Newly-elected Mayor Philip Levine wants to scrap plans for the Miami Beach Convention Center redevelopment and start over from scratch, much to the chagrin of South Beach ACE, led by Rem Koolhaas' Office for Metropolitan Architecture, Miami Beach developer Robert Wennett, and New York City developer Dan Tishman, the team who won the hotly-contested bid back in July. The City of Miami Beach's plan involved leasing out public land to a private developer as a way to help pay for its share of the $1 billion project. The developer would build a hotel, retail and restaurants and the city would pay for the spiffy new convention center with a bond issue.
Now Levine wants to nix the hotel and any other commercial element, and only pay what the city has in its coffers now to build a new convention center. ACE, meanwhile, says it spent "tens of millions of dollars" to win the competition fair and square with a design by one of the reigning gods of architecture, and is questioning "what reputable national development company would respond" to another city bid. How ironic for Mayor Levine, who on most other issues has been so pro-development and pro-growth? If you build it, they will come, Mr. Mayor. City commissioners will take up Levine's proposal on Wednesday.
UPDATE: The commission has voted to end the project and start over.
· Miami Beach Mayor: City Should Start Over on Convention Center Bid [Miami Herald]
· Breaking: Rem Koolhaas/South Beach ACE Win Convention Center Bid [Curbed Miami]
· Previous Miami Beach Convention Center Coverage [Curbed Miami]