Downtown Miami Courthouse To Be Auctioned, Bids Start At $52.3M

Downtown Miami’s Dade County Courthouse is planned to be auctioned off.

Courthouse operations have been active in the building for nearly 100 years, but will soon move to a new building under construction across the street.

Miami-Dade will be accepting bids for the original courthouse building, which are due September 4.

The minimum bid is listed at $52.3m.

Buyers will need to comply with certain rules for the historically designated property. It is also being sold “as-is.”

A pre-bid conference is scheduled for July 15.

To see the full Invitation to Bid package, click here (pdf).

 

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Anon
10 days ago

It’s really disgraceful the city can’t hold on to any of its historic assets and transform them into something for the public as is done in other great cities. Instead they are pawned off to the highest bidder (usually a community college)

All about the Benjamins
10 days ago

If they did that then they wouldn’t be able to pad their pockets with more cash. Why didn’t they just renovate this building? The new courthouse looks like something out of the eastern block.

John Duns Scotus
10 days ago

#1. No one in the government can renovate a building as well as a company that specializes in renovating buildings can.

#2. Gov’t renovations are never on time, or on budget.

The CITY of Miami is blessed to have a fantastic Real Estate Director.

The County? I’m not sure, but if anyone can list 5 examples a government project that has succeeded in Miami, it would be great to find one.

Azarius
10 days ago

I would rather see this become part of Miami Dade College then sold to the Pubilc.

Anonymous
10 days ago

1. MDC is a public institution.
2. Please God NO! Have you seen the neglect Freedom Tower and the Federal Building have suffered under their ownership?

John Duns Scotus
10 days ago

YES!
I was at an event at Freedom Tower and it is immaculately restored and gorgeous. The artwork, the venue, the beauty of the building is astoundingly gorgeous.

I”ve also been in the Dade County Courthouse. It is neglected, outdated, poorly maintained, poorly operated.

In short, the government has been screwing up the Miami-Dade County Courthouse for decades.

MiamiNativeAlmost
5 days ago

Have been to the Freedom Tower for a few events, it looks great, what are you talking about?

John Duns Scotus
10 days ago

What? It is disgraceful that the government can’t operate real estate?

Not really. There are many many many companies and people that specialize in operating real estate.

Pay attention. Government rarely does anything well.

Let real estate operators who specialize in real estate operations operate this real estate.

RnO
10 days ago

Great opportunity to make it a library for the community

anon
10 days ago

The library is literally across the street.

Anon
10 days ago

That’s a prison

Leslie
9 days ago

I thought they were tearing that building down.

Anonymous
10 days ago

Of all the great uses this beautiful building could be put to, I think a library should be firmly at the bottom of the list.

Anonymous
10 days ago

A library would be awesome, but it should be all glass in front like an Apple Store to invite people in to read like in Boston.

John Duns Scotus
10 days ago

Nope.
It should be a boutique hotel like the Le Meridien in downtown Tampa. With exceptional dining on the otherwise neglected terraces.

Yup
10 days ago

This would be an amazing museum!

Andy Nierenberg
9 days ago

Look across the street.

Anonymoose
5 days ago

City is missing a classic art museum, not just another “modern” art one where the collections are friends-of-friends of the curators where you have to have studied some rare subset-of-a-subset of art for 8 years to “appreciate” the work on display.

The structure of the building and layout with central lobbies leading to large courtrooms would be perfect for a variety of galleries.

MKW
10 days ago

It’s one of the best historical buildings of scale left in MiamiDade.

Anonymous
10 days ago

Oh miami!!! What a shame. I hope it is kept.
Such a waste. It can be a library, with exhibition halls, working galleries for new artists.

Anon
10 days ago

Kept? It literally says it’s for sale

EJS
10 days ago

Anything Miami can do for developers they will roll over and take it up the ***. Seriously, one of the most important buildings in an urban core which has lost so much of it’s historical fabric should be maintained as a courthouse. Sell the air rights and make it a courthouse and museum and Miami City Hall.

