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Aessotariq

Photo Tour: Kendall - Miami's newest downtown

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I took a recent trip to Kendall to check up on the area's progress. Kendall is an unincorporated suburb of Miami. Kendall's most famous landmark is the world-famous Dadeland Mall. Dadeland is the most profitable mall in the United States in terms of sales per square foot. In the past few years, the Dadeland area has been seeing the rise of a new downtown in what was once the epitome of suburbia.

Downtown Kendall is at the crossroads of three major highways, US 1, SW 88th Street (also known as Kendall Drive), the Palmetto Expressway (State Road 826), as well as two major Metrorail stations. This is an ideal location for high-density, transit-oriented development, and the Board of County Commissioners wisely and unanimously passed an ordinance creating a special zoning overlay called the Downtown Kendall Urban Center District.

Downtown Kendall is currently divided into two sections, Dadeland North and Dadeland South. Part I of this tour will showcase Dadeland South, the larger of the two sections.

(1) This is downtown Kendall from the southbound Palmetto Expressway. Metropolis Towers, Metropolis 1 is topped off (left), Metropolis 2 still has a bit to go, and Two Datran Center on the right:

kendall042005012kw.jpg

(2) Former strip malls and parking lots are being razed in favor of high-density, mixed-used buildings. Metropolis towers in center, and Fairfield Dadeland complex on left (soon to be retail, hotel, and other uses)

kendall042005035nf.jpg

(3) This is the Dadeland Medical Building, arguably the most hideous building in the area. It's slated to be torn down soon. The parcel that it is built on is 2/3 parking lot, slated to be filled with denser development.

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(4) Fairfield Dadeland 1. Rooms-To-Go plans to lease the ground floor of this building and apartments to occupy upper floors:

kendall042005040fd.jpg

(5) A wider angle, looking southwest (Dadeland Mall parking lot in foreground):

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(6) Fairfield Dadeland 2. A Fairfield Marriott is to occupy one of these two buildings, likely this one since it is closest to the two other Marriott properties (Courtyard and Marriott) in downtown Kendall.

kendall042005054xz.jpg

(7) The twin Metropolis towers (renderings) are the tallest buildings in Kendall (25 stories), Metropolis 2 (west tower), with Metropolis 1 in background (left):

kendall042005067qv.jpg

(8) Dadeland Blvd looking east, with Metropolis towers on left, Courtyard Marriott center, and Marriott on right:

kendall042005094rk.jpg

(9) This is Datran Center. It was the first high-rise complex to be built in downtown Kendall. It consists of three towers, from left to right, a Marriott hotel , One Datran Center (office), and Two Datran Center (office). All three buildings are joined and share a common lobby. Miami-Dade County owns the land and leases it to the owner of the complex, generating revenue for county's transit department.

kendall042005082tm.jpg

(10) Datran Center is integrated with the Dadeland South Metrorail station. The complex includes a parking garage for Metrorail park-and-riders. Dadeland South is end of the current Metrorail line, and it is here that riders can transfer and continue south via the South Dade Busway, a bus rapid transit route with a dedicated right-of-way.

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(11) Here's the entrance to the Datran parking garage. the Metrorail line is in the background, and Busway continues below it at grade.

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(12) Metrorail terminus, South Dade Busway (ground level), and the beginning of the Palmetto Expressway (State Road 826) northbound.

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(13) Datran Center from opposite site (facing north), Metrorail in foreground:

kendall042005560rk.jpg

(14)

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(15) "Downtown Dadeland" (renderings), a mixed-use complex consisting of seven buildings consisting of retail, entertainment, and condos. This building features something unusual for South Florida -- two levels of underground parking. It took many months to excavate, remove the water, and lay foundation for the garage. Only recently has it begun to rise above ground. Dadeland Mall is in the background, to the left.

kendall042005152tj.jpg

(16) Downtown Dadeland is being built on the site of a former car dealership (interestingly enough, the dealership relocated a few blocks south, into another high-density tract). This is the first part to rise above ground level, facing Kendall Drive:

kendall042005707fk.jpg

(17) A new street corner being formed: the corner of Kendall Drive and Dadeland Blvd.

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(18) Kendall's growing skyline, Downtown Dadeland rising in foreground:

kendall042005691re.jpg

That's all of Dadeland South for now. Stay tuned for Dadeland North, coming soon. For more Kendall pictures, please see the thread in the Miami/South Florida forum.

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Awesome photo thread! I can't wait to see that hideous medical building go! I'm also really excited about Downtown Dadeland; it reminds me of Cityplace.

