At the end of July, Miami’s City Commission voted 4 – 1 in favor of Miami Riverbridge, a three-towered, large-scale mixed-use mega project proposed as the redevelopment of a 4.2-acre city-owned site at 400 Southeast 2nd Avenue in the heart of Downtown Miami, where the Hyatt Regency Miami and James L. Knight Convention Center stand today. Estimated to cost approximately $1.5 billion, the project calls for three new towers, two of 61 stories and one 95-story supertall, which would contain over 1,500 residential units, a new flagship 615-key Hyatt Regency hotel and 264 branded serviced apartments, 190,000 square feet of Class A meeting and events space, commercial and retail spaces, over 1,000 parking spaces and 50,000 square feet of open public space including a 480-foot-long rejuvenated riverwalk. Miami Riverbridge is being developed between Hyatt Hotels Corporation and Gencom under the HRM Owner LLC, and is being designed by Arquitectonica. The project’s fate is now in the hands of city voters at the next referendum on November 8.
The developers of Miami Riverbridge emphasized the public benefits the mega project would bring to the site and area. This section of the city is often congested and tainted with traffic, so improvements to the streetscape for better pedestrian experience and easier access in and out of Miami’s urban core will ease up the congestion and traffic flow. The developers agreed to contribute $25 million to support affordable housing within the City of Miami. 4,500 jobs would be created from the development of the project, and the number of permanent jobs would increase from 350 to 900. Miami RiverBridge would generate over $1.5 billion in city taxes, fees and ground rent that can be reinvested in to the city for more public benefits. The rent collected from the land lease would increase from $250,000 to minimum $2,500,000 or 2.5% of gross revenues. There is also potential for funding for improvements and reopening of the nearby Fort Dallas Park, and the restoration of the historical Flagler Worker’s House down the street, also on city-owned land, from a project park impact fee.
On November 8, city voters will decide on the extension of the ground lease for 99 years and redevelopment plans. If approved, the aging 40-year-old Hyatt Regency and the convention center would be razed to make way for the new complex. The developers are aiming to arrange financing by the end of 2023 or the first quarter of 2024. Construction is projected to commence in 2025, with the first two towers to be delivered by Q3 2028, and the third tower in Q3 of 2029. YIMBY predicts the two 61-story towers to rise well above 650-feet, and the 95-story supertall to top off at the highest permitted height by the FAA, 1,049-feet.