Miami Museum of Science likes Bicentennial site, too
years of searching, board members of the Miami Museum of Science say
they have decided that Bicentennial Park is their preferred place
to build a Science Center of the Americas.
museum's board has been eyeing the waterfront City of Miami-owned
property for some time but made the formal announcement just days
ago, said Russell Etling, president & CEO.
Science Center of the Americas is a proposed 365,000-square-foot $200
million complex that would become the new home of the Miami Museum
Economics Group has just wrapped up a study about the economic worth
of the project to South Florida, he said. The study, among other things,
led board members to conclude that Bicentennial Park is the best site,
have evaluated a number of sites throughout the county and have finally
ranked Bicentennial Park as the preferred site," Mr. Etling said.
"The valuation took into account visibility, access to the tourist
core, resident population, mass transit, synergy with Bayside Marketplace,
the American Airlines Arena and the performing arts project and the
availability for development."
study also showed that the projected cumulative economic impact of
the proposed science center is $1.3 billion during its first 10 years,
Mr. Etling said.
said by the end of the center's 10th year the museum will employ 1,150
two statistics alone show what an extraordinary return on investment
developing this international science center could bring," he
Miami Museum of Science, which became an affiliate of the Smithsonian
Institution last year, is not the only local entity eyeing the park.
Marlins baseball team owner John Henry wants about 15 acres of the
park to build a new stadium. He may have to share it with the 15-year-old
Miami Children's Museum, which wants about an acre to build a new
home. That museum, which was in South Miami and most recently Coral
Gables, is without a site and operates from an office in the Miami
Commissioner Arthur Teele said Bicentennial Park is not just up for
interesting that everybody is announcing where they want to be on
city land instead of conferring with the property owners, which is
still the City of Miami," Mr. Teele said. "As a matter of
policy I am not at all troubled by working with the museums to ensure
they have an adequate area for their facility. I don't object to that
being Bicentennial Park."
said he personally feels the site is appropriate for the Miami Children's
Willy Gort said although the park is at the top of the list for so
many groups, it needs to be developed so that it brings the city lots
may not necessarily include a stadium or a museum but would logically
include some type of retail facility, he said.
brings 13 million visitors and $1.3 million of direct revenue into
the City of Miami," Mr. Gort said. "I would like to see
something similar but with a lot of open area."
opposed to funding a baseball stadium for the Marlins with a new tax
on cruise ship passengers at the Port of Miami, Beacon Council board
members declared their support last week for building the stadium
on Bicentennial Park, said Frank Nero, president & CEO.
said the Miami Children's Museum, even the science museum, could co-exist
with the stadium on park property.
don't think it has to be an either-or situation," Mr. Nero said.
"I think there is a potential that you can accommodate both."
said a Downtown Development Authority analysis found that the museums
could be built on alternate sites in Miami such as Park West and Watson
Island. To be downtown, however, the analysis said the stadium could
only build in one place: Bicentennial Park.
the Beacon Council's announcement, Mr. Etling said the science museum
is standing its ground.
have tried to stay focused on finding the best site for our institution,"
Mr. Etling said. "It's a long process. We are conducting it with
careful planning to make sure that it happens and happens in the best