Covin and Oppenheim Reviving Bid For MDC Property On Biscayne Boulevard

Developer Gregg Covin and architect Chad Oppenheim are bringing back their proposal from last decade to build a futuristic tower on Miami Dade College’s land at 520 Biscayne Boulevard.

Covin and Oppenheim had previously teamed to bid on the property in 2007, but Miami Dade eventually cancelled the RFP. With the college now accepting proposals again, the pair have decided to move forward with another bid.

To accommodate the latest RFP, Covin and Oppenheim will be tweaking the original design. Classrooms and an arts center from the previous proposal are being removed and replaced with a museum, theater and conference center.

Covin is currently developing One Thousand Museum, designed by Zaha Hadid. Chad Oppenheim was the architect behind Covin’s Ten Museum Park condo tower on Biscyane Boulevard, which opened in 2007.

Related Group is also said to be preparing a proposal, and Gary Nader has already submitted his plan for a Latin American Art Museum and condo towers on the site.

 

From Covin:

Chad Oppenheim and I are going to be submitting our project to MDC.

We feel that the unsolicited Nader proposal, with its two giant condo towers is grossly inappropriate for the Miami Dade College campus.

Our mixed use project features an iconic design that will create an academic atmosphere to rival the great urban campuses such as NYU. In addition to constructing the College’s desired theater, conference center and museum, we will be providing the College with a world class university-level athletic and aquatic complex with wellness/fitness center, indoor basketball gym and Olympic pools. This will create a true center of campus life and activity. Our project will focus on flex housing and affordable housing for students and faculty, as well as commercial and office space that is appropriate for a college campus setting. We will also be including a small hotel component to compliment the many programs and activities of the College.

We intend to create a new centerpiece that puts MDC on the world stage as one of the largest institutions of higher learning in the nation, here in our global City. It will be a project that celebrates the Freedom Tower and the incredible Collegiate urban campus, rather than the other proposals which seem to be land grabs in a vain attempt to pre sell luxury condos on a college campus.

 

The new proposal looks identical to the one submitted by the team years ago:

 

(images: DBOX, Inc. on behalf of Oppenheim Architecture + Design)

 

section from last proposal:

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Anonymous
5 years ago

An article on a Friday?! Please keep it going.. More articles on Friday!

Anonymous
5 years ago

Completely agree!

Anonymous
5 years ago

These articles on the bid wars for the MDC proposal will be the most I’ll be looking forward to. I love competition because it’ll bring out the best from the developers and their architects to win that bid. Can you imagine if Covin brings in Zaha Hadid as well ? Omg!…. Let the bid games begin. ??

Anonymous
5 years ago

Covin and Oppenheim’s design is beautiful. I think it fits more and will be iconic. Covin just called Nader’s design in that letter: “grossely inappropriate”. Ouch, Let the bid wars begin for real. Lol

Anonymous
5 years ago

Yes! I love the Nader proposal (especially as it enriches our collection of art museums) but architecturally this would be far superior and iconic for our city. It would seem to fit the College’s needs much more.

Anonymous
5 years ago

This is the best fit for the area. Imagine having this just steps from the Zaha Hadid bldg currently in construction. I like the Nader proposal but this beats it in terms of scale and appeal.

suomynona
5 years ago

What this has going for it is its absolute visual uniqueness.

Marc305
5 years ago

Although I love condominiums, this building would be Iconic for Miami. It reminds me of the Central China Television headquarters in Beijing, only nicer. Definitely my first choice from way back in 2007. I hope they will win the bid and bring it to life.

Anonymous
5 years ago

Agree. This is a more viable study for the College. It’s about the College. Not about greedy condo developers. Miami needs this. Love the Covin and Oppenheim diagram. Beautiful and iconic. Yet all about the MDC and their students.

Marc305
5 years ago

You are correct, but the greedy condo developers are the ones with all the cash, trust me, I deal with them on a daily basis. I just hope that this project is chosen by people who want to create something different an Iconic in downtown Miami and not by people who will in some way be compensated financially for their decision, because if that is the case, rest assured they will chose condo towers over this project.

MrDreTheOne
5 years ago

Back from the dead! It was so disappointing when this proposal fell through. Although Nader’s proposal is indeed very nice, this seems to serve the land owners better, and they (Covin and Oppenheim) will use that to leverage support for their bid. It would also be one of if not the only truly “iconic” structure built in recent years.

Anonymous
5 years ago

Agreed. It is bound to have that iconic look. It is also the one I have seen so far that actually caters to the college itself. Notice the Miami Dade college banner in one of the renderings as well. Pretty smart. MDC will eat that up.

suomynona
5 years ago

Pssh, it will join its iconic neighbor, SKYRISE. A nice 1-2 punch of “different” along that section of Bisc.

Anonymous
5 years ago

I am so torn between the two. Covin – Nadar. Covin – Nadar. I won’t be able to sleep tonight. But for some reason or other I do love a building with a hole in it. Is that wrong of me.

wolfgang731
5 years ago

I’m really excited to see this plan revived, as I was somewhat disappointed when it was shelved years back. I find Oppenheim’s design to be bold and iconic. I also like Nader’s concept very much, so at this juncture, it’s almost an embarrassment of riches. I look forward to Related’s entry, as I’m sure it will just be a plain, old fashioned embarrassment, undulating balconies and all courtesy of their apparent life partner, Arquitectonica.

Anonymous
5 years ago

No matter who is chosen its a win win for Miami and MDC. Both designs are beautiful and who knows what other proposals will look like. I can guarantee they with be amazing as well.

