Proposed Hyatt Regency redevelopment in downtown Miami gets pushed back

Julia Tuttle park would lie on the southern half of the convention center complex

Julia Tuttle park rendering (Credit: Zyscovich Architects)
Julia Tuttle park rendering (Credit: Zyscovich Architects)

City of Miami Commissioner Ken Russell withdrew a proposal that would allow the Hyatt Regency hotel in downtown Miami to be redeveloped and expanded, instead proposing a riverfront park that would be named after the “Mother of Miami,” Julia Tuttle.

The Miami City Commission on Thursday declined to put the proposed redevelopment on the November ballot, a plan that would have given Hyatt 12 months to produce a master plan for construction of a new hotel with meeting space, plus a possible mixed-use project, at the 4.5-acre site at 400 Southeast Second Avenue.

Russell instead wants to see a park on Miami’s riverfront. The park, designed by Zyscovich Architects, would lie on the southern half of the convention center complex, according to a press release. Zyscovich said it would decongest the intersection at the Brickell Bridge and provide a second access point from I-95.

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The original proposal would have extended Hyatt’s lease by 99 years and expanded its property to include the Knight Center. The Hyatt’s existing lease is set to expire in six years.

Commissioners reportedly backed out of the deal to give the city more time to update appraisal data. The commission wants to make sure payments to the city would return fair market value if approved, according to the Miami Herald.

The hotel and convention center opened on the north bank of the Miami River in 1982.

Hyatt runs the 612-room Hyatt Regency Miami, and the city controls the Knight Center, including the 4,500-seat James L. Knight Auditorium and the Arthur Ashe Auditorium. The Knight Center, operated by contractor SMG, got a municipal subsidy of about $400,000 last year. An audit shows that the Hyatt Regency generated 43 million of gross revenue last year. – Amanda Rabines