BY Michael Light / On January 21, 2023

UPDATE 01.24.2023:

After publishing the story below, I received an email from Swire Properties’ management team asking me to publish the following statement:

“Swire Properties has not engaged or commissioned any work with the firm Varabyeu Partners. The firm created renderings of a development on Brickell Key of its own accord, without Swire’s knowledge.”

Just a few weeks back Brickellians, or Brickellites as the new crop prefer to refer to themselves as, were shocked to learn that the park at the southern tip of Brickell Key is a development site. It emerged that not only is the park a development site, but Swire has big plans for it. Very very tall plans that include the neighboring Mandarin Oriental Hotel.

After some digging, renderings have been uncovered that feature a stately supertall tower rising from the site. Could this be the new development?

Brickell Key Architectural Rendering from Brickell

Brickell Key Architectural Rendering from Brickell

The tower in the renderings is undeniably pictured on the build site in question. The architecture firm who designed the renderings is not yet a household name in Miami, but does have a presence here. Varabyeu Partners is headquartered in Belarus, but has a United States office here in Coral Gables. Their project portfolio showcases many impressive projects, the most recognizable locally being Panorama Tower.

It is highly unlikely that these renderings were designed in vain. They are not an inexpensive part of designing a new tower. They are the first impression of the project for the public as well as investors, planning committees and city approval processes, so a significant amount of money is dedicated to them.

With that being said, they do not match the scope of the project as presented to the Federal Administration Authority (FAA) last month when they requested a height approval to build over 1,000 feet above the man-made island. The application detailed the project as having two towers, one at 700 feet tall and the other being 1049 feet tall. These renderings depict just one tower with a large pedestal that uses every square inch of the existing park as well as the waterfront hotel site but rebuilding the jogging trail and some green space along the waterway upon completion.

Brickell Key Architectural Renderings Park

Brickell Key Architectural Renderings Park

What do you think? Are these renderings an early glimpse of what is to come, is it smoke in mirrors, or is it just too early to tell?


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