What’s Happening, Downtown Miami?

As 2018 comes to a close, building developments continue to rise in downtown Miami. New structures are breaking ground in 2019, changing the way we live and travel, while linking us to the past.


It’s been less than a year since Brightline launched its passenger train service here in South Florida and big changes are underway. Recently the railway was acquired by London-based travel company Virgin Group, and will now be rebranded as Virgin Trains USA in 2019. Virgin Group will make a marginal investment in Brightline, which will be managed and operated by Brightline’s executive team and affiliates of Fortress Investment Group.

Brightline launched service between Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach this past May. Virgin plans to expand the railway into Orlando and Tampa, and is rumored to be working on building a train station inside Disney World. Virgin has also announced plans to construct a rail system connecting Las Vegas and Southern California.

In addition to running its rail line, Brightline is developing the Miami Central project in the Overtown area of downtown Miami. That area will include 1.6 million square feet of real estate development, with two office towers, two apartment towers, 130,000 square feet of stores and restaurants along with the train station. Financing for this development was two-thirds private equity, one-third private activity bonds.


After the unearthing of the 2,000-year-old Tequesta village in 2013 near the Miami Circle, real-estate developers of Met Square, Miami-based MDM Development Group agreed to preserve and display the archaeological discoveries.

The 43-story tower at 340 SE Third St. is part of a $1 billion project called Metropolitan Miami, developed by MDM. It spans several blocks on SE Third St. between Biscayne Boulevard Way and SE Second Avenue, and will include condos, rental apartments, the Wells Fargo Center, a Whole Foods Market and the JW Marriott hotel.

According to architectural renderings the Miami Circle will remain outdoors, protected with a small glass railing. A second circle is supposed to be preserved at the northeast corner of the building, featuring a gallery open to the public which will be run by HistoryMiami.

-Ursa Gil

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