Road north of Miami River loses battle for Brickell name, but gains new designation: Avenue of the Americas
By Jacquelyn Weiner
The area north of the Miami River will receive a consolation prize after losing a two-year battle to get the Brickell Avenue name extended across the Brickell Bridge.
MDM Development's under-construction Metropolitan Miami high-rise development will soon get the kind of prestigious address it had sought in seeking extension of the Brickell name. The new address will be 333 Avenue of the Americas, modeled after New York City's famed street of the same name.
"We thought it was very worthwhile and a nice signature thing," said Jack Lowell, managing director of Flagler Real Estate Services, which handles commercial leasing for the development. "It's an indication of the new downtown Miami."
The name change, which was proposed by Mayor Manny Diaz, will make the section of Southeast Second Avenue from the Miami River north to Southeast Second Street into Miami's own Avenue of the Americas. City commissioners passed a renaming resolution in late June after state approval.
Developers with projects on the northern portion of Southeast Second Avenue had been trying to extend the coveted Brickell Avenue name across the river to that section of the street since 2006 to up their properties' prestige.
"That's a really significant name," said Sim Wilson, first vice president of the brokerage services division of CB Richard Ellis, about Brickell. "It just means success."
However, the Brickell Area Association got wind of plans to extend Brickell Avenue north and made it a priority to block them, said former president Hal Martell.
"The community has been working diligently for a long time to develop that brand," Mr. Martell said.
There is also a lot of history behind Brickell's location, he said.
"Brickell has always been everything south of the river," Mr. Martell said.
However, there's still one thing that's raising eyebrows: Miami-Dade already has an Avenue of the Americas.
The small stretch, also known as SW 107th Avenue or State Road 985 North, runs near Florida International University's main campus.
"We were aware of that," Mr. Lowell said. "It's far enough away and a short enough stretch that we thought it would not be confusing to the general public."
In addition to the fancy new street name, the Metropolitan Miami celebrated another achievement this week with Tuesday's signing of the law firm of Greenberg Traurig to a 15-year lease for 150,000 square feet of office space in the development's Met 2 building. The firm is expected to move its Miami headquarters to Met 2 in fall 2010.