Foundation Work Continues At Downtown Miami’s New $852M Courthouse

Downtown Miami is getting a new civil courthouse that will rise the equivalent of nearly 50 stories, and foundation work is continuing there, new photos show.

The new courthouse will replace the decaying 1928 courthouse across the street.

There will only be 25 floors in the new courthouse tower, but high ceiling heights will make the building rise to a height of 474 feet above ground and 482 feet above sea level, according to filings with the county and FAA.

The eastern façade of the new tower will be mostly blank, with just 20% glazing, plans show.

The 2019 bidding documents showed that the courthouse will eventually cost the county $852 million, or $341 million in net present value.

HOK is the architect, with Tutor Perini the contractor.

Plenary Group of Australia is the developer and will operate the building, in a public-private partnership.

Brightline’s two Supertower sites are next door. The photos show site work at one of the Supertower properties to close off a city street and incorporate the land, allowing for a bigger development.

Completion of the new courthouse is expected in 2024.

 

(photos: Aaron Demayo)

 

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Anonymous
2 months ago

And what’s going to happen to that incredible 1928 building? Miami has a history of treating its historic architecture like trash, while other cities recognize them for the gifts they are and turn them into world class cultural institutions. Look how we’ve let historic downtown rot.

King of Midtown
2 months ago

Hotel is the best option, plus within four blocks of it will be densely populated.

Anonymous
2 months ago

I’m not against a hotel, I’m not against anything that saves the building and properly maintains it, but why would that be “the best” option as opposed to transforming it into a public institution?

Anonymous
1 month ago

Perhaps you haven’t spent any time in the building.
It’s a disaster. Unless you are 5’8″ or shorter
If hotel, then people can accept the charm factor.
Elementary School or a school for kids who dont read to good and want to do better might be an option.

Anonymous
2 months ago

Yes a hotel would work

Anonymous
1 month ago

not really, the value for the building is the detailing and interior. You go inside and it truly feels like a courthouse.

the interior mockups for this one look like a cheap holiday inne.

to be perfectly honest I wish we could keep them both as working courthouses.

Anonymous
2 months ago

Hopefully the building is preserved rather than torn down.

Anonymous
2 months ago

Miami City Hall should move in there.

Anonymous
2 months ago

“That would make too much sense,” but of course, just like the County, the City adheres to the same half-assed mindset, with the pathetic PPP redeveloping Riverside Center, while city hall is miles away in Coconut Grove.

Anonymous
1 month ago

The people who actually work in this functional obsolescent building hated it si much, they tried to raise the funds to move.
The building is not a good courthouse.
The stairs are dangerous and made for girls or guys with very small feet.
The acoustics are horrible
It is not energy efficient.
The building is pretty, but it’s a mess inside.

Anonymous
2 months ago

I used to be the city hall and totally agree it should move back. They can consolidate their offices there.

NYC Loves Miami
2 months ago

They should let Mana handle the old courthouse….
Look, I’m only trying to break that down vote record from the previous post. Help me out and cast your vote!

Anonymous
1 month ago

You should study your history a bit better.
I’m sure can cite a couple 8f examples in Miami, but NYC has destroyed 100’s, if not thousands of historic buildings to make way for scrapers
And dont get me started on the carelessness of Mrs. O’Leary’s cow and how she trashed all those historic buildings.

Anonymous
2 months ago

So ugly!

Yet Another Anonymous
2 months ago

Ugly dated architecture goverment building

Anonymous
2 months ago

Go take that up with the people who’re always harping that they need to build more office towers downtown.

Anonymous
1 month ago

It is based on public advertisement via P3 model. There is established scoring that includes not only the aesthetics, but the financing of the project and returns to the County. There are other factors that play in the selection on the project.

Anonymous
2 months ago

Decaying?

Anonymous
2 months ago
Anonymous
2 months ago

I’m aware. I still think “decaying” is a bit dramatic.

Anonymous
1 month ago

considering the abestos and mold problems in the upper interior floors, decaying is accurate

Jesus
2 months ago

$852 million? Well then, this better be a stunning tower…

Anonymous
2 months ago

It won’t be. Preliminary renderings are uninspiring and utilitarian. Plus, that 20% glass on the east façade says a lot, i.e., concrete anyone for the 80%?

Anonymous
1 month ago

It is based on public advertisement via P3 model. There is established scoring that includes not only the aesthetics, but the financing of the project and returns to the County. There are other factors that play in the selection on the project.

POLO
2 months ago

No, you are getting $852 million dollars of architectural crap. I can’t believe a tower that cost nearly a billion dollars is soo ugly. Who is approving this s__t?!

Anonymous
2 months ago

one thousand museum cost 200 million and is much nicer and bigger. this tower looks like downtown 5th but smaller I think Melo could have built this tower at around 50 million and save the city around 800 million and would have built it much faster

Anonymous
1 month ago

Private developer vs. public projects. Big difference in financing and cost. Projects need to abide by the rules, including minimum prevailing wages. Also, price per sq. ft of residential is lower than one of a courthouse.

