Miami Worldcenter is set to introduce a multitude of new rental residences, adding thousands of rental units to the urban housing landscape. This surge in high-rise living options within Miami World Center has the potential to alleviate the strain on one of the United States’ most fiercely competitive rental markets. 

Lalezarian Properties, a developer from New York, recently secured approval from Miami’s urban development review board for its three-tower design within the expansive Miami Worldcenter, a significant urban development spanning 27 acres and considered the second-largest in the nation, following New York’s Hudson Yards.

The envisioned high-rises, at 68, 67, and 31 stories tall, are earmarked for the intersection of 20 NE 8th St. and 777 North Miami Ave., conveniently located near the MiamiCentral Brightline Station. This ambitious project is slated to inject 2,040 new rental units into this burgeoning area. While the board greenlit the plan, suggestions for modifications were offered, leading Lalezarian to initiate a feasibility study in response to these recommendations, according to Andrew James, principal at Nichols Architects in Coral Gables.

Miami Worldcenter Associates initiated this massive project in 2016 to transform predominantly vacant surface parking lots across from the Kaseya Center into a vibrant community featuring condominiums, apartment towers, hotels, and a convention center, although the latter was subsequently abandoned. The venture has attracted developers from various corners of the country, anticipating a sustained demographic shift. Ken H. Johnson, a real estate finance professor at Florida Atlantic University, emphasizes the certainty among major developers that this migration trend will persist for years, driven not only by people but also by substantial financial inflows.

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Despite a population dip in South Florida during the pandemic, Florida has still emerged as one of the states with the most rapid growth in the nation. The appeal lies in the state’s warm climate, lenient COVID-19 policies, and absence of state income taxes, enticing remote workers and executives to lay down roots. Capitalizing on this influx, particularly in South Florida, developers are seizing the opportunity to embark on construction projects across the lucrative state. 

Assuming the design for the Miami Worldcenter units remains relatively intact, construction is anticipated to commence in 2024, unfolding in three phases and concluding approximately four years later. Lalezarian’s plans contribute to the Miami Worldcenter community, which already boasts notable lavish expansions with numerous high-rises, hotels, and a remarkable $5 million worth of outdoor artwork. According to Johnson, these developments, including Lalezarian’s project, are seen as essential responses to monumental demand, with the thousands of units seeking to make serious strides in alleviating the real estate crisis. 

This extensive project could occur as early as late 2024, aligning with the broader objectives of the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) for downtown Miami. The DDA aims to transform the area into a spirited live-work-play environment, steering away from the days when streets were deserted post-office hours. A DDA board member, Alicia Cervera Lamadrid, expresses the importance of attracting more employers to diversify the local economy, enhance safety, and foster community growth, ultimately contributing to expanding the tax base.