First 'Pandemic-Ready' FL Skyscraper Announced
Miami-based developer Royal Palm Companies has recently announced what it’s calling the world’s first “COVID-19-conscious” residential, hotel and medical center skyscraper.
According to reports, the project was originally designed with medical tourists in mind. However, after the outbreak of COVID-19, Royal Palms CEO Daniel Kodsi made the decision to adjust the project's design and add technologies to combat the spread of germs.
About the Project
The $500 million Legacy Hotels & Residences project first broke ground in August 2021 at the $4 billion, 27-acre Miami Worldcenter project in downtown Miami. According to reports, the Miami Worldcenter is currently America's largest urban core construction project and the nation's second-largest mixed-use real estate development.
At the time of the Legacy groundbreaking, site work and excavation efforts were being completed. In October, the project received additional permits for foundation construction. Although Legacy reports that the project is still awaiting permits for vertical construction, crews estimate that this portion of the project will be completed sometime in 2022. The vertical construction permits are currently being reviewed by Pacifica Engineering.
Inside, the 51-story mixed-used skyscraper intends to house 310 residences and 219 hotel rooms. In addition, the structure will also include 37,227 square feet of commercial and retail space, 55,088 square feet of office space, 482 parking spaces and 30 bicycle spaces.
Legacy reports that the 45th floor will be home to a 6,118-square-foot Sky Lounge and, outside, a cantilevered 4,758-square-foot pool deck with a bar.
The $100 million Blue Zones Medical and Well-being Center, located within the first 10 floors of the structure, will encompass 120,000 square feet. Of this, 16,828 square feet will make up the center’s spa and 7,518 square feet will make up its shul.
To combat the spread of COVID-19 and other viruses, Legacy Hotels & Residences will be incorporating hospital-grade and ultraviolet disinfecting ventilation systems, water purification systems and UV-ray disinfection robots throughout the entire structure.
In total, the skyscraper is calculated to yield nearly one million square feet.
Last month, the project reportedly received a $340 million construction loan from New York City-based Silverstein Capital Partners. The loan marks the third largest financing package executed in the state of Florida and will allow for the vertical construction of the 690-foot-tall structure.
The project is slated to reach competition by late 2024 or early 2025. Hospitality group Accor will manage and operate the building.
Other Miami High-Rises, Projects
In March 2021, famed architect Carlos Ott, with the help of Sieger Suarez, announced design plans for what officials are saying is to become the tallest tower south of Manhattan.
Rising 1,049 feet into Miami's south Florida sky, the Waldorf Astoria Miami is slated to become the city’s first supertall tower, offering 100 floors of residences. The project is being developed by New York- and Miami-based Property Markets Group and Toronto-based private equity firm Greybook Realty Partners.
The exterior architecture of the building plans to resemble a pile of nine unevenly stacked glass cubes. From inside, either within the hotel or open-concept residences, guests and residents will have views of Biscayne Bay, the Port of Miami, Brickell Avenue, Downtown Miami, Key Biscayne and South Beach.
According to reports, units within the Waldorf Astoria Miami will range between 873-3,256 square feet in size, and will be offered in studio, one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom options. PMG and Waldorf Astoria have partnered with California-based interior design firm BAMO to complete the interior environments, which are slated to be full of light and functionality.
The studios are to be located in cube four above level 40, while one-, two- and three-bedroom units will be constructed in cube five above level 50, and four-bedroom units will be in cube six above level 60. Residences start at $1 million, with sales and marketing being led in-house by PMG Residential, in collaboration with Fredrik Eklund, Julia Spillman and John Gomes of Douglas Elliman’s Eklund | Gomes Team.
The three cubes remaining at the bottom will be occupied by a five-star Hilton-operated hotel, comprised of 205 guestrooms and suites.
Other planned amenities in the building include a pool, spa, gym, recreational areas, multiple dining options, valet parking and a parcel for receiving and delivering to residences.
Nearly a year prior, when COVID-19 was first surging, a temporary hospital built inside the Miami Beach Convention Center reportedly reached completion early—commencing work on April 20, 2020—just days before its target opening.
The 450-bed hospital was constructed as part of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers efforts to alleviate pressure on local hospitals.
In a press conference on April 8, the Corps, joined by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and other state and local officials, announced that construction firm Robins & Morton (Birmingham, Alabama) had been selected to convert 250,000 square feet of the Miami Beach Convention Center into a field hospital, complete with isolation rooms.
The awarded contract was reported to be worth $22.5 million and was slated to open by the of the month, giving the company only two weeks to complete the project.
During construction efforts, Robins & Morton was reported to have up to 250 people—made up of craftworkers, over 20 contractors from the South Florida area and more than 40 of its own employees—onsite, working around the clock to reach the project’s deadline.
Over the course of the project, workers followed COVID-19 health and safety protocols, in addition to CDC guidelines in order to help protect everyone on the job.