Arsht Center Named ‘Project Of The Year’

BROADWAY WORLD – Friday, September 4, 2009; Posted: 01:09 PM – by Beau Higgins

Award solidifies non-profit performing arts center’s role as a catalyst
for community and economic development in Downtown Miami.

Miami’s Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts has been selected as ‘Project of the Year’ by the Urban Land Institute’s Southeast Florida/Caribbean District Council. The ‘Project of the Year’ distinction – widely considered as the land use and development industry’s top honor – recognizes the real estate project that best embodies the mission of the Urban Land Institute: ensuring the responsible use of land in an effort to create sustainable, thriving communities around the world.

The award was presented during a special ceremony held on August 27, 2009 at the Seminole Hard Rock Resort in Hollywood, Florida. M. John Richard, President and CEO of the Adrienne Arsht Center, accepted the award on behalf of the organization.

“The Adrienne Arsht Center owes its success to much more than world-class performances; we are also a product of world-class design, construction, and foresight,” said Mr. Richard. “More than two decades ago, civic leaders, the cultural arts community, and the private sector came together and envisioned a venue that would entertain our community, host extraordinary programs for our youth, and spawn new investment in Downtown Miami, both public and private. That vision lives today in the form of the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts.”

The 2009-2010 ‘Project of the Year’ selection process evaluated nominees in the following areas: land use, community impact, public/private cooperation, and management. The Urban Land Institute received more applications for this year’s competition than ever before. Other finalists for ‘Project of the Year’ were the Fontainebleau Resort in Miami Beach, Florida and 55 Merrick Way, a mixed-use development in Coral Gables, Florida.

“The Adrienne Arsht Center is eminently deserving of our top honor,” said Carla Coleman, Executive Director of the Urban Land Institute’s Southeast Florida/ Caribbean District Council. “From its role as an engine for economic development in what is a key redevelopment section of Miami’s urban core, to its standing as one of our region’s top cultural resources for children and families, the Adrienne Arsht Center demonstrates the extent to which well-planned, well-managed public/private partnerships can make a positive difference in their communities.”

The Adrienne Arsht Center’s location at the center of one of the nation’s most dynamic urban centers was a key factor in its selection as ‘Project of the Year.’ Situated in Downtown Miami’s Omni/Arts and Entertainment district, the venue’s campus straddles Biscayne Boulevard, one of Miami’s busiest traffic corridors. A product of infill development, the Center has been credited with attracting more than one-billion dollars of new investment to Downtown Miami.

“The Adrienne Arsht Center is the focal point of the Omni CRA District,” said Michelle Spence-Jones, Chair, City of Miami Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA). “Since the Center opened its doors in 2006, we’ve seen a steady increase in area investment, both public and private. The Center offers South Florida residents and visitors an opportunity to come to the area for dinner, see a show, and explore a neighborhood that is coming alive with activity.”

Civic leaders believe the Center has also been a magnet for new residents and visitors. “The world’s great cities are anchored by impactful cultural institutions, and Downtown Miami is no exception,” said Alyce Robertson, Executive Director for the Miami Downtown Development Authority (DDA), “With a growing number of people populating our urban core, cultural and entertainment offerings that bring residents and visitors together become all the more important. The Adrienne Arsht Center is mission-critical to Downtown Miami’s evolution into a vibrant, 24/7 urban district.”