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Plans unveiled for $1B “Innovation District” in Little Haiti called Magic City

December 8, 2016

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Rendering of the innovation district. Inset: Tony Cho and Bob Zangrillo

Rendering of the innovation district. Inset: Tony Cho and Bob Zangrillo

Private developers have plans for a 15-acre “Innovation District” called Magic City in Little Haiti, a collaboration between investment firm Dragon Global and commercial real estate brokerage/developer Metro 1, per the Wall Street Journal.

The goal is to attract a community of innovators and entrepreneurs to live, work and play in a walkable campus-like neighborhood that attracts technology companies and retailers, said Metro 1 President and Chief Executive Tony Cho.

The project is currently self-funded but over time the developers will look for long-term debt and equity partners, they said.

The $1 billion project, which the developers are dubbing “Innovation District,” will be developed in multiple phases over several years with the initial one focused on repurposing existing dilapidated factory space.

A multi-phase project, about 170,000 square feet of industrial space would be converted to commercial and retail use, with plans for an office tower, amphitheater and apartments, which aren’t expected to have parking garages.

Bob Zangrillo, CEO of Dragon Global, tells the Miami Herald their currently self-financed project is going to transform Miami.

“Four years ago, Tony and I teamed up because we had a shared vision for an innovation district in Miami,” Zangrillo said. “We want to embrace the history. We want to create jobs in the community and foster companies that want to give back to [community] education programs and support the kids. That’s our goal, and we’re out there, and we think this is going to be transformative for Miami.”

The Herald reports tenants include the Salty Donut, which is opening its first permanent retail location in Wynwood Arcade within the next week.

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