News: The Miami Herald is Now Vacant

Miami Herald newsroom staff got together Thursday evening at One Herald Plaza, to hold a final farewell toast to the building.

The Miami Herald is now vacant.

The printing presses and the staff have finally moved to their new location in Doral, leaving the property barren. In fact this week, the Miami Herald sign which has been up since 1963.

The building is expected to be demolished, flicked off the grid after failing to win landmark preservation status. In 2011, the McClatchy Company, which owns The Herald, sold the building for $236 million to the Genting Group, a Malaysian hotel and casino operator that will begin building a luxury resort and condominiums on the site. Genting’s plans for a giant casino failed to gain traction last year but will most likely resurface in 2014.

Arquitectonica has prepared a revised design that includes condominiums, a 5-star hotel, waterfront restaurants, and related amenities. The mixed-use development will occupy the five acre site currently occupied by the Miami Herald building, inclusive of an 800-foot waterfront promenade along Biscayne Bay.

The updated design for Resorts World Miami will transform the Miami Herald site – long considered one of the City’s most inaccessible and dilapidated stretches of bayfront – into a downtown focal point and pedestrian-friendly gathering place. Plans will include an 800 foot-long, 50 foot-wide waterfront promenade with a 200 feet view corridor, enabling the creation of landscaped green space and the preservation of vistas between the growing Omni district and Biscayne Bay.

“The new design for Resorts World Miami will bring to life one of Miami’s most underutilized pieces of waterfront land after decades of inactivity,” said Bernardo Fort-Brescia, Co-founder and Principal of Miami-based Arquitectonica. “With more and more people traveling to downtown Miami and a growing number of residents calling the area home, we are going to seize the opportunity to convert this prime piece of bayfront land into the centerpiece of a thriving neighborhood.”

“We want to create something that’s cool and going to draw people here,” Bill Thompson, senior vice president of development for Resorts World Miami, told the Herald.

The reworked plans have just been released and what is being shown right now focuses mostly on green space. Any thought to gambling and casinos is not apparent in these plans. They are also bent on preservation with the Art Deco Boulevard Shops being converted to a restaurant or club while maintaining their historic integrity. The Boulevard shops will be restored this summer at the same time that the Herald building will be demolished.

The plan calls for a hotel, three new condo towers on the site where the Herald building currently sits. Genting will create build a 50-foot wide boardwalk promenade linking to the new Museum Park alongside Biscayne Bay and across the Interstate-395 overpass. Parks, a greenway to the Arsht Center and three or four waterfront restaurants are also in the works.

The demolition of the Herald building may not begin for several months. Genting must first remove asbestos from the site.

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