By Sean McCaughan
What’s Next The Miami River Heats Up
Clockwise from top: Seaspice; the Miami Mega Yacht Club marina will include 14 berths; the Riverwalk pedestrian passage at One Brickell
Last year, when a judge ordered Miami River hotspot Seasalt & Pepper to drop the first half of its name, citing a similarity to an existing restaurant in Naples, one thing became clear: The new establishment was a huge success. After all, a less popular, lower-profile restaurant would never have been sued over its name. The owners renamed the spot Seaspice and got on with the show. The hubbub surrounding Seaspice is emblematic of what’s happening all along the Miami River, where a wave of waterfront dining options join residential and commercial megaprojects, as well as massive amounts of new construction happening in nearby areas like Downtown, Brickell and Little Havana, all within walking distance. At the southeastern end of the river, the Related Group’s One Brickell—a three-tower mixed-use project with 1,400 high-end residential units, a hotel, ground-floor restaurants and retail—is taking over the Brickell Avenue Capital Grille property. “One Brickell will open up pedestrian connections to the river, connecting it along the riverwalk to the Edge [another residential tower in the planning stages], neighboring Icon Brickell, and inland toward Brickell City Centre,” says Carlos Rosso, president of the Related Group’s condominium division. A few blocks west, the Chetrit Group is behind a megaproject immediately east of Jose Marti Park with the working title Miami Riverwalk, with four towers of mixed uses—everything from residential, to commercial, to a 300-room hotel, to a marina and, of course, a riverwalk. Farther up the river, River Landing is a pair of mixed-use towers
adjacent to the Jackson Memorial/UM hospital complex that, when completed in 2018, will include big-box stores, residential units and generous outdoor parkland. And in the Central Business District, KAR Properties has proposed the development of twin, slender, 60-story luxury condo towers connected by a sky bridge. It’s all part of the city’s plan to create a vibrant and active riverfront, with pedestrian life being central to the river’s future. Miami River Commission member Javier Betancourt explains that the group has been negotiating with these developers to execute privately built sections of riverwalk behind their properties and to develop public segments of riverwalk— under bridges, along streets—that are necessary to link everything. In the end, Betancourt says the Miami River will be a better, more active version of what it has always been: a working and living waterfront, with fishing boats and marinas coexisting among strolling couples, casual shoppers and cruising yachts. The river is, in fact, one of the few areas in Dade County that can handle mega-yachts, with several often docked on the open stretch next to the Epic Hotel and a neighboring 1.25-acre plot of land that developer Ugo Colombo recently sold to the Argentine Coto family. And more big boats are coming. Rosso says Related will likely have dockage for “a few” at One Brickell, as well as places for restaurant patrons to tie up. Also in the works just a few blocks away from River Landing is the Miami Mega Yacht Club—including 14 covered mega-yacht berths for boats as large as 200 feet, crew housing, and maintenance and recreational facilities. ◗
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3/27/15 10:07 AM
The propriertary lifestyle magazine of ONE Sotheby's International Realty.