Miamis Dupont Plaza Due For Demolition New Construction Months Away
By Paola Iuspa
Developer Ugo Colombo plans to build two towers at the Dupont Plaza site at the mouth of the Miami River, but doesn’t foresee construction beginning for at least 18 months.
Mr. Colombo, head of Miami’s CMC Group, said he hasn’t decided whether to build residences or offices on the site though he says he wants retail space on the ground floors.
CMC Group and Lionstone Hotels and Resorts, a Miami hotel developer that owns the site at 300 Biscayne Blvd. Way, reached an agreement earlier this year to jointly redevelop it, said Lionstone lawyer Bruce Lazar.
Lionstone’s architects in January released plans showing a residential project consisting of two 40-story towers. With the new partner on board, plans for replacing the 45-year-old, 11-story Dupont Plaza seem to have changed.
Mr. Colombo now says he will wait to see how the market reacts to the flood of new residences planned across the street and directly east of Dupont Plaza before deciding exactly what to build. Other developers have announced plans for about 2,400 residential units in the same area.
MDM Development Group of South Miami is building three residential high-rises with about 1,500 units and an entertainment center. The Related Group of Florida is breaking ground this week on the 3-acre One Miami project, two towers totaling 896 residential units.
In the meantime, the offices and a Ramada Inn hotel in Dupont Plaza will continue operating, Mr. Lazar said. A residential section in the building’s west wing has been closed for about two years, when Lionstone evicted tenants in an unsuccessful attempt to convert the residences into extended-stay hotel rooms. Lionstone, which bought the building in August 2001, also tried to convert floors of office space into a trade center. The changes, estimated at $70 million, were never completed.