February 2015

Miami and Fort Lauderdale are on a path toward progress

by Lisa Simundson

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    Biscayne Boulevard, Miami

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    Port Everglades, Fort Lauderdale

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    Great Gravity Clock, Museum of Discovery and Science, Fort Lauderdale

It was a happy new year in Miami and Fort Lauderdale, mostly because the old year was so good. With Fort Lauderdale reporting record hotel occupancy and Miami’s development in overdrive, not to mention transportation options on the move, it looks like a bright 2015 on the southern tip of Florida. Sunglasses recommended.

You know something amazing is coming when a slew of new hotels in 2014 and 2015 aren’t the big news in Greater Miami. And fittingly, it’s all happening downtown, Miami’s original epicenter before South Beach and the suburbs emerged, a place that—two decades ago—closed its doors at 5 o’clock and yielded the night to its glittering neighbor across the bay.

No more. Downtown Miami, including the business district to the south and the art and entertainment center to the north, has resumed its position as the heart of the city, where a new beat has been set by dazzling sports and entertainment palaces, breathtakingly beautiful new museums, soaring hotel towers geared for business and apres-business travelers, and scores of cutting-edge new restaurants.

Several of those elements will combine at the Brickell City Centre complex, which will take over six city blocks of the Brickell financial district just south of the downtown core and fill it with shopping and dining, two mid-rise office towers, two residential towers and the 263-room East Hotel. Already under construction and directly next door to Mary Brickell Village–which until now had been the Brickell area’s newest dining and entertainment center–the project is slated for completion in 2016.

“They’re creating a city within a city,” says Barry Moskowitz, vice president of sales for the Greater Miami CVB. “And the East will be a five-star hotel.”

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