Andy Nierenberg
9 days ago

Interesting but uninformed suggestions. The City of Miami has its City Hall on the water in Coconut Grove. Miami-Dade County has its high-rise government building across the street. The modern library/ museum complex is also across the street, as are other modern high-rise courthouses. The tower floors are small and particularly unsuitable for a hotel. Sell the air rights? Please 1st check the height of the existing “tower”.

Alpina
10 days ago

The Miami Edition would look great in here, the problem is the area is not that ‘glamorous’ to say the least. However, by the time the close and remodel de property the entire Flagler beautification project would be done and could make more sense. This downtown area could use some kind of gentrification ASAP. I believe 100% in hotels transforming areas because they set precedence for other developments like restaurants and retail to open up in the same area.

Anon
10 days ago

That’s being built in edgewater

Alpina
10 days ago

I refer to the hotel not the condo project

BDub
10 days ago

Appeals court 3 judge panel ruled in favor of 10 owners of old 2121 Biscayne association where Edition is to be built.
All work has been halted for months.

Anonymous
10 days ago

True but it’s not expected to permanently hold up the development, but will just give those few holdouts a bigger payout.

anonymous
3 days ago

that area is very well connected to little havana, it would need to revitalize the area on the other side of the river too

Uno
10 days ago

We missed the chance of having Eataly in downtown, I think MWC would have been a great location along with new free standing Apple store. I also thing a hotel would be transformational to this area but there is still work to be done in the area a Mana is hijacking the future Flagler Street along with the rest of the sites he unfortunately owns.

Anonymous
10 days ago

This is the most beautiful tower in Miami! Why don’t they build like this anymore?

Anon
10 days ago

far from it, looks like a grey, dull government building. Maybe if they added more color to it like the freedom tower

Anonymous
10 days ago

Have you seen the “new” courthouse next door?

Anonymous
10 days ago

IF anything should be historically preserved it’s this – even if the public has to pitch in.

Anonykeks
10 days ago

It was already designated as a historically preserved building in 2020. It would be illegal to change the outside of the building and illegal to change any of the specifically designated Courtrooms (like the ones on the 2nd floor) which are historically protected by law.

Anonymous
10 days ago

Don’t worry. Some developer will try and undesignate and/or “accidentally” damage it, then request to build an “ICONIC, GAME-CHANGING” Arquitectonica box.

John Duns Scotus
10 days ago

What if it cost every City property tax payer $25,000 each. Are you still so certain?

Having walked inside it is certainly a mess. Lots of potential that no dummy or no government bureaucrat (sorry for to be redundant) get this property out of the hands of the dummies and into the hands of people who know how to own, refurbish, and redevelop real estate.

Anonymous
10 days ago

This should be a hotel and event space. Beautiful building.

Anonymous
10 days ago

Build a flea market inside this building, that would be a great idea , Downtown Miami needs a flea market

Anonymous
10 days ago

Heck no. Dumbest comment of the day.

Anonymous
10 days ago

Pretty sure that’s a joke.

Anonymous
10 days ago

I hope that whoever buys this building, keeps it in good condition and don’t let it fall into disrepair and then demolish it and replace it with a boxy building like they did with the Historic Everglades hotel

Andy Nierenberg
9 days ago

“Fall into disrepair”? Disrepair would be a tremendous improvement over its current condition.

anonymous
3 days ago

mold, asbestos, bacteria, off gassing. Yeah, its a dump and needs a lot of work

Cover the Podiums
10 days ago

People can’t do their own research. Its being preserved…

Preserve the building
9 days ago

Can you provide link can’t find that?

Brooklyn
10 days ago

Odd how the court house was moved in the first place. Isn’t this what courthouse buildings are supposed to look like in great cities?

Brooklyn
10 days ago

Also. Does anyone know if the City of Miami lease with Freedom park is done for their new HQ/office space? City of Miami should purchase thise

Anonymous
10 days ago

Should be Miami’s consolidated city hall, period. No buildings miles away in Coconut Grove and Freedom Park.

Anonymous
10 days ago

The cost to fix this building to a point it can be used for offices for the city would be very expensive. It would be better off having a developer with expertise in redeveloping a historic building taking it over and creating fantastic condos with it.

John Duns Scotus
10 days ago

Absolutely.
Thank you for thinking.

