas (i.e. elevator banks and elevator cars). There is currently no one-size-fits-all solution.”
Last year a team from Lancelot presented its plan to construct the office building at 20 stories, and an adjacent private residential building rising 38 stories, on land just north of the existing Riverside Center. Plans showed 556,158 square feet for the office building and 750,420 square feet for a residential building with 430 units.