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MIAMI-A joint venture of New York City-based ING Clarion LLC and locally based Flagstone Property Group plans to begin construction in summer 2008 on Island Gardens. The $600-million, mixed-use project is rising on Watson Island in Biscayne Bay. The project is slated for completion in 2010.

The project, located on 10.5 acres of previously undeveloped land, will feature a 43-story building with the 150-room Shangri-La Hotel and fractional ownership homes, called the Residences at Island Gardens, atop the hotel. It will also feature a 29-story business hotel/resort and the 50-slip Super-Yacht Harbour; CHI, the Spa at Shangri-La; and 221,000 sf of retail and restaurant space. Watson Island is situated between Downtown Miami and South Beach and is accessible by automobile via MacArthur Causeway (Interstate 395, the extension of Interstate 95 to South Beach.)

Flagstone Property Group chairman and CEO Mehmet Bayraktar tells GlobeSt.com that marketing efforts for the fractional units have started with prices ranging from $175,000 to $750,000 for a one-eighth interest. Final discussions are under way with the operator of the hotel/resort in the 29-story tower, but the operator has not yet been named. That tower will not include any fractional ownership units.

Bayraktar adds that the retail space is not within the towers, but in separate structures alongside the retail avenue that runs between the two towers. Marketing efforts for the retail and dining space have recently commenced and several letters of intent have been received from restaurateurs and retailers. The positioning of the retail will be high-end luxury goods.

The project, located within minutes of Downtown Miami and Miami Beach, will feature unobstructed views of Biscayne Bay and the Miami skyline. “With its potential to transform the Miami skyline, we expect the complex to become one of the premiere leisure and hospitality addresses in the city,” says ING Clarion managing director Edward Rotter, in a released statement.

The Super Yacht Harbor will be the only marina in North America to be able to accommodate mega-yachts up to 300 feet in length. A 100-foot, set-back landscaped promenade will extend along the 1,000 foot length of the sea wall. The project is being designed by London-based Eric Kuhne & Associates with interiors by Italy-based Piero Lissoni.

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