Worldcenter’s Motwani Admits: We Won’t Be Building The Project

The current owners of Miami Worldcenter don’t intend to actually build the project themselves.

Instead, they have been moving through the approval process and gaining valuable entitlements for the property with the apparent goal of flipping the land to other developers at a profit.

The revelation was made in a deposition of Worldcenter managing principal Nitin Motwani last month that was obtained by exMiami. In the deposition, Motwani admitted that the current goal of Worldcenter was ‘to sell land,’ although in 2009 the partnership ‘had some aspirations to develop’. Now, the goal is simply to ‘make money’ by selling Worldcenter parcels to third parties. The deposition was related to a lawsuit by Edie Laquer, who sued over a stake in the project.

The project is still likely to begin construction within a matter of months, but it will be led by other developers. Motwani and his partners have contracts to sell two key pieces to developers who plan on doing the building. MDM Development is buying the former Miami Arena site with plans to build an 1,800-room Marriott convention hotel, while mall operators Taubman Centers and The Forbes Company are buying land to build a 765,000 square-foot shopping center anchored by Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s.

Motwani also revealed that in addition to his salary, he has a promoted interest in the project that is equal to ten percent of Art Falcone’s stake.


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7 years ago

I don’t know if I should be surprised or not.

7 years ago

So… Will it happen or not????

7 years ago

Not to be such a Negative Nancy, but does the downtown corridor really need two major projects like this so close to each other? The other being Brickell City Centre. Both seem to be great and pretty too look at, I’m just concerned if their really is such a large market that will be able to sustain both projects for years to come…

7 years ago

One is ultra lux shopping while the other is mainstream accessible.

7 years ago

If you build it, they will come? Brickell CityCentre seems to be pretty squarely aimed at more of a luxury market. Considering the development in the Design District just a couple of miles to the north, I would say that this is the area more in danger of being over-served. That being said, I think CityCentre benefits tremendously from being in Brickell which has grown into a major international draw. World Center will cast a wider net targeting basically everyone who works downtown as well as all the middle-class professionals who rent their apartments from CityCentre’s jet-setting customers.

7 years ago

Then again, they can both fail if our city sinks underwater.

7 years ago

One drawback to this development strategy is that rather than the whole project being developed in a cohesive comprehensive planned out manner (see CityCentre) it will be sold off in small chunks based on what property some developer wants and will (for decades?) have holes and dead spaces along side developed properties.

7 years ago

Comprehensive planning, (the shape, uses and density of the buildings and how they interact with the public realm) can and should be done regardless of who owns the land. If the sections are small enough, (and parking craters are prohibited as they should be everywhere) then there is less chance that the entire project fails and sits dormant as this one has. One or two missing buildings won’t ruin the neighborhood, but a missing megaproject definitely does.

7 years ago

I don’t get what the issue is, the largest components of the project are the mall and the convention center which have different developers that we’ve known about for months. Who cared who develops the remaining buildings?

7 years ago

What is frightening is the mass manipulation of all of this and the connection between all of these massive projects right in a row. Is this to be the Vegas Strip on the BAY?

7 years ago

After Miami Resorts World!

7 years ago

“Is this to be the Vegas Strip on the BAY?”

Who cares? I call it the “finally filling in those godawful empty blocks on and off the BAY.”

7 years ago

Not sure what they went through all this regulatory trouble for if they just wanted to flip the land.

7 years ago

to make a great deal of money.

7 years ago

Just speculators.