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MIAMI-After 16 years of planning and five years of actual construction, the two-building, 570,000-sf, $461-million Carnival Center for the Performing Arts is scheduled to kick off a four-day grand opening celebration Thursday at a low-income, off-Downtown location.

The complex is expected to trigger at least $1 billion in new retail, office, residential and restaurant development around the center’s 5.9-acre location at 1300 Biscayne Blvd., area brokers and developer representatives tell GlobeSt.com. The original development budget was $170 million.

Parker Thompson, a long-time Miami lawyer and chairman of the Miami-Dade Performing Arts Center Trust, calls the $461-million development cost a bargain for the city, even with an overrun of $291 million.

University of Miami economist Michael Connolly says nearby property values have risen 6% more than the rest of the Miami area since 2000. He predicts the rundown area will be turned around in two years.

The only two existing large buildings near the arts center site are the Miami-Dade School Board headquarters and Miami Herald’s printing, editorial and corporate facilities. But new commercial and residential projects are already in the works, area brokers tell GlobeSt.com. About 13,000 condominiums and two million sf of retail are planned or already under construction. The McClatchy Co. of Sacramento, the corporate parent of the Miami Herald, and Miami builder Pedro Martin are planning a $190-million, 695,000-sf retail center and two 60-story residential condo towers on 10 acres between the arts center and the Herald.

New York City-based Argent Ventures, which owns the nearby former Omni International Mall, plans to open 40,000 sf of street-level retail by the end of the year, according to Mark Teitelbaum, the firm’s COO. Argent also owns an 11.2-acre tract between 15th Street and North 17th Terrace along Biscayne Boulevard near the arts center site. Argent paid Lehman Brothers $100 million or $8.92 million per acre and $204.97 per sf for the dirt, as GlobeSt.com reported May 10, 2005.

New Haven-based Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects designed the two buildings, which are linked by a plaza and pedestrian bridge. The arts center is named for Miami-based Carnival Corp., a cruise line operator that contributed $20 million for the project. About 3,500 private donors and corporations provided $85 million. The balance of the funds is from public money. The buildings showcase $4.2 million in public art acquired from local, national and international sources.

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