Watson Island

TBT - PortMiami Tunnel at Night Photos

PortMiami Tunnel at Night

TBT (May 26, 2014) - In May 2014, the PortMiami Tunnel opened for business after costing $1 billion to complete. The tunnel was built from Watson Island to the Port of Miami to give trucks a direct access to the Port and not have to go through the streets of Downtown Miami.

Last week the PortMiami Tunnel had it's opening ceremony, which was dedicated by Gov. Rick Scott. (This can be read here

Recently, the Arquitectonica designed portal entrance has been lit at night with vibrant red lightning on the front and side of the structure which there is no mistaking when driving over the MacArthur Causeway.

The $1 billion PortMiami Tunnel is expected to be open for trucks and traffic sometime this week. Every day that contractors are not finished by the completion date they will be fined $115,000. 

*Update* The PortMiami Tunnel is experiencing delays and won't be open until Mid-June.

Below are photos of the PortMiami portal entrance at night.

Miami Commissioners Vote Flagstone In Default Of Contract

Island Gardens Site

Island Gardens Site

On May 30th, 2017, Miami Commissioners, after a four hour meeting voted developer Flagstone Property Group in default of contract by a vote of 5-0. 

Back in 2001, voters approved of a $1 billion mega complex on Watson Island called Island Gardens that would have a residential tower, two hotels and retail. Included in the agreement was that Flagstone would pay the City of Miami rent of $2 million a year.

Sixteen years have gone by and two construction booms in the City of Miami, the only work that has been done was the construction of a deep harbor marina for super yachts that was completed January 2016. A restaurant called Deck at Island Gardens opened in 2015, but was supposedly operating under illegal permitting.  

Flagstone Property Group had a deadline of May 1 to start construction on a parking garage and retail center of Island Gardens, but necessary permits were not filed in time leading to the special commissoners hearing on May 30th.

By voting in default of contract, the City of Miami will assume all control of the Island Gardens site and Flagstone Property Group will most likely file a lawsuit over breach of contract.

Foundation Permits Filed At Island Gardens

Future Site of Island Gardens

After starting work on a new seawall and the dredging of Biscayne Bay for Deep Harbour Marina in 2015, Flagstone Property Group has applied for foundation permits for Island Gardens, according to Miami Today. 

The foundation permit will allow for the construction of more permanent structures for Deep Harbour Marina, a fish market and a portion of the retail. 

The Deep Harbour Marina opened earlier this year and can hold 50 super yachts up to 550 feet in length. 

Flagstone Property Group hopes to start work on the main resort in 2017 on the city owned 6.5 acre site.

First Phase Of Island Gardens Opens On Watson Island

After adding the docks and building a new seawall at Island Gardens in November, the first phase of the development, the deep harbor marina, is ready to open. The marina can hold up to 50 super yachts up to 550 feet in length.

The luxury Island Gardens on Watson Island is being developed by Mehmet Bayraktar of Flagstone Property Group and will have two hotels and a residential tower that will cost $1 billion. Construction is slated to begin in the fourth quarter of this year with completion in 2018.

Renderings of Island Gardens and views from Watson Island can be seen here.

Docks Added At Island Gardens

Island Gardens

For over a year, work on Island Gardens consisted on building a new seawall and dredging 13 acres of Biscayne to make access for mega yachts. Now docks have been added to Island Gardens to create a super marina.

Earlier this Summer Miami Commissioners approved bring water and sewer service to the site.

Construction Continues At Island Gardens

Island Gardens on Watson Island

Island Gardens on Watson Island

A new seawall has been built and dredging of 13 acres of Biscayne Bay continues in order to create a harbor for mega yachts, according to Miami Today.

The 6.5 acre land on Watson Island is city owned, but the project was approved by voters back in 2001. However, delays kept pushing back the project for years. 

Island Gardens will have residential units, two hotels, 12 - 15 restaurants, shopping mall and 100 foot public promenade along with the harbor for the yachts.

Lawsuit Filed To Stop Island Gardens On Watson Island

Site Of Island Gardens on Watson Island

After receiving approval in May, Flagstone has begun doing site work on Watson Island, which includes preparing the area for a marina to dock mega yachts. However, Flagstone has not given a timeframe when they plan to start the rest of the project.

Two Miami residents are suing to block the project according to the Miami Herald. They argue that the city approved to lease the site at $2 million a year based on the original agreement in 2001 and Flagstone should not have to pay that amount. Over time, the lease for the site should be valued at over $ 7 million a year based on 2014 estimates. 

The residents want new bids for the site and the existing contract thrown out.