Famed Architects Creating Gateway Structures For Miamis Design District
By Paola Iuspa
Some world-renowned architects are designing developer Craig Robins’ four modern-art motif buildings that will create a gateway to Miami’s Design District.
Architects on the project include John Keenen and Museum of Modern Art curator Terence Riley of Keenen/Riley; Ali Tayar of Parallel Design Partnership; Craig Konyk of Konyk Architecture; Walter Chatham of New York; and Enrique Norten of Enrique Norten Arquitectos of Mexico City.
The group has been working for about a year on the design, said Steven Gretenstein, chief operating officer at Robins’ Dacra Development Corp.
The $100 million complex is to consist of retail, showroom andoffice space.
Keenen/Riley is designing a two-story, 15,000-square-foot glass building that will face Biscayne Boulevard and 39th Street, to be renamed Tuttle Street. Another two-story building on Northeast Second Street and 39th Street will feature brick walls with distinctive sharp angles and glass. Construction of both buildings could begin in early 2004, Mr. Gretenstein said.
Across 39th Street, Dacra plans to build an office tower with showroom and retail space on the first two floors, Mr. Gretenstein said. The group still has to decide how many floors of office space they will build. “The amount of office space will be driven by the demand,” he said.
Next to the high rise, the developer is planning a two-story building with a glass façade covered by a concrete canopy with big round openings to daylight.
The entire project will add about 200,000 square feet of retail and showroom space and 100,000 square feet of office space to the market, Mr. Gretenstein said. The group is starting to draw construction plans to apply for a building permit and work on securing the project’s financing, he said.
Dacra owns about 1 million square feet of commercial space in the area, between the Wynwood and Little Haiti neighborhoods. Area businesses include designers of home furniture and accessories branching out of New York, showrooms, art galleries, modeling agencies and professionals such as lawyers, accountants and photographers, he said.
Finding tenants for the new space won’t be hard, he said. “Dacra has a network of contacts in the design and retail world,” he said. “Dacra Realty will present it to the broker community.”