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Miami Beach Convention Center: A Key Opportunity for Development

The controversy surrounding the Miami Beach Convention Center redevelopment rages on, with a recent court ruling putting a snag in the South Beach-ACE plan. The importance of a first-class convention center in Miami is obvious for such a popular and desirable travel destination. As the frustrating debate continues, let us take a look at some of the more important aspects of the plan.


The ACE plan, which was chosen by city commissioners in a July 17 vote, calls for a sleek, curving, rebuilt convention center and accompanying 800-room hotel. Also planned are 5-acres of outdoor green space and a large open plaza where visitors can access the main building. Included in the plan are a renovated Jackie Gleason theater and additional nearby “cultural buildings”


The real-estate world is more interested, however, in the inclusion of residential and retail space. This could help to connect the convention center to the surrounding area, providing a livelier atmosphere on a daily basis. The original ACE plan called for 260 apartments spread between four buildings along Meridian Avenue, with 80 more being added to the top of a parking garage in the future. As for retail space, 60,000 square feet were planned at the ground floor, with additional restaurant space flanking the central plaza.


City manager Jimmy Morales has been putting pressure on ACE to scale back the housing and retail aspects of the plan, so it remains unclear how much will actually find its way into the final product. However, hopes are that the project will inevitably spur additional residential and commercial development surrounding the convention center district. Either way, ACE remains committed to moving forward with the project, hoping that a November 5 public referendum on the approval of public land leases could help.


However the legislative battle shakes out, it remains clear that the Miami Beach Convention Center district is at a crucial turning point in its history. As plans stagger forward, the booming South Florida development community will continue to keep a close eye on the promising opportunities surrounding the area. If interested in property near the convention center, or anywhere in the Miami and South Florida market, contact Bryan Halda today.