Miami Dade College parking lot
Photo credit: mdc.edu
After shelving the development of its 520 Biscayne Property in downtown Miami for 10 years, Miami Dade College (MDC) called for a mixed use development bid late 2015. The College is looking to get into a public private partnership to develop a 2.6 acre parcel of land that is currently serving as a surface parking space at the Wolfson Campus. Bidders were expected to include a cultural center featuring a performing arts theater with a 1600 seating capacity, a 3000 seat conference center, a 100,000 square feet museum and a parking lot in their bids. The call was answered by four real estate developers and architects whose bids were received and opened by the purchasing department at MDC having met the January 19, 2016 bid submission deadline. The four bidders whose names were released by MDC are: Pi Art Tech and Trade Center, Gregg Covin Development & Oppenheim Architecture, The Related Group and Nader+Museu I Limited Liability Limited Partnership.
Gregg Covin Development partnered with Oppenheim Architecture for this bid. Back in 2007, the two had responded to MDC's initial call for bids. At the time, they had sought to put up a futuristic tower on MDC's 510 Biscayne Boulevard site, but the college cancelled the call. Covin and Oppenheim tweaked the initial design to accommodate the specifications in the new call for bids. Gregg Covin Development is currently constructing the One Thousand Museum in Miami, designed by Zaha Hadid. Covin also developed the Ten Museum Park, a condo tower designed by Chad Oppenheim, that opened in 2007 on the Biscayne Boulevard.
Pi Art Tech and Trade Center is a Florida based corporation competing to develop MDC's prime property on 520 Biscayne Boulevard. Pi Art Tech and Trade Center is led by Jorge Brugo who is also the president and founder of Axis Realty Trust, Spainvestment and co-founder of the LuxurInvest LLC. Brugo is a low profile developer silently catalyzing the many innovations in the Miami's luxury residential market, including deployment of technology for home automation and creating the first smart residential buildings that now become a standard in the last cycle. He is also focusing his work on signature designed buildings to enhance the Miami skyline. Brugo, an architect, also attracted world class architects to Miami the likes of Richard Meier, Pei Partners, and Carlos Ott. This trend evolved during this cycle into several developers entertaining now 'starchitects', in order to differentiate quality designs and achieve price premiums in a growing competitive environment with rising land costs. Rumors have it that the Pi Art Tech and Trade Center proposal may provide a pleasant surprise in terms of innovation and a striking design once the images are unveiled to the public.
Another bidder, Nader+Museu I LLP is a Miami-based limited partnership registered in 2014 by the Department of State, Division of Corporations, in Florida. Gary Nader, an art collector, is behind this bid. Nader had initially submitted an unsolicited proposal, along with Roberto Rocha of Sofran Group and FR-EE Architects, to MDC. In his initial proposal, Nader had sought to donate $60 million of his art collection to MDC. This collection is to be kept in a museum that he and his team would construct, along with a conference center, a parking lot, a theater and twin luxury condo towers.
The Related Group teamed up with Arquitectonica to submit its MDC development bid. Jorge Perez is the founder of Related Group, and has a nearby museum, the Perez Art Museum, named after him. Following his pledge to give Latin American art collections an amount of $20 million, he added another $20 million in cash over a period of 10 years. Gary Nader's museum proposal to MDC was to construct a museum as big as the Perez Museum.