Anon
10 days ago

That would be far too accessible – you might have people actually showing up to meetings and they certainly wouldn’t want that

Anon
9 days ago

Why is city hall in coconut grove? And why do they foreign country flags? This is Miami, Florida, USA!

Anonymous
9 days ago

City Hall should be in Brickell, or right over the bridge along Flagler

Anonymous
9 days ago

The courthouse used to house miami city hall

Puta
10 days ago

Make it a publix or a mcdonald’s

Miami's Signature Name
9 days ago

WeWork for ShitLaw +240
Gov/college admin -360
Museum/Library +1200
Affordable housing. +2400
LFG™ (Castle of Clubs) +600
showcasing courtrooms rented as popup lounges, clubs, restaurants, & gallery areas

Grant
9 days ago

I can see the building function as a sort of shopping center with hotel rooms. It has the space for it, and it can reactivate the economy in that area, and attract people to the new project near it, creating more areas of pedestrian oriented sites for the city to experiment on.

Andy Nierenberg
9 days ago

I would have expected, and hoped for, far more informed and knowledgeable comments than currently appear. There is an excellent library/museum complex across the street. The tower floors are each very small. The elevators cranky. The black mold is included in the purchase price, unless stated otherwise (joke), as are the roof and water line leaks. Some floors were closed off for years, and might still be. Scaffolding surrounded different parts of the facade for years because chunks of the building were falling. For years before I retired, I felt badly for the clerk’s staff, judges and their staffs, and others, who had to go in every day while we were able to attend most hearings by zoom. Historic building, but long ago outlived it’s ability to function appropriately.

Anonymous
9 days ago

So you propose to tear down this beautiful piece of art? All the issues you’ve listed can be remedied.

latin arch lover
9 days ago

21 C would be a great hotel operator for this site, tough location though its a bit of a urban zombie wasteland

Hondo Hurricane
9 days ago

I have a few different old c1930s post cards of this building. They call it Miami’s “million dollar courthouse”.

The Prince of Saudi Arabia
8 days ago

Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud Should buy it he’s worth BILLIONS !

Realtalk Reilly
7 days ago

This really is an architectural tragedy and I don’t foresee a happy ending for it.

The decision to build a new courthouse was made pre-pandemic, when the old courthouse was admittedly bursting at the seams with all the activity of daily motion calendar hearings.

During the pandemic it was discovered and established here and at civil courthouses nationwide that it was more efficient to conduct mundane hearings and other proceedings remotely. That practice has continued ever since. For the most part the only thing that happens at such courthouses now are actual trials, and maybe the occasional hearing on an important, dispositive motion.

As a result, overcrowded civil courthouses (as distinguished from criminal, which are more crowded than ever) are a thing of the past.

If that had happened earlier, then the old courthouse could have been fully renovated, re-wired and technologically upgraded to maximize efficiency for remote proceedings and to better accommodate the relatively few in-person ones.

Alas, that’s water under the bridge now. We are stuck with the monstrous gulag of a new courthouse building, much of which will now end up being unneeded by the courts and leased out as general office space for the reason explained above.

So what’s to be done with the old one?

Since the city is putting it up for auction instead of retaining it for some governmental purpose, we all know what WILL happen. A developer will get control of it and deliberately allow it to deteriorate until it can be declared unsalvageable, then it will be demolished to make room for a luxury condo building.

What SHOULD happen instead, but won’t, is that its historic legacy could be preserved as an administrative executive office building for the city and/or county.

The mayor(s) and commissioners could have their offices there, along with the city/county attorneys and their staffs, and maybe a few other of the most senior department heads officials. Important meetings could be conducted in the grand courtrooms and public announcements made from the courthouse steps, with the regal edifice as a backdrop.

In other words it could serve as the “ceremonial” city/county hall and the face of local government to people here and elsewhere, because that’s where the media would go to cover important developments and decisions. Meanwhile, the routine day-to-day governmental operations would continue in the existing administrative buildings.

Woulda, coulda, shoulda. The building will be torn down within five years. Ten, tops.

MiamiNativeAlmost
5 days ago

Used to work across the street and have a lot of fond memories of this beautiful, stately building. Like the Sears building, I hope they are at least forced to keep some of its original structure.