If approved by City of Miami voters, the new downtown Hyatt Hotel and Convention Center is expected to grow within five years and create 4,500 construction jobs.
These are the calculations of HRM Owner LLC, the partnership formed by Hyatt Hotels Corp. and Gencom to revive Miami’s waterfront.
The privately funded redevelopment, to be called Miami RiverBridge, is expected to cost at least $1.5 billion and bring with it a mixed-use project that would include a new upscale Hyatt hotel, convention spaces and assembly, multi-family housing and commercial and retail components.
City voters will decide the fate of the new deal between the city and private developers at the polls on Nov. 8.
In July, the city commission voted 4-1 to approve two resolutions relating to the new Hyatt hotel proposal and extended lease, as well as ballot wording. Commissioner Joe Carollo voted no.
Following the affirmative votes, the Hyatt and Gencom partnership released an affirmative action statement from the city and provided more details on what the Miami RiverBridge project will mean for the area.
The partnership promises a reimagined upscale Hyatt Regency hotel with 615 hotel rooms and premium meeting space, more than 1,500 residential apartments and outdoor public space along the Miami River.
“Miami RiverBridge will improve access to and from the Hyatt Regency Miami site, activate the Miami Riverfront, and meet the growing demand for housing, hotel rooms and meeting spaces in our urban core,” said the partnership. .
“The City Commission’s decision to put Miami RiverBridge on the ballot on November 8, 2022 means Miami voters will have a chance to shape the future of this important site, and we look forward to sharing our vision with the community in the months ahead. coming.
“This vote will come down to either keeping the Hyatt Regency Miami status quo – or transforming Miami with a privately funded development that will create thousands of jobs, new public green spaces, better walking for pedestrians and a $25 million contribution for affordable housing in the City of Miami,” the statement read.
Hyatt and Gencom detailed the expected benefits of the planned redevelopment, including:
■Miami RiverBridge will include 50,000 square feet of new outdoor public space, including the completion of a 480-foot-long section of the Riverwalk.
■ Improved access in and out of Miami’s urban core will improve the pedestrian experience while reducing traffic and congestion on surrounding streets.
■A contribution of $25 million will support affordable housing in the city of Miami.
■Miami RiverBridge will provide more than $1.5 billion in municipal taxes, royalties and ground rents that can be invested in improving infrastructure, resiliency measures and improving the quality of life.
■The construction of the project will create 4,500 jobs, while the number of permanent jobs after construction will more than double from the current 350 to about 900.
■190,000 square feet of Class A meeting and event space will appeal to businesses and organizations planning major conferences and events.
■ 615 brand-new hotel rooms and 264 branded serviced apartments at the flagship Hyatt Regency Miami will keep pace with the city’s booming tourist market.
■1,500 market-priced apartments for Miami residents will meet the growing demand for housing in the urban core.
The City of Miami owns the 4.2-acre waterfront site on Second Avenue next to the Brickell Avenue Bridge, home to the aging and dated James L. Knight Convention Center and its neighboring private partner, the Hyatt Regency Hotel.
For years, city officials have considered plans designed to improve vehicular traffic in the area and an improved pedestrian experience, including better public access to the river. These plans were not pursued.
During his July 28 meeting, Commissioner Carollo asked a representative of the partnership how long it would take to build the project.
Phil Keb, a Gencom executive, said if the project is approved by voters in November, they will get to work negotiating the final ground lease, completing design work and cost estimates, and seeking to organize the funding by the end of 2023 or the first quarter of 2024.
“When do you think it will be fully built?” Mr. Carollo asked.
“The first two towers would be delivered in the third quarter of 2028, and the third tower delivered in the third quarter of 2029,” replied Mr. Keb.
Redevelopment of the waterfront site could also lead to improvements to the city’s Fort Dallas Park, a single property to the south.
The city owns the property at 60-64 SE Fourth St., which houses the historic Flagler Worker’s House. The 1897 Royal Palm Cottage is the last known building in Miami directly associated with railroad magnate and developer Henry M. Flagler.
The park has been closed and fenced for many years, as the city’s plans to repair the house and redevelop the property came to nothing. The property is notorious for attracting trash and the homeless.
The Miami River Commission has pressured the city to do what it can to restore the famous house and repair and reopen the park.
At the July 28 meeting, Brett Bibeau, chief executive of the river commission, read a resolution passed by the commission on file.
He said the river commission unanimously passed the resolution recommending that the city commission send the Hyatt project to a referendum in November, allowing for an extended lease and redevelopment of the property, “with the public promenade on the river, while using the project’s park impact fee as a potential funding source to pay for accelerated improvements and reopening of nearby Fort Dallas park, as well as the restoration of its historically designated Flagler Worker’s House.
The city charter requires that the sale or lease of city-owned waterfront property must be approved by voters.
With some late changes made on July 28, the ballot proposal now asks voters in the city:
“Will the Miami charter be amended allowing the city to amend the existing waterfront Hyatt lease with HRM Owner LLC, including the adjacent Knight Center property, extending to 99 years, waiving the auction and requiring, no charge for the city:
■ Public waterfront green spaces;
■ New Hyatt hotel, additional parking, convention space and apartments;
■ Increase in annual rent to the city from $250,000 to a minimum of $2,500,000 or 2.5% of gross revenues, whichever is greater;
■Minimum contribution of $25 million for affordable housing;
■ Extended public promenade? »