City to consider plan to replace Columbus Bazaar with office tower
By Susan Stabley
The Miami City Commission today will consider approval for a 38-story office tower to replace Columbus Bazaar at 50 N. Biscayne Blvd., a proposal that now calls for a new Metromover stop.
The proposal for a major use special permit includes more than 660,000 square feet of office space, 29,500 square feet of retail and a 1,260-space parking garage, according to city documents. The city's planning advisory board approved the project 8-0.
Cousins Properties Inc. is the contract purchaser of the lot owned by Miami Columbus Inc. of Reno, NV.
The project would be the first foray into South Florida by Cousins, said spokesman Matt Rove. The Atlanta developer of office, retail and residential properties also has operations in Charlotte, NC; Washington, DC; Dallas; Austin, TX; Los Angeles; San Francisco; and Birmingham, AL.
The developers will ask the city for a new northbound left-turn lane on Northeast Third Avenue at First Street, according to city documents. As a condition, the city has asked for a Metromover stop, which is included in the tower's plans.
The building would rise at the entrance of Flagler Street, which the Downtown Development Authority has eyed for revitalization. The 1.3-acre property lies across from Bayfront Park. A Metromover line loops around the location.
Incorporating stops into new projects is encouraged, said Michael DeCossio of Miami-Dade Transit.
"These are ridership generators," he said.
The project also would be a job generator. According to city documents, the project would employ 535 workers during construction and create 2,434 permanent jobs. Expected to cost about $181.4 million, the tower would produce about $4.36 million a year in tax revenue, city documents say.