Redesigned Miami Beach Convention Center Park Could Have Similar Tree Canopy

Miami Beach commissioners recently voted to redesign the Convention Center Park to accommodate the Design Miami furniture show, raising concerns that the park was being watered down.

In an email to TNM, Miami Beach Public Relations Manager Melissa Berthier noted that the redesign will still be “very lush,” with more lawn area, 13% less hardscape and the same number of trees. The hardscape reduction comes from the removal of a public building and veterans plaza.

Will Design Miami close the park off to the public, or result in less tree canopy? The answers below were provided by Berthier:

1. Will shade coverage and/or tree canopy be reduced under the new plan by clustering trees at the edges rather than spreading them out?

A: It is too early in the re-design process to answer this specific question. West 8 is a world-class landscape design firm and we are confident they will design it correctly given the current change.

2. Will shade coverage and/or tree canopy be reduced by changes to the tree species to be planted?

A: Again, it is too early in the re-design process to answer this question, however tree species are not changing from the original design so it should not be an issue.

3. Is the removal of the public building, plaza, and other hardscape features consider to be Value Engineering? What is the cost savings anticipated from the redesign?

A: The redesign is being done to accommodate the Design Miami Fair and the final cost will not be determined until after the design is complete. Any budget savings will go back into the MBCC project since the bond funds cannot be used for any other project.

4. Will the park be closed to the public for as much as two months every year to allow for Design Miami setup and removal?

The Park is 5.8 acres in size and Design Miami only takes +/- 2 acres for the 2 month period on the open lawn. The remaining, unaffected park space will be designed to remain usable.


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4 years ago

Some great non-answers.

4 years ago

Great work by everyone, accommodating the design fair!

4 years ago

What a cop out to say trust West 8 to do the right thing. For soundstage park at the symphony building, West 8′ dropped shade trees and instead built a huge metal trellis covered with bougainvillea, not exactly a native or special plant, to provide shade. Not a single canopy tree! Even the old parking lot that used to be there had large canopy trees along Washington Ave. In Notth Shore Open Space Park, West 8 is “selectively thinning”, also known as CUTTING DOWN, existing native coastal hammock trees – the only ones in the entire city – to provide a more manicured look. The City talks a big sustainability/environmental game but they don’t walk that talk.

4 years ago

question #3 in my opinion is that this is a “new” project, this is not a revision. Just from a perspective of a formal design contract this would be require a new contact. So basically I interpret this to mean that the City is paying this design firm to design the project twice for the benefit of some rich douchebag developer (no offense).

question #4. I highly doubt that the rest of the park first of all will be pleasant to the point where people will “use it”. It will be cramped and i will bet money there will be a portable toilet or two installed and probably a catering style kitchen for the opening, rich douchebags are rarely satisfied and will always continue to push any and all limits.

4 years ago

“The redesign is being done to accommodate the Design Miami Fair”. Better be worth it.

4 years ago

Money money money.

City Commissioner
4 years ago

Why hire West 8 if the city cant afford to build their work?
Similar scenario as with ZAHA’s Parking Garage Competition & the OMA’s Convention Center Proposal, they hire some of the best innovators in their field but can’t afford anything but Generic..