Miami River District Gets Long-Awaited Transformation with $185M Wharf Redevelopment

Miami River District Gets Long-Awaited Transformation with $185M Wharf Redevelopment

Sep 01, 2022 September 01, 2022

Bringing mega hospitality and entertainment to the Miami River District just west of Downtown, Miami voters approved a 50-year lease extension on The Wharf, and in doing so, have given co-developers MV Real Estate Holdings, Driftwood Capital, and Merrimac Ventures the green light with their plans to create $185 million hospitality and entertainment destination for this industrial area of Miami.

Located at 114 SW North River Drive, the parcel in question is currently home to an outdoor entertainment venue called The Wharf. While the Miami River district is a favorite for dining by boat and yacht at the likes of Kiki on the River and SeaSpice, this new approval by voters means the otherwise industrial marine area can now be redeveloped to include a world-class entertainment complex that would help revitalize the Miami River district – one of the last few undeveloped areas of Downtown that have been waiting to get a facelift.

Get Ready to Welcome Miami’s new Riverside Wharf by 2025

Miami River District Gets Long Awaited Transformation with $185M Wharf Redevelopment

Designed by Jon Cardello of Cube3 architects, the waterfront hospitality project will be known as the Riverside Wharf. Housed in two 10-story buildings, developers aim to build and deliver:

  • A 165-key Dream-branded luxury hotel, also managed by the Dream Hotel Group
  • A 30,000-square-foot nightclub and rooftop day club
  • A 12,000-square-foot event hall
  • 16,000 square feet of signature restaurants
  • A private marina with room to dock megayachts
  • A new seawall and connection to the public riverwalk that links to Brickell and Downtown
  • A revamped and extended version of The Wharf Miami

Expected to break ground by the second quarter of 2023 and be completed by 2025, The Wharf will remain shut during the course of construction.

What does The Wharf’s redevelopment mean for Miami River and its Neighbors?

Miami River District Gets Long Awaited Transformation with $185M Wharf Redevelopment

Developers in Miami have been in overdrive over the past two years, trying to satiate the heightened demand for luxury housing created by businesses and wealthy families relocating from the likes of New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. And while Downtown Miami has already entered its next phase of gentrification with the Flagler Street renovations almost complete and the Bayside Marketplace closing for an upgrade, the Miami River district has been in need of revitalization.

The addition of this brand-new entertainment and hospitality complex will not only help connect the riverfront project to the rest of Downtown but also be a bonus for residents in neighboring condo buildings. Residents of the 32-story Flagler On The River next door and the 18-story Neo Lofts across the river stand to gain the most. Also, those in the newly launched and completed Elser Residences & Hotel, upcoming Aston Martin Residences, plus Waldorf Astoria Hotel & Residences will now be less than 5 minutes from yet another world-class attraction.

Terms of the New Wharf Lease

Miami River District Gets Long Awaited Transformation with $185M Wharf Redevelopment

In return for accepting the new lease and referendum allowing the 58,000-square-foot hospitality facility to be built, the developer trio agreed to a significant hike in rent and private investment.

Miami voters agreed to approve the 50-year lease extension in exchange for a 50% increase in base rent or “fair market rent, if greater.” They also hiked the minimum private investment on the waterfront site from $7 million to $30 million. MV and Driftwood had already been paying more than $200,000 a year in rent to the city since 2016, as part of a 30-year deal.

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