Anonymous
1 month ago

It’s $852 million in deferred in 30 years…that is the cost of financing. The constituents did not approve funding for the courthouse, so this P3 financing model was the last resource to be able to build a new courthouse.

Anonymous
1 month ago

It’s $852 million in deferred in 30 years…that is the cost of financing. The constituents did not approve funding for the courthouse, so this P3 financing model was the last resource to be able to build a new courthouse.

Anonymous
1 month ago

Take a look at San Diego County Central Courthouse, Salt Lake City Federal Courthouse, Cedar Rapids, Long Beach…….we could always do soooooooo much better, but we chose not to. Ces’t la vie.

Anonymous
2 months ago

the broward courthouse that tutor perini built was a disaster

Anonymous
2 months ago

Yet it looks better, which is sad when we’re talking about Broward.

adrian
2 months ago

Pretty ugly.

Realtalk Reilly
2 months ago

The whole impetus for replacing the existing courthouse got started a number of years ago, long before the pandemic. If they were starting over again today, they would probably just do a much, MUCH less expensive renovation of the existing courthouse to bring it fully up to date technology-wise. But now they are all-in on this new building and the graft money has already changed hands, so it has to go forward.

Overcrowding was the main problem with the old Courthouse, which was admittedly pretty cramped. But while the building was shut down for covid, they adapted and learned to do things differently.

Now, most of the hearings and other preliminary events are still being conducted via Zoom, even though the building has re-opened. Pretty much the only reason lawyers go to the Courthouse anymore is for actual trials. So it is not nearly as crowded as it used to be, and the truth is that the new building is no longer needed.

Anonymous
1 month ago

The old courthouse isnt just cramped, its falling apart, moldy, inefficient, not comfortable for modern man.

Realtalk Reilly
1 month ago

You don’t know what you’re talking about. There was some exterior spalling that’s been repaired but that building is solid, it is by no means “falling apart.” It was the old federal courthouse that had the mold problem, not the county courthouse. Now that most proceedings are done remotely there is not nearly as much activity at the courthouse as there used to be, so they could very easily renovate and remodel it to make the interiors more spacious. But like I said, too late now.

Anonymous
2 months ago

Should have made it an all glass building.

Anonymous
2 months ago

…with more curves, too.

Anonymous
2 months ago

Theres really more to architecture than that. Do people think these decisions are purely aesthetic? The East side of the building has 20% glazing because that is the side with maximum solar gain. Reducing glazing on that side of the building reduces cooling costs dramatically. Not to mention these architects have codes they have to meet in terms of emissions. This design isn’t arbitrary. There is reason for every decision behind the resulting building.

Anonymous
1 month ago

It is based on public advertisement via P3 model. There is established scoring that includes not only the aesthetics, but the financing of the project and returns to the County. There are other factors that play in the selection on the project.

Anonymous
2 months ago

I think when people complain about the lack of investment in public institutions compared to other cities forget that the city of Miami and Miami Dade county are completely different. The city of Miami is relatively small compared to other major cities. The city is only 40+ sq/miles and only a pop of 400,000+. The city cannot afford such major grand structure. A lot of tax rich areas lie outside of the city limits

Anonymous
2 months ago

36 square miles in land area.

Anonymous
2 months ago

Any renderings?

Anonymous
2 months ago

They just updated the post with renderings

adrian
2 months ago

They probably are not going to do this, but it would probably be nice to connect it to the underutilized plaza in front of the library. However, the county probably wants to offload that site.

Anonymous
2 months ago

A year or so back, the idea was floated on selling it to Related for some generic Arquitectonica trash.

Anonymous
2 months ago

Way overpriced! Cancel the contract and get Melo to build it for 1/5 of the price!

Anonymous
2 months ago

I still can’t believe HOK is the architect for this Melo Downtown 5th-tier crap. Like, did an intern design it and got the job at Melo’s in-house “architecture” team?

Anonymous
2 months ago

$ 852 MM for this nonsense? Sounds like another government job pumping their line items.

Anonymous
1 month ago

no one likes going to a court and with this building, it will make it more so.

in 10-15 years people will look at this building and say ‘how ugly’. Will be more dated than a 1970’s orange bathroom and olive green kitchen, except this one will go out of style a lot quicker.

Why not build a replica of the original?

Anonymous
1 month ago

“no one likes going to a court and with this building, it will make it more so”

Haha.. “I didn’t like going to court but this new building really makes me hate going now!”

Why don’t you go work at NASA and tell them how to build a colony on Mars?

Anonymous
1 month ago

So when this ‘decaying 1928 courthouse’ is empty, they will need to either tear it down or turn it into a museum…. wait, it is decaying and can’t be saved because if it could then they wouldn’t need to build a new building. OK, so if they don’t tear it down then what? sounds like someone is going to profit.

Realtalk Reilly
1 month ago

I thought I posted this already but I can’t find it — a good use of the old building would be for one of the local law schools — Nova, St. Thomas, FIU or UM — to buy it and move there. Very impressive edifice for a law school. It’s already got a library, and the courtrooms could easily be converted to classrooms. They could preserve the historic “Al Capone” courtroom on the 6th floor and use it for their mock trials. Judge’s offices could become faculty offices, etc.

