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Miami Worldcenter prepares for flying cars, developers reimagine South Florida’s money-losing golf courses, and more…

South Florida briefs
By TRD Miami Staff | May 01, 2018 11:00AM

Paramount Miami Worldcenter Skyport

When cars fly

Jetsons-style living might become a reality sooner than we think.

At Paramount Miami Worldcenter, developer Dan Kodsi is working to make the luxury high-rise compatible for passenger drones — a.k.a. flying cars. He’s modifying the rooftop’s design to fit a 5,000-square-foot skyport on top of the 60-story, 530-unit tower.

Residents would be able to land on top of the building, enter Paramount through a sky lobby and ride down to their unit in a glass-enclosed elevator.

Kodsi got the idea for the futuristic amenity after reading about Uber Elevate, Uber Technologies’ planned VTOL ride-sharing network, which would launch after 2020. The “flying car” space is still lacking regulation and air traffic control.

“Why not buy in a building that has the potential to be in line where transportation is heading?” said Kodsi, who is co-developing Worldcenter with developers Art Falcone and Nitin Motwani.

Golf anyone … anyone?

The Carolina Club is known for its fast, well-manicured greens. But the 18-hole championship golf course, built in 1971, isn’t making the cut.

Miami-based developer 13th Floor Homes plans to transform the 140-acre facility into a 350-unit residential community. The conversion is just one of several such redevelopments in South Florida, as golf operators weigh the rising expense of maintaining fairways and greens against diminishing revenue.

Despite several closings, Florida still has the highest number of 18-hole golf courses in the U.S. And in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties alone, there are 177 18-hole equivalent golf course facilities, according to the National Golf Foundation. But many others are barely hanging on, industry pros said.

In Delray Beach, 13th Floor is converting an 18-hole course into a 521-unit residential community. In Hollywood, the Pulte Group is building 645 homes at the former Hillcrest Golf & Country Club and 152 homes on nine of Woodmont Country Club’s 18 holes.

Meanwhile, some golf facilities are adapting to the next generation of fans and players. For instance, Topgolf’s locations are typically three-story entertainment complexes that feature a driving range, restaurant and bar. The Texas-based firm has at least five locations that are open or are being planned in Florida.

Otherwise, golf courses that require membership fees or are publicly subsidized are the only ones likely to stay afloat, according to Brent Baker, Pulte’s Southeast Florida division president. “To keep a golf courses operating, you’re talking hundreds of thousands of dollars, sometimes millions of dollars a year,” he said.

Crescent Heights close to school board deal

Developer Crescent Heights is one step closer to its dramatic redevelopment of a large swath of land in Miami’s Arts and Entertainment District.

The Miami-Dade School Board authorized Superintendent Alberto Carvalho to negotiate a deal with an affiliate of Crescent Heights to develop a mixed-use tower on the 49,075-square-foot surface lot at 1370 Northeast Second Avenue and an adjoining 1.13-acre property.

Should the deal reach fruition, it could lead to the relocation of the Miami-Dade Public Schools administrative building into the project. The development would include 100,000 square feet of free office space for the school district, as well as 1,100 apartments and about 1,100 parking spaces.

The 1.13-acre site owned by Crescent Heights is valued at $20.6 million, according to a school board memo. Once completed, the new offices and parking spaces would represent $60 million in value to the board.