A 1-million-square-foot, mixed-use development is set to break ground in North Miami Beach, replacing the historic Dean’s Gold strip club at the intersection of NE 163rd Street and Biscayne Boulevard. Miami-based developer CK Privé Group has teamed up with local firm Arquitectonica (no stranger to office and residential design in the city) for the project, which will be called Uptown Biscayne.

While the plans for Uptown Biscayne have been presented and revised since developers purchased the current site in 2015, the project will move ahead and break ground after North Miami Beach’s City Council gave the project its official blessing on February 21. The 4.9-acre plot will eventually hold 170,000 square feet of retail, 35,000 square feet of office space, 245 luxury apartments in a 16-story tower, and 1,000 parking spaces.

The development’s location is crucial to its success, as CK Privé Group is banking on the traffic (and traffic jams) at the adjacent intersection to drive visitors to the retail component.

“Traffic is bad in all of Miami,” Michael Comras, president and CEO of The Comras Company, the leasing company for the project, told the Miami Herald. “But traffic is also the most important element for the retail component. If you don’t have traffic, you don’t have successful retail. We believe this location is the gateway to Aventura and Sunny Isles. Everyone who drives north into Aventura or east into Sunny Isles goes by there.”

Aerial rendering of Uptown Biscayne. (Courtesy CK Privé Group)

Arquitectonica has gone green for the design, incorporating a 40,000-square-feet vertical green wall across the interconnected exterior façades, as well a wide pedestrian “main street” sidewalk lined with trees and an organic “edible community garden”. The design sensibility is also unmistakably Arquitectonica’s, as all of the façades shown so far prominently feature strong lines, repeating squares, and the usage of strategically placed “gap” windows to break up the repetitive patterns.

Dean’s Gold was a holdout from Miami’s “gritty” days, when Miami Vice and Scarface had cemented the city’s reputation as a drug-running capital. Opened in 1989, the land under the club was purchased for $23.5 million, and Dean’s Gold will shutter now that Uptown Biscayne has been approved. CK Privé Group hopes to break ground on the project sometime later this year.

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