The Real Deal Miami

First look: details of the proposals for Miami Dade College’s downtown site

Bids contain condo towers as high as 80 stories, hotels with up to 300 rooms, office space, retail and restaurants

February 22, 2016 04:30PM
By Ina Cordle

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The four proposals for Miami Dade College’s prime downtown site were unsealed on Monday, revealing renderings and offering a deeper look at the bidders’ mixed-use projects and partners.

Amid hundreds of pages of proposals are condo towers that could soar up to 80 stories, hotels, office buildings, retail space and restaurants, in addition to Miami Dade College cultural venues.

The college is soliciting a developer to enter into a public/private partnership for the 2.6 acre parcel at 520 Biscayne Boulevard, currently used as a surface parking area at the college’s Wolfson Campus. The proposals include a cultural center with a 1,600-seat performing arts theater, a conference center that can house 3,000 people, a museum measuring at least 100,000 square feet, and parking.

Miami Dade College earlier this year received an unsolicited proposal for the Nader Latin American Art Museum from a group of partners that includes Miami art gallery owner Gary Nader and Roberto Rocha, CEO of Sofran Group, which prompted the college to put out a “supplemental information package,” requesting bids.

On Jan 19, when the bids were due, only the names of the bidders were released by Miami Dade College:

  • Gregg Covin Development/Oppenheim Architecture
  • Nader+Museu | Limited Liability Limited Partnership
  • Pi Art Tech and Trade Center at MDC, LLC
  • The Related Group

Now, the bids have been made public. Here is a look at some of the main points of the each of the four bids, culled from proposals obtained by The Real Deal from Miami Dade College.

Gregg Covin Development and Oppenheim Architecture:

Covin and Oppenheim’s proposal includes a 57-story tower, with condominiums and office space, as well as a 300-room hotel.

In all, the project would include: a Miami Dade College Cultural Center, with a 1,600-seat performing arts theatre; a 3,000-seat conference auditorium; a 100,000-square-foot museum; a 52,000-square-foot Cultural Center outdoor plaza; 75,000 square feet of covered outdoor balconies; 45,000 square feet of retail and restaurant; 300,000 square feet of office space; a 215,000-square-foot boutique hotel, a 40,000-square-foot athletic center and a 37,000-square-foot pool deck.

Construction costs are estimated at $150 million.

Nader+Museu | Limited Liability Limited Partnership

Gary Nader and his partners have expanded their original proposal, which now includes 238,556 square feet of building space. In addition to the Latin American Art Museum, sculpture garden and performing arts theater, the proposal now includes a restaurant with 16,016 square feet, and two 50-story residential towers with 250 units, each.

Partners now include Nader; BrasilInvest Development Company; Gernero Revocable Family Trust; architects Nichols Brosch Wurst Wolfe & Assoc.; Roberto Rocha, president and CEO of Sofran Group; contract management firm Special District Services; urban development consulting firm Redevelopment Management Servcies; Jose Rene Infante, founder of Redland Market Village; developer George de Guardiola; Emilio Estefan’s Theater Design Associates; accountant Leonardo Gravier and the non-profit firm Neighbors and Neighbors Association.

The partnership proposes to pay the college $40,000 per condo unit sold in the first tower and $60,000 per condo unit sold in the second tower. It will also donate $10 million in “museum quality pieces” to the college each year, for a total donation of $60 million, according to the proposal.

Pi Art Tech and Trade Center at MDC, LLC

Led by Jorge Brugo, owner and president of Axis Realty Trust, the group includes Axis Realty Trust; Ella Fontanals-Cisneros and her museum CIFO; Diego Costa Peuser; Pinta Miami; Douglas Elliman; World Trade Centers Association; Lausanne, Switzerland-based Richter+Dahl Rocha as design architects; Gala Systems; Fernando Iglesias Molli; Links World Group and attorneys Broad and Cassel.

The proposal totals 2.2 million square feet, including an 80-story mixed-use tower rising 1,100 feet high, with 820,000 square feet of offices, 210,000 square feet of condominiums and 68,000 square-feet of retail. And the project’s museum would house the CIFO (Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation).

According to the proposal, the cost of public improvements is estimated at $145 million. “Assuming that the appraisal for the land comes in at a similar value we would favor a straight swap of land to improvements,” the proposal said. “If there is a divergence then an adjustment would be negotiated.” The total cost is estimated at nearly $1 billion.

The Related Group:

Related Group proposes a 75-story condominium tower as part of its plan, as well as a 39-story office tower, a 100-room hotel and private club.

Related Group’s entity, PRH Investments LLC, includes partners: architects Arquitectonica; construction firm Moriarty; architecture firm Rodriguez and Quiroga Architects Chartered; Fisher Dachs Associates, performing arts space designers; cost consultants Donnell Consultants Inc.; acoustic consultants Jaffe Holden; branding and design agency Lemon Yellow; and law firms Greenberg Traurig and Stearns Weaver.

The group proposes its project be named ACME (Art, Culture, Museum Education), to include:

  •  Cultural Center consisting of:
    • 3,020-seat facility “ACME Hall”;
    • 33,750-square-feet of programmable multi-functional space;
    • 45,000-square-foot museum facility;
    • Sculpture Garden – 35,900-square-foot, public rooftop sculpture garden;
  • Residential Tower – 75-story tower with 350 condos;
  • Office Tower – 39-story tower with 500,000 leasable square feet;
  • Art Hotel – 100-key boutique hotel;
  • Restaurant – 9,000-square-foot restaurant;
  • Collegiate Club – 10,000-square-foot private club with free memberships available to Miami Dade College faculty and academic leadership.

Related’s estimated construction costs are $673.7 million, including $105 million for public improvements. As part of the deal, Related is offering to pay Miami Dade College 10 percent of every dollar of revenue derived from condo sales in excess of $750 per square foot. The firm is projecting sales at $850 per square foot, for an additional $5.3 million of proceeds to the college.

As a next step in the selection process, each group will give a presentation to the evaluation committee on March 16, 17 and 18, Roman Martinez, group director of purchasing for Miami Dade College told TRD.

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