The Real Deal Miami

Miami River spilling over with new development

Boat tour keys in on plans for retail, restaurant and residential projects

February 05, 2015 05:22PM
By Katherine Kallergis

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Renderings of River Landing project

Renderings of River Landing project

Edge, Sushi Samba, River Oyster Bar and Fox Hole Marketplace and Deli —  are just some of the planned new eateries banking on the Miami River.

New restaurants, retail and increased public access along the Miami River were among the highlights of a development boat tour of the five-mile-long waterfront district on Thursday.

Developers and real estate professionals toured the river Thursday as part of an Urban Land Institute and NAIOP partnership. Brett Bibeau, managing director of the Miami River Commission, said that popular restaurants Seaspice (formerly Sea Salt and Pepper), Garcia’s Seafood and Casablanca have brought business to the area.

Among the restaurants awaiting permits or under construction are Sushi Samba, at 40 Southwest North River Drive; Edge at 39 to 55 Southwest Miami Avenue Road; a new location for the River Oyster Bar at 350 Flagler Street, and Fox Hole Marketplace and Deli at Latitude on the River, 615 Southwest Second Avenue.

The Miami River has increasingly drawn interest from developers who are embracing the river lifestyle.

“It’s a place that people don’t have to see as up and coming. It exists,” said Andy Hellinger, developer of the River Landing project, a massive nine-acre development that will include apartments, retail and a linear park along the riverwalk.

River Landing’s retail component will include a five-story vertical shopping center, with a different theme for each floor. Among them: restaurants and supermarkets, sporting goods and entertainment. Two acres of the project are dedicated to parks and pathways. Hellinger compared the linear park, with a 50-foot setback, to the Highline in New York.

River Landing recently applied for a seawall permit, and digging for the foundation will be complete in a few weeks, Hellinger told The Real Deal.

Cleaning up the water and building the riverwalk are both key to the area’s success. Bibeau said his organization, the Miami River Commission, sends clean-up crews to pick up trash, pressure clean and paint over graffiti.

“If the riverwalk is not maintained,” Bibeau said, “it will not live up to its potential.”

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