New Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine has cancelled negotiations on a design-build contract for a $1 billion plan to redevelop the Miami Beach Convention Center district. The city had chosen South Beach ACE (which includes the Rem Koolhaas-led architecture firm OMA) after a competition in July, which would have renovated the convention center while also designing and building a new hotel and retail district.
Now Mayor Levine wants to move forward with the convention center renovation separately from the hotel development. Christina Vega reports that a requirement for a voter referendum (with 60 percent voter approval) to lease city property proved the unassailable obstacle for the South Beach ACE proposal. Now the convention center renovation can move forward without the referendum. “For the purposes of getting this project done fast, on time, on budget, it’s unfortunate that we’ll have to make a very tough, challenging decision,” Mayor Levine said. “To some people, it’s a little disheartening. To other people, it’s a very fresh start.”