YOU’RE WELCOME.

Realtalk Reilly
1 month ago

^ P.S. Law students would then be ideally situated to go from class to internships at downtown or Brickell law firms.

It really is an excellent idea, the more I think about it. I think the only question that remains to be answered is, how did I get to be such a genius??

Anonymous
1 month ago

Yeah, you should run for mayor… or at least city manager.

lol…

Anonymous
1 month ago

The old buildings lot should be sold to make profit for the new building to be build basically for free.
If the city can get a builder to build condos on that lot and sell. There is a lot of profit to be made for the city. They should not sell the lot for cheap to let someone else reap massive profit for themselves and the city pay fortunes.

Anonymous
1 month ago

$852 for that!? wtfffffffffffffff

Anonymous
2 months ago

“Brightline’s two Supertower sites are next door. The photos show a street rerouting taking place in front of those properties to make way for one of the Supertowers and a Monk Monastery downtown next to the Metrorail tracks.”

lol…

Anonymous
1 month ago

Why can’t they use the money to gut it and make the interior what they want. Less floors, higher ceilings…. is that possible to do?

Anonymous
1 month ago

Where’s the fun in that?!

Anonymous
1 month ago

Build it twice as tall, with residential on top, sell those units and the profits of them will pay for the lower half. Lawyers will buy into them like roaches on crackers.

Azarius
2 months ago

I wonder what it’ll be used for once the new courthouse is built, made some affordable and workforce housing, or some office space would be nice in this area

Anonymous
2 months ago

It would make it an awesome state of the art museum, which would provide jobs and culture!

Anonymous
2 months ago

It would be an incredible public library but Miami doesn’t invest in its public like that unfortunately

Anonymous
2 months ago

Theres literally a library across the street though…….

Anonymous
2 months ago

lol. Yes, there is.

Take a look at the New York Public Library. Take a look at the Boston Public Library. Google the main public library’s of other major US cities. Then take a look at the one Miami has, and you may see the point I’m trying to make.

Miami has shown over and over a lack of willingness to invest in it’s public on the same scale of other cities of similar scale. It’s evident in everything from their park system, their library system, their education system, and their public transportation system.

Anything nice in this city is built from private developers; even the long-waited rail connection will be built by, yup, a private developer (from China I believe). Why? Because our own city won’t build things for its own people.

It’s part of a larger problem but this courthouse is a perfect example of how Miami will choose once again to put a foreign developer over it’s own populace.

Anonymous
2 months ago

So very true.

Anonymous
1 month ago

Yeah.. take a look at other major cities with a Ferris Wheel… see the point I’m trying to make?!

lol…

Anonymous
2 months ago

Basically, that library is a sorry excuse for a modern public learning institution for a city of Miami’s scale.

Azarius
2 months ago

Realistically nobody uses library anymore we just use Google

Anonymous
2 months ago

Bingo!

Anonymous
2 months ago

Realistically libraries have evolved to be much more than a book warehouse. Modern libraries have computer and internet access, learning and language programs, community outreach, 3D Printing and crafting facilities, story time for children and tons of activities, coding training, I could go on and on. Your idea of a library is outdated – when is the last time you were in one?

Anonymous
2 months ago

Never. He doesn’t attend school either.

Anonymous
1 month ago

^ Yeah.. libraries have evolved like newspapers.

lol…

Anonymous
1 month ago

^yeah they are now glorified day care centers, his point stands

Anonymous
2 months ago

Best to let the market decide. Restrict what can be done to the building and then sell it to the highest bidder. The Woolworth Buildling in NYC has been turned into a residential condo building. Hotel could work, but may not be the highest and best use with all the AirBnB condos being build nearby.

Anonymous
2 months ago

Public library or museum will be ideal for that building.

Anonymous
2 months ago

A good idea but I believe someone has aspirations of turning it into a hotel with restaurants/bars.

Anonymous
2 months ago

Miami needs to invest more into education, arts and culture and I’m not talking graffiti. You can’t build a city based on shallowness because that doesn’t prepare the people to get the high paying jobs people will need to live here in the near future.

Anonymous
2 months ago

It really does. The public library system here is a honestly a joke. Our downtown university is a low-rated community college – and yet I see literally *billions* going towards glossy developments. This city really does need to invest in it’s public a little more.

Anonymous
2 months ago

The lower community college that you mention organize the biggest book fair in the country by the way and host the greatest authors of all the world.

Anonymous
2 months ago

Miami Dade Community College has been consistently rated among the top Community colleges in the nation, i.e. when it was a two-year college. It is now a four-year college and continues to excell.

Anonymous
2 months ago

Ok so that aside, are you arguing that the city of Miami invests heartedly in the public?

Anonymous
2 months ago

Its very complicated for many people in miami to think that education will bring high paying jobs and then will sell their properties in highest prices.

Anonymous
2 months ago

A theatre would be amazing

Anonymous
2 months ago

Theatre will be great and we don’t have many in miami.