Urban Development
1:37 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Miami Beach Approves New Convention Center Plans; A Public Vote Is Next

An artist's rendering of South Beach ACE's approved plans for renovations to the Miami Beach Convention Center.
Credit ACE

After months of deliberation, a winner has emerged.

Company South Beach ACE has won a contentious City Commission bid to redevelop the Miami Beach Convention Center, in what they have termed as the most important development in the history of Miami Beach.

The winning firm came as a surprise to many, but the Miami Herald reports that the firm was chosen because the "team's plan costs the public less and construction done quicker."

A total of 52 acres are planned for the upgrade under the $600-million, largely publicly-funded project.

Public financing of projects of this magnitude are being received with increasing scrutiny after tax dollars were used to construct Miami Marlins Stadium. According to the Miami Herald: "On the beach, public money is expected to come from a county bond, an increase in the local hotel tax-- and hopefully-- an expansion of the city's special taxing district in South Beach, which currently is set to expire in 2022."

The approved deal was derived from a 'scaled down' version, as recommended by City Manager Jimmy Morales, which was significantly smaller than what was originally planned.

If voters approve the plan, the convention center and hotel would open in 2018.

The plan will be put to public vote this November, and would require a simple majority for approval.

If approved, the renovated convention center would open in 2018.