The Real Deal Miami

Commissioners sign off on downtown convention hotel

MDM can build Marriott-branded expo center on former Miami Arena site
By Erik Bojnansky | October 10, 2014 09:45AM

Tony Recio

Tony Recio

Miami commissioners unanimously approved city zoning code exemptions that will enable the construction of a 2.2 million-square-foot convention hotel on the former site of the Miami Arena.

Thursday’s decision allows MDM Development Group to build the 54-story, 1,800-room JW Marriott Marquis and Expo Center at Miami Worldcenter on a 4.7-acre parcel at 700 North Miami Avenue. It will be built just west of the first phase of Miami Worldcenter, developed by The Forbes Company and Taubman Centers, which will include 765,000 square feet of retail and 1,000 residential units.

Bruce Brosch, principal of Coral Gables architecture firm Nichols Brosch Wurst Wolfe & Associates, said the proposed project the firm designed is so massive that it could easily cover four city blocks, while the 800-room Loews Miami Beach Hotel could fit within its 100,000-square-foot main exhibition space.

The hotel will include two spacious ballrooms totaling 100,000 square feet and a 30,000-square-foot lecture hall.

MDM representatives claim the project will cost $600 million and require 5,500 construction workers to build. It may not be entirely funded by private money, however. MDM lobbyist Tony Recio told commissioners his client will seek a property tax rebate from Miami’s Southeast Overtown Park West Community Redevelopment Agency.

The subsidy is “very important to secure [private] financing,” Recio said.