The Real Deal Miami

MiamiCentral gets its first train beam in downtown Miami

Brightline service to West Palm Beach is expected to begin mid-year 2017

July 22, 2016 09:45AM

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Construction workers prepare to hoist the first of 247 concrete beams for Brightline's track at MiamiCentral

Construction workers prepare to hoist the first of 247 concrete beams for Brightline’s track at MiamiCentral

MiamiCentral, the development planning to connect downtown Miami to Orlando via a high-speed rail service, just received its first train beam.

The massive concrete beam is one of 247 — averaging 73 feet long a piece — that will be placed along MiamiCentral’s rail lines within the next two months.

Developer All Aboard Florida had the beams trucked from their production site in Tampa to Miami, where they will rest on top of 50-foot rail columns, each with its own set of “vibration isolators” to prevent any shaking while the trains are running.

General contractor Suffolk Construction is speeding toward MiamiCentral’s expected completion date of mid-year 2017, when the first segment of the train service — between Miami and West Palm Beach — is scheduled to open for business.

Rendering of MiamiCentral (Credit: SOM / © Smilodon CG)

Rendering of MiamiCentral (Credit: SOM / © Smilodon CG)

All Aboard’s rail service is called Brightline, which has so far refrained from confirming exact pricing for its trips. An FAQ on the company’s website said tickets will cost “comparable to driving and a lot less than flying.” From Miami, the trains will take about 30 minutes to get to Fort Lauderdale, 60 minutes to West Palm Beach and roughly three hours to Orlando.

The project is split into two sections: the nine-acre transit hub in downtown Miami that’s being built alongside the existing Government Center Metromover Station, plus a separate 12-story tower with office space, parking and a major grocery tenant.

Plans for the downtown Miami portion show All Aboard is building three mixed-use towers that will sit above the project’s elevated rail tracks.

The first, Two Miami Central, is a Class A office tower with 190,000 square feet of space. It’s already seen significant preleasing from tenants like Ernst & Young, a major accounting firm. The other two buildings will have more than 800 rental apartments combined. At its base, the project will have 180,000 square feet of retail space, which already boasts a roster of local eateries. — Sean Stewart-Muniz