When we heard about the Related Group commissioning Arquitectonica to design a public park adjacent to a new building they're developing in Edgewater, we got excited. This is one of Miami's most interesting neighborhoods, and it desperately needs some green. Plus, a civic minded Related Group, one of Miami's biggest developers, would mean wonders for this city. But alas, utopian dreams have come back down to earth after a tipster dropped off the landscape plans and we realized something shady just might be going on.
The park isn't going next to the building, it's going under it, where a street used to be. Yes, Edgewater is getting a rather nice, albeit small, bayfront park, with amenities like a dog park, sculpture garden, and exercise stations, but only in exchange for the privatization and use of the eastern end of NE 28th Street, which originally extended all the way to the bay. In the drawings, you can see the building's emergency staircase placed in the middle of the park, and thick columns dispersed around it. A dashed line outlines the building's mass above. Arquitectonica has drawn this as discretely as possible. The tower is basically being built over a public street. It will block a public view corridor, and the Related Group is receiving all of those air rights in exchange for installing a few plants, sidewalks, and other features that it can then promote as amenities of its own building. They're getting everything above street level for free, denying the rest of the street a beautiful bay view in the process.
UPDATE - Related has named the project Icon Bay.
· Related's Building A Park, Next To A Tower, In Edgewater [Curbed]
· Landscape plans for the project [Miamidade.gov]
· Icon Bay coverage. [Curbed Miami]