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It's been a while (ok, a few years) since we followed up on what Argentinian developer Alan Faena had in mind for Miami but strolling by the Faena construction sites the other day, we fully grasped how massive this hotel and residential project is. Fittingly, the six-block development from 32nd to 36th Street on Collins Avenue is being called The Faena District.
Some background: Faena is also the hotelier behind Faena Hotel in Buenos Aires, one of the best luxury hotels in the city. (And also, not a fan of Justin Bieber.) Now, he's bringing his Faena flair to Miami in the form of three residence towers; one Faena Forum, a performance hall designed by Rem Koolhaas; and two hotels--one of which will be the Faena Miami Beach, created out of the old Saxony Hotel. (Faena also runs the existing Casa Claridge Hotel across the street from The Saxony on Collins Avenue.)
According to the Miami Herald, the Faena Miami Beach, with its 169 hotel rooms should open on November 1, but in doing a little walk-by the other day, we're skeptical (as always) of that date.
Development news from 3201 Collins Avenue, Miami keeps catching us off-guard. Back in January 2012, there was this bait and switch where the development sneakily went from Cipriani Miami to a new Faena project. Now we hear that they've been keeping a star design duo under their belts: Baz Luhrmann and Catherine Martin.
The husband-and-wife movie director and costume/set designer duo will be collaborating on the design for the 168-suite hotel; handling the interiors, uniforms, and 'cultural programming' for the what was originally called the Saxony Hotel, which is just one part of Faena's huge Miami development project.
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...