The Three Sites At The Heart Of South Florida’s Bid For Amazon HQ2

South Florida’s real estate world is abuzz as people speculate where e-commerce giant Amazon might land if it selects the region’s bid for its second headquarters.

The economic development agencies in the tri-county area submitted eight sites in their combined bid, which made ‘Amazon’s List of Top 20 Finalists’. At least one of the locations included in the private bid has taken shape.

Miami Beach developer Michael Simkins confirmed that the Miami-Dade Beacon Council asked him to submit information on his Miami Innovation District property in Overtown. The Beacon Council led the region’s effort to submit a joint bid. Other sources with knowledge of the situation said the Miami Innovation District could be combined with nearby properties, mostly the uncommitted parts of Miami Worldcenter and companies controlled by Mitchell Newman, of Dix Hills, New York.

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez said Miami has three units of land ownership in the bid, all within walking distance of the Brightline passenger rail station in Overtown. He believes this area, when compared to the other options in Miami-Dade, would best meet Amazon’s needs for an urban site near public transportation and culture.

Various LLCs owned by Simkins own about 10.4 acres between Northeast 1st Avenue and Northwest 1st Avenue, from Northwest 10th Street to Northwest 12th Street. However, this land is not contiguous. The largest single lot is four acres at 1151 N.W. 1st Ave.

Miami Innovation District

In 2015, Simkins sought to build a 633-foot tower wrapped with electronic billboards on the property, but city officials didn’t let that move forward. He has branded the area the Miami Innovation District because he wants to attract technology companies and homes for their workers.

Simkins told the Business Journal in 2015 that he wanted to build 7.4 million square feet there, including 4 million square feet of office space. No such application has been heard by the city, but the potential is still there, and Amazon could be the catalyst.

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