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The Real Deal Miami

Paradise Plaza, shops, restaurants, set to open in Miami’s Design District — some aimed for Art Basel

goop GIFT pop-up, House of Creed and ICA among first offerings
By Ina Cordle | November 22, 2017 05:15PM

Miami Design District’s next phase is set to be revealed soon, featuring a walkable Paradise Plaza, surrounded by new designer shops, upscale restaurants and public art installations — with some unveiled in time for Art Basel.

A goop Gift pop-up shop, the House of Creed, Rag & Bone and Joseph have just opened, and pop-ups for Spin Ceramics and Cynthia Rowley are also planned. Gucci, Aesop, Empresa, Dolce & Gabbana, Eres and Ralph & Russo are among other retailers launching boutiques in December or early 2018.

And on Dec. 1, the long awaited Institute of Contemporary Art is scheduled to open at 61 Northeast 41st Street, encompassing 37,500 square feet.

It’s all part of the transformation of the Design District into a luxury shopping destination and cultural hub, filled with designer shops, restaurants, museums, hotels, home furnishings and art collections. Designer boutiques like Louis Vuitton, Hermès, Christian Dior and Tom Ford have already opened on mahogany-tree-lined streets, alongside open courts and paseos dotted with such outdoor artworks as Buckminster Fuller’s Fly’s Eye Dome and Xavier Veilhan’s sculpture Le Corbusier.

The Design District — broadly defined as the area from Biscayne Boulevard to North Miami Avenue, and from the north side of 36th Street to 42nd Street, with the center the Paseo Ponti and First Avenue — is undergoing a multimillion-square-foot revamp that will ultimately include 120 stores and at least 15 eateries in the neighborhood by the end of 2018, according to Craig Robins, president and CEO of Dacra, the driving force behind the redevelopment.

In December, the Design District will essentially double in size when compared to the area most people consider the district to be today, Robins told The Real Deal on Wednesday. “Every week something new opens here,” he said. And with the exception of September, “we have seen 50 percent growth in both foot traffic and sales each month since June of this year.”

As part of the next phase of the district’s construction, Paseo Ponti, the pedestrian walkway that begins at Palm Court, is being extended past Northeast 39th Street and Northeast 40th Street to Northeast 41st Street, ending at Paradise Plaza.

Tinsel-adorned tree in Palm Court

A recent construction tour revealed the new Paradise Plaza at 151 Northwest 41st Street, anchored by several stores, including the House of Creed and the future Gucci boutique, which is set to open Dec. 1. Already, the district’s palm trees have been adorned in sparkly silver tinsel for the holidays.

New restaurants are also planned: Joel Robuchon’s four dining spots: L’Atelier, La Boutique, Le Sushi and Le Bar will all open next year in Paradise Plaza, as will Brad Kilgore’s Ember and Kaido.

Nearby, the Design District’s third parking garage, the seven-story, 800-car Museum Garage, with a facade designed by five different architects curated by Terence Riley of K/R Architects, is underway at 90 Northeast 41st Street. It’s expected to open in the first quarter of 2018.

Also in the works: ABC Kitchen at Northeast 41st Street and Northwest First Avenue, and St. Roch, a New Orleans-based, 9,000-square-foot food hall in Palm Court, are set to open next year.

Last month, Blue Bottle Coffee opened at 3818 NE 1st Ave, and Roberta’s Pizza launched a pop-up in Jungle Plaza. The dining spots add to eateries Estefan Kitchen and OTL, which opened earlier this year.

Miami Design District Associates, a partnership led by Dacra and L Real Estate (an affiliate of LVMH), with additional investors General Growth Properties and Ashkenazy Acquisition Corp., represents the largest landowners of the district, with about 70 percent of the privately owned property in the neighborhood, Robins has said. The partnership is developing 1 million square feet of space and has development rights to another 1.5 million to 2 million square feet on its remaining property. Dacra and L Real Estate have an equal share of just under 40 percent each, while GGP and Ashkenazy have 22.5 percent combined.

In recent years, other major investors have followed Robins’ lead. Brooklyn-based Redsky Capital and its joint venture partner, London-based JZ Capital Partners, are now likely the second-largest land owners, while New York-based Helm Equities, the Gindi family, Thor Equities and David Edelstein’s TriStar Capital are also significant property holders in the district.