Doral has been many things in its short life. First, the Everglades. Then the portmanteau of Doris and Alfred Kaskel's first names, who dredged the swamp to build, in 1962, the Doral Hotel and Country Club, (now Donald Trump's Trump National Doral) a wildly popular wealthy golfer retreat and sibling hotel to the Doral Beach Resort in Miami Beach. A part of unincorporated Dade, population and commercial density surged on all sides of the resort due to its suburban location west of Miami International Airport, and a direct highway link—the Dolphin Expressway—to Downtown Miami. The area's growth led to the establishment of the City of Doral in 2003, one of Miami-Dade's 34 municipalities, thank-you-very-much.
However, its planning and zoning up until that time were rather, shall we say, haphazard. So Doral developers Codina Partners brought in the godmother of New Urbanism Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk to fix up the mess by creating a master-planned urban core. Now South Florida's godfathers of real estate development are getting to work, aspiring to build a city of office towers, condos, townhouses, McMansions and government buildings, parks, hotels and stores for a population expected to double in 2 short years.
Codina Partners, which already built Doral a classical city hall for $20 million, is planning a bonafide city center with more than 3,000 residential units over eight or nine condo towers, each up to 20 stories high, that, according to renderings, frame a big village green. They're also building a regular High Street, with at least 70 retail stores and restaurants, and more than a million square feet of office space in four glassy towers, one of which, One Park Square, was built in 2010, before the real estate market crashed. From the dome and columns of City Hall, wide pink sidewalks face a park where a massive, $1 million public art sculpture designed by Miami artist Michele Oka Doner has just been installed in the village green.
Among a handful of other ambitious projects near Downtown Doral is Related's CityPlace Doral, "a city within a city," to include hundreds of apartments over a T-shaped block of more than 330,000 square feet of retail. The last piece of the puzzle for a full picture of an urban center in suburban/industrial Doral is coming into play as Codina and America's biggest homebuilder Lennar Corp. team up to bid on an over 100 acre golf course strategically placed between the Codina and Related projects that is expected to go to market as soon as this week when the owners, a fund tied to the government of Singapore, are in town. Known as the Great White Course, it was formerly part of the Doral Hotel and Country Club. (and is now rented by Trump for the resort) The property is, however zoned for development similar to the urban density being built around it. Downtown Doral, along with the neighboring CityPlace was very much an afterthought for a place that looks and feels incredibly suburban, and yet might be one of South Florida's greatest urban experiments.
· Codina, Developer of Downtown Doral, Brings City Flair to The Suburbs [Miami Herald]
· Codina Teams With Lennar For Major Doral Bid [South Florida Business Journal]
· Previous Downtown Doral coverage [Curbed Miami]