The next major expansion of Miami International Airport (MIA), a 33-acre hospitality center, business park and convenience center known as "Airport City at MIA," was unveiled today at Miami-Dade County's annual State of the Ports briefing.
"Airport City will put our airport on the global map in ways never before dreamed possible," said José Abreu, director of the county's Aviation Department, which owns and operates MIA. "In my opinion this is truly a transformational moment in the entire history of all U.S. air transportation."
Anchored by a four-star hotel linked to the terminals, up to one million square feet of Class-A office space, and a convenience retail plaza, Airport City will straddle the Central Boulevard entrance to MIA and its parking garages.
The "airport city" concept is not new, and similar projects are planned or operate successfully in Dublin, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Dubai, Singapore, Hong Kong and Incheon. Beyond traditional handling of aircraft, passengers and cargo, the concept integrates non-aeronautical facilities to create a diverse commercial environment serving travelers and local residents alike.
Airport City at Miami was proposed by a team led by Odebrecht USA, an organization known for its broad array of significant public-sector achievements across the South Florida landscape since its founding 23 years ago in Coral Gables. The development will cost $512 million, creating some 5,800 jobs with an economic impact of $827 million. When completed, operations will create some 10,000 permanent (direct and indirect) jobs with an economic impact of $1.63 billion per year, according to a study by the Washington Economics Group.
The project consists of three major components:
- Hospitality Center - +/-425-room, four-star hotel and conference center.
- Business Park - An office space with 150- to 300-room limited-service hotel accommodations, retail and restaurant facilities, and MIA Mover station.
- Convenience Center - to include convenience retail, dry cleaner, gas station, pet hotel/spa and other services.
In its first public presentation, Airport City at MIA was the centerpiece of Abreu's status report and vision statement for the airport. A similar presentation was made for PortMiami, also owned and operated by the county, by its director, Bill Johnson.
"What really drives our passion for this unique project is the opportunity to create a significant impact on our community through thousands of jobs," said Gilberto Neves, President & CEO of Odebrecht USA. "Also, by literally creating new commercial uses on what is today vacant land, and connecting them to the mass-transit lines, we will create a sustainable array of community benefits that will prosper for generations to come."
The development contract with Odebrecht is expected to be presented to the county's Transportation and Aviation Committee in March and shortly thereafter to the Board of County Commissioners for final approval. Odebrecht is responsible for all of the project's financing, construction, and operational expenses, and the county's Aviation Department will share in project revenues.