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Is That Construction Noise Saying Ciao, Cipriani Miami?

Where: 3201 Collins Ave [map], Miami Beach, FL, United States, 33140
January 18, 2012 at 9:14 AM | by | ()

Last summer, we passed by this building--the site of the perpetually-delayed Cipriani Miami--every day. And it was a dead zone. Nothing happening. Which led us to believe the fancy-pants project was dead in the water.

Not so! A Miami tipster sent us this shot snapped this week, along with word that construction was afoot. At last! But. It may not be a Cipriani.

It turns out that the ill-fated Cipriani development was taken over by Argentine hotelier Alan Faena--yes, of the hip Faena Hotel in Buenos Aires. And here's what he has in store for the site...

OK, so this is actually a condo building on the same land, but it's all part of Faena's master plan for U.S. expansion.

The rendering by star architects Foster and Partners shows revised plans for the 3201 Collins site that went before the notoriously tough Miami Beach Preservation Board back in October--and were approved. The hotel is on the left and the shiny new structure is the 19-story condo building.

Somehow, this whole switch-and-bait from Cipriani to Faena slipped right by us, in part because most news reports referred to the hotel to by its original name, the Saxony, and not Cipriani.

Exactly what Faena and his development partners have planned for the hotel is still to be revealed--although we do know that the Saxony building is being both restored and partially demolished. A Faena Group plaque is now on the door of the sales office at the construction site, and over at the Faena Group website, the project is referred to as the 'Faena Saxony Hotel'.

Ciao, Cipriani—Hola, Faena?

As Alan Faena himself told The Miami Herald:

“Miami is for us the door to get into the world ... Miami is where all Argentineans, Brazilians, Mexicans love to go. In a way it is our house ... Our dream is to do what we did here in Buenos Aires — create something really special working with the best minds in the world.”

[Photo: MP Miami Beach. Rendering: Foster and Partners / Miami Herald]

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