Yet Another Anonymous
5 years ago

Four levels of underground parking? Not usually for parking but when it’s sub-grade I say bring it on because it’s an engineering feat. BCC has two. DtownDadeland has two. If engineering was actually done to prove this could have four then so could the Beckham stadium and at over ~8 acres per level reducing for columns etc. that would leave room for over 1,000 cars per level so over 4 or 5 levels they could easily get 5,000 spaces. Average v.o. would be at least two, definitely higher than normal commuting, so a good 10,000 people in regular cars. Then factor public, charter, and school buses plus Metrorail it all works out for a modest 20,000 seat stadium.

Karl
5 years ago

The 4 levels of underground parking are not possible in South Florida unless you did an expensive slurry wall solution. 2 levels is the norm because of water. The Covin- Oppenheim design has very little engineering at this early stage, no different than the Nader-FR-EE proposal. Neither have brought on structural or geo-tech engineering to assist in the thinking or validity of the designs. The architects are given cart-blanche freedom and attach a high premium in the cost analysis in this concept-preschematic stage. The quasi-exoskin for the Oppenheim design is more credible than the slendeness ratio of the FR-EE design for the towers that would have to have a greater than average core with inefficient floor plates. However, the FR-EE design would be financed by high luxury market condo sales similar to Covin’s Zaha Tower.

Yet Another Anonymous
5 years ago

Good points but I call bs, not on needing slurry walls good enough to form a virtually 100% waterproof exterior, because the lower levels are basically a boat, but on your claim that it can’t be done and hasn’t. Brickell City Centre sits at about 6 feet of elevation on the site, it’s not in the “higher” part of Brickell Hammock. It has two underground levels and reaches 15 if not 20 feet down below street level. Downtown Dadeland sits at only about 10 or 12 feet elevation.

Danny
5 years ago

When you say elevation, you mean below grade level or ngvd?

BCC had to freeze portions for the bottom plug. Downtown Dadeland has multiple levels below ground and is more than 12′ below grade. In this project, the area is smaller than BCC & DD but deeper. Still big $ nonetheless.

Yet Another Anonymous
5 years ago

Funny I would just read and write all about this just a few hours later. BCC as it turns out reaches 22 feet NGVD. Dadeland is two levels but yes the site is at 12 feet amsl, so it probably barely reaches below sea level. There was a huge SunSentinel article last year all about how more below grade garages are popping up in SFL, including some that are “1.5” levels below grade. Depending on the hardness of the ground, the water issue should be no worse as you go deeper. I mean harder in a linear sense but it should not be exponentially more difficult. Whether you’re minus 1 foot or minus 50 you’re below the water table and have to hold it out. The soil freeze they looked into but it didn’t go well and they went with a traditional dig. It was rumoured but never true that they were going to scrap one level of underground parking because it was too difficult or expensive. I know I heard this but couldn’t find the press. All say two all along.

Anonymous
5 years ago

Love it!

Anonymous
5 years ago

Anyone know the height ?

jacaso
5 years ago

about 650′

Yet Another Anonymous
5 years ago

If you click the big blueprint you can just barely read that it’s about 600 feet. Taller than it looks because it is so large and unique. Great design.

Yet Another Anonymous
5 years ago

Finally there are good proposals and they are against each other! If only they both could be built, this one here and the Nader two blocks north just beyond but not behind the freedom tower, next to marinablue.

Anonymous
5 years ago

Affordable housing? Remember this project is to be funded by selling the expensive condos with waterfront views. This plan for student and affordable housing is not an viable option – unless they can find hundreds of millions elsewhere. I don’t think this project will be seriously considered.

Anonymous
5 years ago

that will be a premium hotel, those penthouses will be top dollar, student housing means long term money bc mdcc will continue to supply the students, that retail on biscayne blvd and surrounded my mdc will be premium soaces too. oh, not to mention the museum.

i think this proposal will be taking more seriously than your ill informed comments about how serious it will be taken.

Anonymous
5 years ago

That’s a cool project. Very unique. Love the fact this developer is keeping the College and community’s interest at heart. Good luck!

Anonymous
5 years ago

this building hands down will look amazing

anon-e-mouse
5 years ago

The Covin proposal makes no financial sense. CCTV in Bejing which is basically the same kind of building cost $1 billion dollars and was a big controversy. Who is going to pay that much money to give to MDCC which by the way has 2 large campus, their being one of the smaller? Does MDCC even need this? At this cost? Why? For iconic architecture. Bring on the slander million dollar tower(tax providers) and museum( culture) at no cost.

The people
5 years ago

MDC Wolfson has over 25,000 students and is the centerpiece of that part of Downtown. MDC is part of the State public system. We cannot give our public land to a condo developer to build luxury condos! What’s next? Condo towers in Museum Park?!!!

Anonymous
5 years ago

Who’s paying for the development?

Anonymous
5 years ago

The developers are paying for the project. The city is offering the land as equity in the deal and gets a bran new state of the art campus. It’s a win win.

Anonymous
5 years ago

Then the next question is how is the developer making its money back from this?

marc
5 years ago

Lol how does this “celebrate” the Freedom Tower? I like the glass donut because it’s unusual but don’t like the other glass wall tower if that’s part of it.

Anonymous
5 years ago

The other glass wall tower is not part of it, that is the old Terra building that was proposed on the Freedom Tower and the Chateau site north of the MDC lot.

Anonymous
5 years ago

Yep. That’s the old rendering. Good point.

John P
5 years ago

I do not like this design for Miami… it looks too much like the ugly (and controversial) China CCTV headquarters in Beijing.

Anonymous
5 years ago

lol that’s just lazy