Bayside Gets The Word Do A Makeover
By Meisha Perrin
Even though its lease isn’t up for another few decades, Bayside Marketplace has already approached the city about a lease extension — but Bayside won’t get the extension unless it does a significant overhaul of the facility, says Miami commission Chairman Marc Sarnoff.
"If they want an extension of time, they have to redo outside," he told Miami Today, and "put a substantial amount of money into a redesign to make it look like what it should look like for the next 30 years."
Rumors of a $30 million to $40 million overhaul of the shopping center have been circulating around the city, but Mr. Sarnoff said he has yet to see a design or anything concrete.
There is lots of discussion, he said, "but I don’t think any of it has materialized."
Still, in the end, said the commissioner, in whose district the outdoor bayfront mall lies, changes need to be made to the 26-year-old facility.
"It’s a downtown modern facility," he said. "It shouldn’t look like it belongs in Coral Gables."
As city practice, he said, if a property is coming to seek an extension, an upgrade should always be included — especially for a structure that was built in the ’80s and still looks like the ’80s.
That property is highly valuable land, right on the water in the heart of downtown, he said, and it should be treated as such.
The private sector remakes itself every 10 years, Mr. Sarnoff said, but Bayside hasn’t remade itself in 30 years, and it is a private sector-leased facility.
In terms of a remake, he said he would like the marketplace to interact with the street better, attract larger vessels to its dockage and reconfigure the parking — all with an end goal to make it more compatible and modernized.
Regardless, however, Bayside Marketplace has been doing well, according to General Manager Pam Weller, who said the shopping center has had double-digit sales increases for about two years and has been above the sales per square foot national average.
Also, she said, Bayside attracts about 22 million people a year, about 70% of whom are tourists.
"The property is 26 years old," she said, "so we constantly need to evolve and regenerate and reinvent ourselves.
"We certainly are doing that as we speak," she added.
And Bayside, she said, is working closely with the city and Mr. Sarnoff to do so.
"We are trying to identify what we will do as far as bringing in new tenants and upgrading the neighborhood and the property," she said, "but nothing has been determined as of yet."
Bayside Marketplace was built in 1987 by the former Rouse Co. and is now managed and owned by Chicago-based General Growth Properties. It is, according to Ms. Weller, in the top 5% of General Growth Properties’ holdings as far as the sales per square foot national norm.
Currently, 188 businesses operate within Bayside Marketplace, with another two stores coming this year and fewer than five retail slots, one of which is for a restaurant, available.To read the entire issue of Miami Today online, subscribe to e-MIAMI TODAY, an exact digital replica of the printed edition.