CLIENT NEWS: 3.4M-square-foot tower could rise at former Miami Arena site

February 3, 2022

The former home of the Miami Arena in downtown Miami could be developed into a 3.38 million-square-foot project with residential, offices and retail uses.

WG 700 North Miami LLC, a partnership between New York-based Witkoff Organization and Chicago-based Monroe Capital, filed a municipal pre-application with Miami-Dade County officials for the 4.7-acre site at 700 N. Miami Ave. The developers are seeking feedback from county officials on several code variances before asking the city for approval.

The project would have three 57-story towers connected by a podium at the base. They would combine for 2,195 residential units, 540,000 square feet of offices, 49,999 square feet of retail and 2,457 parking spaces. There would also be a park along the railroad tracks on the south side of the property.

The site plan shows most of the retail would fit in a 40,000-square-foot box at the center of the property, potentially for a large store. There would be residential units in all three towers and office space in two of the towers.

Miami-based attorney Melissa Tapanes Llahues represents the developer in the application. It was designed by Miami-based Kobi Karp Architecture.

From 1988 until it was demolished in 2008, the Miami Arena hosted teams such as the Miami Heat, the Florida Panthers and University of Miami basketball. The arena was torn down after all three teams built new venues.

The property’s previous owner, MDM Hotel Group, obtained approval to build the Marriott Marquis Miami Worldcenter Hotel & Expo Center, which would have been South Florida’s largest hotel by rooms with a major convention center. It was planned as part of the overall 27-acre Miami Worldcenter district.

However, MDM didn’t start construction on the hotel. Then, the Covid-19 pandemic put a damper on the meetings and convention market starting in March 2020.

In 2021, Witkoff and Monroe Capital paid $94 million for the property. Now, they aim to capitalize on several trends coming to a head in Miami.

The city has drawn many new residents from high-tax states, causing apartment rents to skyrocket and condo sales to increase. Miami has also become a magnet for technology and financial companies, boosting occupancy in the office market. For instance, the new 830 Brickell office under construction further south has strong leasing activity among high-profile companies.

What’s more, the influx of new residents and businesses could raise demand for the project’s retail space.

This site is also close to the Brightline passenger rail station, which connects Miami to Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. More stations are under construction in Aventura, Boca Raton and Orlando.

Published on February 2, 2022 on

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