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Wow!! I was in Miami a year ago on my way to the keys and had no idea that Kendall was so up-and-comming. Great job Kendall :thumbsup:

Miami should incorporate the suburb unless they want even more neighboring competition for the greatest south Florida skyline! ;)

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The Medical Building is ugly, but I do love its cheesy nighttime lighting around the top floor (can't remember the color scheme, but its quite colorful). I'm very excited for this project to be completed, and I really hope it leads to some better urbanization on the Dadeland Mall property, such as storefronts/residences on Kendall Dr. and elimination of surface parking.

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Wow!!  I was in Miami a year ago on my way to the keys and had no idea that Kendall was so up-and-comming.  Great job Kendall  :thumbsup:

Miami should incorporate the suburb unless they want even more neighboring competition for the greatest south Florida skyline!  ;)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

hehe... glad you like... Kendall's another notch is the whole South Florida skyline! Miami (Downtown, Brickell, Omni, Coconut Grove), Miami Beach Coral Gables, Aventura and Sunny Isles, and now Kendall (and that's not even including Broward and Palm Beach). :) Kendall's too far from Miami for it to be annexed. Plus annexation rules are very different in Miami-Dade County.

Miami-Dade and its cities exist under a joint federation called a "two-tier metropolitan government". The county government is very strong and has responsibilities over both cities and unincorporated areas. The city and county aren't competing with each other and they actually work together very closely. We had a very interesting discussion on this a while back on and on Miami-Dade's special home rule powers, and you can find it here.

The South Florida skyline stretches from the northern extreme of Palm Beach County all the way to Kendall in southwest Dade. If you ever decide to pay us a visit and have some time to drive around, take US 1 or A1A from West Palm Beach all the way to Miami.

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The Medical Building is ugly, but I do love its cheesy nighttime lighting around the top floor (can't remember the color scheme, but its quite colorful).  I'm very excited for this project to be completed, and I really hope it leads to some better urbanization on the Dadeland Mall property, such as storefronts/residences on Kendall Dr. and elimination of surface parking.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I agree. I know that lighting scheme you're referring to.. I have a picture somewhere; I'll see if I can find it. My "grand vision" for the area is in the Kendall/Dadeland update thread, if interested.

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nice work Aesso.

Dadeland is an intersting study. Suburban to the core, it has a lot to overcome. I'm not crazy about the metropolis towers, but it's hard to argue against them. Even as the area is densifying it's not really urbanizing. Hopefully has Downtown Dadeland and some of the other projects finish things will start to change.

None of this would be possible without the two metrorail stations though. never underestimate the power of transit. It only took 15 years, but it's finally starting to pay off.

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The South Florida skyline stretches from the northern extreme of Palm Beach County all the way to Kendall in southwest Dade. If you ever decide to pay us a visit and have some time to drive around, take US 1 or A1A from West Palm Beach all the way to Miami.

That is the route I took a year ago, only from Ft. Lauderdale down A1A and them over to US-1 to the keys. I was VERY impressed with the condominiums going up at the beach and almost wrecked a couple times because my eyes were glued to them. That was my first trip south of Stuart. I definitely plan to return this summer and spend a few days down there!!

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nice work Aesso.

Dadeland is an intersting study.  Suburban to the core, it has a lot to overcome.  I'm not crazy about the metropolis towers, but it's hard to argue against them. 

Even as the area is densifying it's not really urbanizing.  Hopefully has Downtown Dadeland and some of the other projects finish things will start to change. 

Thanks...

We definitely should wait until people start moving in and the shops start opening to see if this is going to work. There's not enough there yet. What would be the icing on the cake is the use of the Metrorail, if Metropolis residents use it to get to work in downtown Miami.

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Additional South Florida photos threads can be found in the .

We continue our tour just a few blocks north, in Dadeland North, part of the new downtown Kendall. This area has less highrises than Dadeland South, but more are on the way. The Dadeland Mall creates a huge gap between the two areas that hopefully will close within the next few years. The two areas are connected by the Dadeland North and Dadeland South Metrorail stations.

(19) This is Dadeland North as seen from Dadeland South. On the left is the Towers of Dadeland, and the Dadeland North Metrorail parking garage.

kendall042005162ns.jpg

(20) A wider angle, with the Snapper Creek Canal in foreground, Dadeland Station retail center (center, white), Towers of Dadeland, and Metrorail garage

kendall042005341yg.jpg

(21)

kendall042005303dq.jpg

(22) The future site of Colonnade, a condominium complex (Renderings)

kendall042005325km.jpg

(23) Metrorail parking garage, 12 stories high, with Metrorail platform on left:

kendall042005509hu.jpg

(24) Looking west, along the Snapper Creek Canal. The road on the left is Dadeland Mall Circle. It is envisioned that this canal will become a public "riverwalk", with apartments and shops along its banks.

