New Design District garage opens, more designer boutiques unveiled

Choices for parking and shopping are now more abundant in Miami’s Design District, with the opening of the new City View Garage and the launch of more high-end stores, The Real Deal has learned.

The City View Garage’s futuristic building, with a series of wavy, gold, titanium-coated, stainless steel panels, surrounding its western exterior, is now accepting cars. It’s the Design District’s second garage, following the opening of the Palm Court Garage during Art Basel 2014.

Craig Robins

Craig Robins, president and CEO of Dacra

“Our goal is to make it an inexpensive and very convenient neighborhood for people to visit, so self-parking is just $3 for the first four hours,” Craig Robins, president and CEO of Dacra, who is spearheading the transformation of the Design District into a luxury destination, told TRD. “And of course for us, the garages are our major creative opportunity to express ourselves as a neighborhood, so they become a pedestal for enormous art and design installations.”

Visible from I-195, the City View Garage is a collaboration between award-winning design firms Leong Leong and Iwamoto Scott that has added 559 parking spaces to Miami’s Design District — an area formerly dependent on street and valet parking.

The seven-story, 283,000-square-foot garage, at 3800 Northeast First Avenue, features two public art pieces by John Baldessari on the exterior: Fun Part 1 and Fun Part 2. Leong Leong designed the west facade with its shimmering panels and Iwamoto Scott designed the southeastern facade, which forms a tessellated mural that conceals parking slabs and allows for natural ventilation.

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The new parking spaces mean more accessibility to the array of designer boutiques unfurling in the Design District. In addition to about 20 upscale shops already open, including Céline, Dior, Hermès, Marni, Prada, Berluti and Chrome Hearts, at least 21 more stores have finished their build-outs and opened so far this year, including Alchemist, Burberry, Cartier, Emilio Pucci, Ermenegildo Zegna, Givenchy, Jason of Beverly Hills, Lladro, Loewe, Louis Vuitton, Max Mara, Omega, Parmigiani Fleurier, TAG Heuer, Tiffany & Co., Tourbillion, Valentino, Versace, Vhernier, Yvel and Zadig & Voltaire.

Palm Court Fly's Eye Dome (Credit: Robin Hill)

Palm Court Fly’s Eye Dome (Credit: Robin Hill)

Miami’s Design District has now completed about 80 percent of its first two phases, which represent about half the overall, 1.2-million-square-foot project, Robins said. By December, Phases 1 and 2 will be complete. Meanwhile, construction for the third and final phase has already begun, Robins said.

By late 2016, the 10-square-block district is expected to have more than 120 luxury-brand stores, a boutique hotel, 15 to 20 restaurants, luxury residential condos and lofts, galleries, furniture showrooms, as well as large-scale public art, design and graphic art installations.

“Then we have additional landholdings that can add another 1.5 million square feet to the project, but we have no plans for that yet,” Robins told TRD. “There’s a lot more room to expand, and of course eventually we will.”

The Palm Court Garage, with an entrance on Northeast 38th Street between Northeast First Court and Northeast Second Avenue, was the first garage to open in the Design District, and has 303 parking spaces. SB Architects designed the garage and RSM Design created the interior signage. The pedestrian exit is a spiral staircase from the underground garage out into a reproduction of R. Buckminster Fuller’s Fly’s Eye Dome, which is centered in Palm Court’s plaza.

Amid the changes in the Design District, prices for commercial property are rising exponentially.  Last month, New York-based Thor Equities paid $16 million for 56 Northeast 40th Street and 55 Northeast 39th Street. Also in March, Brooklyn-based RedSky Capital and London-based JZ Capital Management purchased 35 Northeast 40th Street, the home of Oak Tavern, for $28 million; and 1 Northeast 40th Street for $29.25 million.