Catching up with the drama at the Miami Beach Convention Center, which badly needs replaced, things don't look good. Charges of corruption, some lifted, continue to pester the project, and according to some well-known (but conspicuously unnamed) Miami developers, there's so much bad blood circling the whole situation that the convention center project is bound to be thrown out altogether. That's even despite Miami Beach voters recently approving a tourist tax increase to pay for the work of the convention center's expansion.
Meanwhile, a lawsuit being waged by the last placed team in the Lincoln Lane North Project (Lincoln Road Development LLC), a mixed-use urban infill project on two city-owned parking lots just off Lincoln Road, threatens to derail that too. This puts the winning scheme by architects Snøhetta and developer Robert Wennett, and maybe perhaps even the entire project, in jeopardy of never being realized as well.
Perhaps the real victim of all this drama is some really fabulous architecture by some really interesting architects. Miami Beach will lose the much-lauded the Snøhetta design, and whatever massive architectural extravaganza that would ultimately have landed on the convention center site, which was turning into a veritable competition between Pritzker Prize winning architects (the Oscars of the architectural world). Rem Koolhaas vying against Zaha Hadid for a billion dollar convention center project was an incredible proposition, and something Miami Beach may very well lose.
· Corruption Inquiries Curb Miami Projects [Architectural Record]
· Miami Beach Voters approve convention center, tourist tax increase [Miami Herald]
· Miami Beach Convention Center coverage [Curbed Miami]
· Lincoln Lane North coverage [Curbed Miami]