MIAMI PARKING AUTHORITY PAYS HOMAGE TO THE RICH AVIATION HISTORY OF MIAMI WITH THE UNVEILING OF ITS NEW PARKING GARAGE

The wait is over! Reminiscent of the Pan Am days, the new garage was built in Dinner Key next to the former airlines terminal and adjacent to its hangars.

The Miami Parking Authority (MPA) will inaugurate the new Regatta Harbour garage in Coconut Grove today with a design reminiscent of the Pan Am Airlines days and in keeping with the history, character and architectural style of Coconut Grove.

The parking garage pays homage to the rich Pan Am history in Miami. Designed by the local firm of Wolfberg Alvarez and Partners, Regatta Harbour features three levels of parking and approximately 33,000 sq. ft. of ground floor retail space. The garage, which accommodates 542 spaces, was built to make parking easier by reclaiming asphalt parking in favor of green spaces.

Built next to the old Pan American Airways (Pan Am) hangar, Regatta Harbour pays homage to Pan Am with a mesh that wraps around the building featuring their iconic Clipper planes. 

“The much-anticipated opening of the Regatta Harbour garage will mark a new milestone in fulfilling the parking needs of our citizens and fostering economic opportunities in this part of Coconut Grove,” said Alejandra “Alex” Argudin, MPA chief executive officer. “In light of its historically-rich location, the mix of tenants and natural beauty of the surrounding area, this project will become a local as well as a tourist attraction.”

The construction phase generated approximately 227 jobs, with about 89% of the subcontractors from the Miami-Dade county area.

Other features of the garage include lush landscaping, such as native shrubs, hedges, flower borders, ground cover, and trees. Ornamental and sustainable features also adorn the garage, retaining the character of the surrounding areas as well as reducing the carbon footprint. The parking façade, interior, signage, lighting and landscaping have been designed to maximize human interaction.

Additionally, the garage seizes the opportunity to integrate other transportation modalities, such as car- and bike-sharing spaces, Revel shared electric mopeds, valet service, shared parking spaces as well as pedestrian-friendly walkways providing connections to the surrounding waterfront and park.

“It is gratifying to see this world-class project finally come to life,” said Art Noriega, Miami city manager, who was instrumental in shepherding the garage’s approval as former chief executive officer of the MPA. “We jointly thank city dignitaries and the Coconut Grove community for joining us to celebrate this important day.”

Dinner Key, the site of the garage, was the original base of operations for Pan American Airway’s famed flying boats in 1930. The original Pan Am terminal building now serves as Miami City Hall.  Pan Am was the principal and largest international air carrier and unofficial flag carrier of the United States from 1927 until 1991.

“The design of the Regatta Harbour garage is a testament to the historic fabric of Coconut Grove as well as its rich architectural and cultural heritage,” said city of Miami Commission Vice Chairman Ken Russell. “The garage will also increase the much-needed parking footprint in this area of the Grove.”

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FACTS AND FIGURES

Project Use:  Parking Garage with Retail Space

Location: 3551 Pan American Drive, Coconut Grove, adjacent to Pan American Drive and Bayshore Drive

Garage Owner:  Miami Parking Authority (MPA)

Parking Spaces:  539 spaces

Retail Size: Approximately 31,000 square feet of retail space.

Funding:  Parking revenue bonds and contribution from the Regatta Harbour project

Development Timeline:  Completed in August of 2020

Lead Architect:  Wolfberg, Alvarez and Partners

General Contractor:  MCM

Landscape Design:  O’Leary Richards Design Associates

Parking Management:  MPA

Environmental Features:  LED lighting,ornamental and sustainable features

Artwork:   The proposed artwork reflects an enduring, non-transitory message, symbolizing the connectivity and deep appreciation of the culture and history of Coconut Grove and its Pan American era.

The Artwork pays homage to the historical significance of the area. Dinner Key was originally the base of operations for Pan American Airway’s famed flying boats. The original Pan Am terminal building now serves as Miami City Hall. In fact, Miami City Hall was even added to the U.S. National Registrar of Historic Places on February 20, 1975. Taking into consideration that the project is surrounded by historical buildings and the garage actually sits adjacent to Pan American Drive, the proposed artwork takes a contemporary approach to incorporate the history and celebrate the diverse culture of Miami.

The seaplane-themed artwork with highlights of milestones associated with the history of the area is quite appropriate to the site. The proposed artwork was designed to memorialize a piece of Miami’s history in a contemporary fashion, while simultaneously ensuring that it would withstand the outdoor elements. The mesh and all other related components are constructed out of stainless steel for durability and the graphics rendered with durable powder coating. The system was pre-cut and custom-manufactured off-site and erected in the field by attaching it to the structural components of the building.  The entire assembly is designed to comply with Florida Building Code wind loads.  The mesh has a transparency of approximately 50% to allow for natural ventilation.

The proposed artwork does not incorporate a business logo or sign, and the seaplane design used is not trademarked, copyrighted, or has any other affiliated protections in connection with Pan American Airlines or any other airline. The design does not contain any commercial message or purpose and has no adult content as defined in the Miami 21 Code. Furthermore, the artwork is a piece of art designed and curated to be appreciated for its beauty and historic symbolism.

Urban Tendency:  Low-scale, parking integration with other transportation modalities, aimed at encouraging walkability.