- Clark Construction is aiming to overcome delays on the $600 million overhaul of the Miami Beach Convention Center by speeding up work during the next few months, according to the Miami Herald.
- The permitting and planning processes have held up progress at the venue, as have design modifications. Clark is scheduled to present its strategy to make up lost time in the next few weeks.
- Clark is expected to achieve substantial completion on the project in time for the Art Basel event in December. The annual event typically draws approximately 75,000 people.
City officials pushed for the renovation, which began about a year ago, as a way to draw in more convention business to Miami. As part of the deal, the city will build a six-acre park across the street on the site of a former parking lot and will make infrastructure improvements to handle neighborhood storm water. In an aggressive money-saving plan, the city said it would also buy all materials itself in order to avoid paying sales tax. The entire project is funded by an increase in the city hotel tax approved in 2012.
Despite that public support for convention center funding, however, Miami Beach officials were dealt a blow to their vision for the revamped center when voters rejected plans for a proposed 30-story hotel next door in March 2015.
Nevertheless, Miami Beach officials are betting big that the convention center will draw huge crowds and have entered into a development deal with French company Alstom for a $380 million light rail streetcar system. Miami Beach disregarded the standard bid process and chose Alstom based on its promises of a design that would incorporate the latest technology. Officials said they would negotiate the final price with Alstom. In addition, the project will not seek federal funding because officials said the required studies and reviews would take too long.