Miami-Dade is calling on developers to overhaul the county’s Government Center headquarters in what could be one of South Florida’s biggest public-private ventures.
The county is seeking proposals for the 17-acre site, which includes the commissioners’ chambers and county administrative offices at 111 Northwest First Street. The property has 1.1 million square feet of government buildings, public parking and some retail, according to a request for proposals issued Tuesday.
The RFP allows for the construction of between 17 million and 23 million square feet of real estate. That does not include the government buildings, but the solicitation leaves the door open for some of those to be rebuilt.
Miami-Dade has given broad guidelines for its vision for the site, though it has emphasized the need for mixed-income housing by calling for high-rises to include both affordable and workforce housing. The RFP allows for a mix of uses such as hospitality, retail and educational facilities.
The county has set some thresholds for its own facilities, likely in case developers propose replacing the existing government buildings.
It wants to ensure that there will be 36,000 square feet for commissioners’ offices and conference rooms; 7,300 square feet for the chambers; 60,000 square feet of offices for the parks department’s headquarters; a cultural campus where HistoryMiami Museum and the existing downtown library will be included; a day care; 45,000 square feet for recreation and wellness space; and 2,000 county-operated public parking spaces, according to the RFP.
The development site is connected to Government Center station, one of Miami’s main transportation hubs where the Metrorail, Metromover and county buses stop. As such, the RFP calls for an intermodal terminal that connects to the station. The site is also walking distance from Brightline’s MiamiCentral station.
On a preliminary basis, the county is eyeing a 99-year agreement with the developer that submits the winning proposal.
The entire site spans 11 properties, including the Hickman office building at 275 Northwest Second Street; a portion of the Cultural Plaza, which includes HistoryMiami, at 20 Northwest First Avenue; the parking lot at the Children’s Courthouse at 155 Northwest Third Street; and county fleet parking locations at 120 and 150 Northwest Second Avenue.
Government Center, which actually spans 28 acres, includes three properties that were carved out from the RFP. They are the old, historically designated civil courthouse at 73 West Flagler Street; the site where the new courthouse is being developed at 101 West Flagler Street; and the North River Towers at 395 Northwest First Street and 24 Northwest North River Drive, which is subject to a separate county RFP.
The solicitation comes as Miami commissioners plan to issue an RFP for the city’s General Services Administration site at 1970 Northwest 13th Avenue and 1950 Northwest 12th Avenue in Allapattah.
The July decision to issue an RFP for that site came after Miami-based NR Investments made an unsolicited proposal to develop a mixed-use complex there with a hotel, offices, retail and multifamily, with some workforce housing. Upon accepting that plan, commissioners had to allow other developers to submit their own proposals for the site.
In the Arts & Entertainment District, the School Board of Miami-Dade County selected Russell Galbut’s Crescent Heights to purchase and build on a parking lot at 1370 Northeast Second Avenue following an RFP process. As of February, Galbut was expected to close on the site for $20.6 million and complete the assemblage for his planned Casa Forma residential tower, which would include offices and parking for the school board.
Some marquee South Florida infrastructure projects have also been developed as public-private partnerships, including the PortMiami Tunnel.