Magic City

Arquitectonica to design new $1 billion “Innovation District” in Miami

Architecture East
Arquitectonica to design new $1 billion “Innovation District
Arquitectonica to design new $1 billion “Innovation District" in Miami. (Courtesy Arquitectonica)

Developer Tony Cho and investor Bob Zangrillo, the CEOs of Dragon Global and Metro 1 respectively, aim to transform the neighborhood of Little Haiti in Miami. Working with Miami studio Arquitectonica, the pair proposes that areas between Northeast 60th and 64th streets to the south and north, and Northeast Second Avenue and a railroad line to the west and east, be developed (in phases) as a gargantuan mixed-use project. 170,000 square feet of the site’s former industrial spaces will be repurposed to include an innovation center for start-ups and businesses.

According to the Miami Herald, Cho and Zangrillo hope to bring entrepreneurs to the $1 billion campus and keep them there, offering housing and spaces to both work and play. “We are investing money, cleaning things up, bringing more street lights and security in the neighborhood; we’re bringing in art, creating jobs,” Cho said. “I see Miami melding as an urban node. These are all becoming very interesting neighborhoods.”

Phase one of the “Innovation District” will see the construction of a sculpture garden, a 30,000-square-foot “Magic City Studios,” and the innovation center. The latter will span 15,000 square feet and be part of the “Factory,” which will also feature an amphitheater for events. Despite the wealth of square footage available, none will be allocated to parking, furthering the walkable and pedestrian friendly campus feel of the development. Instead, small apartments will negate the need for what Cho calls a “behemoth garage space” that would take up valuable land and only drive up the cost of housing. Speaking in the Wall Street Journal, Cho added that ride-hailing apps would plug the transport gap.

The Herald, meanwhile, also reports that listed tenants so far include Salty Donut, Aqua Elements, Photopia, Baby Cotton, ICA (Institute of Contemporary Art), Wynwood Shipping, and Etnia Barcelona.

Phase one is so far penned for 2018 and will be privately financed. The Zangrillo and Cho also mentioned that office and retail space, affordable workforce housing, including micro-units, and even a boutique hotel could possibly come in the future.
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