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(25) Towers of Dadeland and Dadeland Station (left, background)

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(26) Dadeland Station is a vertical shopping center, "big box" stacked high, with three levels of retail (Level 1: Best Buy, Michael's; 2: Target, Thomasville Furniture; 3: Bed Bad n' Beyond, Sports Authority)

kendall042005381hq.jpg

(27) Dadeland Station (from a previous photo set):

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(28) Inside Dadeland Station (from a previous photo set) p10102122in.jpg

(29) This is SW 70th Avenue, whose right-of-way travels beneath Dadeland Station, creating a tunnel effect (northbound):

kendall042005404or.jpg

(30) SW 70th Avenue southbound under Dadeland Station

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(31) Towers of Dadeland at street level, still being painted. There will be street retail and apartments above:

kendall042005458jh.jpg

(32) Small retail stores across from Towers of Dadeland, in Dadeland Station:

kendall042005599hb.jpg

(33) Wider angle:

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(34) A plaza being formed

kendall042005480zb.jpg

(35)

kendall042005493ns.jpg

(36) And finally, the Downtown Miami skyline, as seen from about 8 miles away.

kendall042005519af.jpg

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I would love to see a public riverwalk alongside that awesome canal! It needs new bridge crossings and more development nearby, but it could be come a great space for retail/residential!

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I would love to see a public riverwalk alongside that awesome canal!  It needs new bridge crossings and more development nearby, but it could be come a great space for retail/residential!

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I agree, that would be great. There's a ginormous parking garage hugging that road shown in the photo, and if it could be spruced up with some ground-floor activity, as well as at least 1 new bridge crossing (perhaps pedestrian only), that would help tremendously.

The only thing about Snapper Creek (and that picture is surprisingly clean), is that every time I've been by there (I haven't been to the mall in 2 years), the creek is just grotesque; with the algae and litter and runoff, as well as some foul odors. They will definately need to focus on keeping that creek clean as denser development encroaches.

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For the visual folks among us (present company included).

This is the Dadeland area of Kendall, where the new downtown is being built. The downtown site is about one-half square mile in area and can be divided into three sections (by me, for easy reference): Dadeland South, Dadeland Mall, and Dadeland North.

kendallmap15if.jpg

A close-up of Dadeland Mall and Dadeland South. Currently the South site (the triangular area) is where most of the downtown construction activity is occuring. Dadeland Mall is the massive parcel in the center of the picture. The main drag through Kendall is Kendall Drive, also known as Southwest 88th Street.

kendallmap23bz.jpg

Dadeland South. The reason I give it its name is because of its proximity to the Dadeland South Metrorail station, located at Datran Center. At present, the sites in green are new projects built under the new zoning code. The Downtown Dadeland, Fairfield, and Metropolis projects are under construction. The Courtyard Marriott is complete.

kendallmapsouth5ge.jpg

A close-up of Dadeland Mall and Dadeland North. Dadeland Mall currently divides the north from the south site. The north site is less developed (in the urban style) than the south, however, the north does have an established retail facility, Dadeland Station (far right). As more high-density redevelopment occurs along US 1, the two sections will be much better connected.

kendallmapnorth5rk.jpg

Dadeland North, again so called because of its proximity to the Metrorail station of same name. At present, Dadeland Station is the attraction, a three-level vertical retail center. Due south, the Towers of Dadeland are being built, and due west is the Colonnade condominium site, north of the mall along the banks of the Snapper Creek Canal.

kendallmap32oy.jpg

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I'd love to see the surface parking adjacent to the mall converted into urban development. That would be so cool; a suburban-type mall in the middle of a downtown, with parking garages and pedestrian access with good street interaction. Awesome!

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Awesome pictures! Even though I drive by there about once per week (including last night), I love seeing the Dadeland area on this board. I hope you're able to keep posting updates. Thanks!

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great pics....DT Kendall is currently undergoing the most dramatic changes of all the South Florida metros....when I went down to Miami last week for a few days (after a 6 month hiatus) I was astounded at the growth....and not only the growth, but the whole urban format of the area is drastically changed....it was like going to a whole new place!

thanks Aesso

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Excellent news. I had been wondering why the site had been vacant for so long.

I managed to fill in a lot of missing information from what was on the website, although I'm still missing some on this project (see P&C below). Since you have a contact with the developer, do you think would you be able to help me fill in these specs: the architect of record, the number of residential units, square footage of retail space, and heights, if any. This would be greatly appreciated.

Related Urbanplanet.org topics: [ South Florida P&C: Colonnade | ]

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The Colonnade

Location: kendall, FL

Address: SW 72nd Ave and SW 82nd St.

Floors: 10

Year (start): Ground breaking;

Year (end): Delivery late 2006

Job Status: Construction

News Link: http://www.colonnadecondos.com/

Emporis Link: http://www.emporis.com/en/wm/cx/?id=105938

Developer: Lennar

Architect: Bermello, Ajamil & Partners, Inc.

General Contractor: Moss & Associates

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