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U/C: 50 Biscayne


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Related Urbanplanet.org topics: [ South Florida P&C: 50 Biscayne | ]





Columbus Office Tower

Miami, Florida

1,100,000 gsf

Client: Cousins Properties Incorporated

Architect of Record: HKS

Status: Schematic Design

The Columbus Office Tower is sited on the most important corner in the central business district of downtown Miami, Biscayne Boulevard and East Flagler Street. The project represents the first high rise office building in the central business district in over 12 years. The site commands dramatic views over Bayfront Park and Biscayne Bay. The tower rises 40 stories and incorporates office and retail uses as well as structured parking for 1260 cars encompassing over 1,100,000 gsf. The tower has been designed to meet the stringent South Florida building code governing the impact resistance of the curtainwall. The building is sheathed in a glass and precast enclosure that rises from a podium incorporating retail space at ground level on all sides of the building. A light-filled entry lobby dramatically contributes to a vibrant street life. The tower's west facade facing Biscayne Bay gently curves to the top creating an elegant and distinctive profile on the Miami skyline. The tower will be dramatically lit at night accentuating its form and unique place on the Miami skyline.

Now the creators of the $181 million Columbus Center, planned for 50 N Biscayne Blvd., are in talks with a "well-known local developer" to add residences that could raise the structure's height from the 38 stories that are now permitted to 65, said Steve Caster, senior vice president of America's Capital Partners, The company is redeveloping the Columbus Bazaar site - proposed as an office-retail tower - with Cousins Properties.

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Looks like the original plan was scrapped. No renderings, but i'll take a look for some later.



Condo to alter the downtown Miami skyline

Despite worries of oversupply, plans to construct 50 Biscayne, a 54-story condo in the heart of downtown Miami, are going ahead.


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Miami's downtown skyline, framed by the Wachovia Financial Center and the illuminated Bank of America Tower, is set for one of its most significant changes in nearly two decades.

Amid concerns of overbuilding, residential developer Jorge Perez has finalized plans to construct a 54-story condo in the heart of downtown Miami. Several new condo towers are planned or are being built in Miami's central business district, but Perez's new structure will be among the biggest newly constructed buildings in the rapidly changing downtown area.

The condo, 50 Biscayne, comes during Miami's unprecedented condo boom, which has prompted some to worry of oversupply.

The condo will be located on the full-block along Biscayne Boulevard between Flagler and First Street. Set across from 32-acre Bayfront Park, it will look out over Biscayne Bay. Currently, a one-story food court and mall, Columbus Bazaar, sits on the site.

Once completed, it will be the among the tallest buildings in Miami's central business district, which includes the marquee towers, the 55-floor Wachovia Center and the 47-story Bank of America Tower. Overall, the 64-story Four Seasons Hotel & Tower, located in the Brickell area, is Miami's tallest building.

Despite concerns of a market glut, the move to build the high-rise condo is one more indication that developers remain enthusiastically bullish on Miami's red-hot condo market. Last year, the Atlanta-based Cousins Properties acquired the rights to the Columbus Bazaar property and planned to build an office tower on the site. Instead, it scrapped its plans and decided to do a joint venture with Perez's Related Group of Florida and build a condo. The move marks Cousins' first foray into condo development.

Cousins previously focused on office, retail, industrial and residential community development, said its spokesperson Matt Gove. Related Group of Florida, the largest condo developer in the Southeast, has been at the forefront of Miami's unprecedented condo boom. It has 29 condo projects underway in South Florida, including three other projects in downtown Miami.

Some observers, however, worry that the push to build residential condos downtown in an effort to create an urban environment where people live, work and play has gone too far.

For instance, every new development on Biscayne Boulevard from the Miami River to I-395, which occupies virtually every available parcel of land, is set to be a condo tower.

Michael Cannon, managing director of Integra Realty, said that overall urban planning is needed to ensure an even balance of office and retail development in downtown Miami.

Currently, market conditions overwhelmingly favor condo rather than office development.

''It appears to me we are doing property specific development, and the only developers in the game are residential developers,'' Cannon said.

``With too much residential, you lose the business-urban environment of a downtown.''

Neisen Kasdin, chair of the South Florida and Caribbean chapter of the Urban Land Institute, said it is not uncommon to see a city's downtown core evolve into a place where people live rather work.

He said downtown residential development is even necessary to save downtown centers.

''I believe that in the long run it will be a salvation,'' said Kasdin, who is a partner at the law firm Gunster Yoakley in Miami.

``Because in a number of downtowns around the country, to a large extent, the old central business districts have outlived there usefulness as office centers.''

Miami is in the midst of an unprecedented condo boom, with more than 16,000 units being planned or being built from the Brickell area to the performing arts district, according to the Downtown Development Authority.

Perez said international buyers' thirst for Miami condo units is fueling the current frenzy.

''The normal analysis goes out the window,'' said Perez.

Fifty Biscayne is planned to have 523 units, with prices ranging from $200,000 to $800,000. Penthouse condos will run upwards of $1 million. Tom Daly, a partner with Related Group, said they are considering including a 78-room boutique hotel.

The development will include a fitness center and have 15,000 feet of ground retail space.

Daly said they are currently in discussion with the upscale New York-based grocer Dean & DeLuca.

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There is a pic in the Herald. It looks okay, just okay.

There is a tinge of sadness when I think that this could have been a new tallest. But it will bring an iconic structure to an empty spot in the middle of the CBD, along with a bit of synergy.

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I'm not really fond of this design for this particular site considering it is surrounded by office towers. This would have worked better in the Brickell area or the beach.

Something along the lines of the Four Seasons tower would have been more appropiate here (e.g. glass facade, recessed balconies, etc.)...and yes I would have preffered an office tower at this site instead.

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it does appear that way...they already have a sales office with models...oh and I just noticed that the graph on the previous page tries to depict this tower as becoming the city's fourth tallest yet there are another 7 buildings already approved & proposed that will be higher than this...got to love marketing!

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