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Front Page » Top Stories » Miami Commissioners To Consider Mall Next To Arts Center

Miami Commissioners To Consider Mall Next To Arts Center

Written by on July 27, 2006

By Deserae del Campo
Miami city commissioners are to vote today (7/27) whether to approve a major use special permit for the City Square retail project, a five-story retail structure with 641,000 square feet of space and 4,052 parking spaces.

City Square is planned for 1431-1451 N. Bayshore Drive and 425 NE 13th St., behind the east hall of the newly named Carnival Center for the Performing Arts.

Its location behind the center’s concert hall led Miami historian and Miami Planning Advisory Board member Arva Moore Parks to vote against the big-box retail project during a July 5 board meeting.

"The location is inappropriate," Ms. Parks said. "It is also out of context with the neighborhood."

During the advisory board meeting, Ms. Parks said, developers compared the retail center to New York City’s Times Square with its illuminating lights. "It is going to be a very distracting building that just won’t look good next to the arts center," Ms. Parks said.

Renderings of the retail center show a three-story multi-colored, electronic billboard on the building’s outer walls.

The planning advisory board approved the project 7-1.

According to city documents, the retail center would cost about $334 million to build and create 2,400 construction jobs and 1,725 permanent jobs. It would also bring the city $3.1 million in annual tax revenue.

A second resolution is also to go before the City Commission today for a major use special permit to build the companion City Square residential project at 1401 Biscayne Blvd., 360 NE 14th Terrace and 1410-1420 N. Bayshore Drive.

The project includes a 623-foot-tall, 60-story mixed-used building with 942 residential units, 13,566 square feet of retail space and 1,684 parking spaces.

A spokesperson for developer Maefield Development declined to comment on the project. City records list former property owner Knight-Ridder Inc. as requesting the special use permit from the City Commission on behalf of the developer. Knight-Ridder, which had been the publisher of the Miami Herald, sold its assets last month to California-based McClatchy Corp. Advertisement