Miami Beach may get 10-year lock on Art Basel show

The annual Art Basel show
The annual Art Basel show

Art Basel may commit to holding its annual art show at the Miami Beach Convention Center for 10 years if the city adds an elevator and escalator to its expansion and renovation of the convention center.

City commissioners have agreed to pay $124,240 to Fentress Architects to design and plan the addition of an elevator and escalator connecting the convention center’s exhibit halls on the ground floor to its ballroom on the second floor.

City Manager Jimmy Morales, who recommended going forward with the elevator-escalator installation, said the city government will proceed with negotiations of a long-term deal with Art Basel.

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Miami Beach Commissioner John Elizabeth Alemán recently told other city commissioners that the city currently has a one-year commitment from Art Basel to stage its annual art show at the convention center.

Maria Hernandez, project director of the convention center district, said installation of an elevator and escalator will cost $2.8 million. The convention center is undergoing a $600 million expansion and renovation.

The convention center makeover is almost 40 days behind schedule. Two of the center’s four exhibit halls are expected to be ready for events by late May, and work on the other two is expected to be done by December, when Art Basel’s will stage its annual show. [Miami Herald] Mike Seemuth