Item Coversheet



TO: Neighborhood and Quality of Life Committee Members

Alina T. Hudak, City Manager

DATE: May 19, 2021




At the City Commission meeting on April 21, 2021, the Mayor and City Commission referred a discussion to the Neighborhood and Quality of Life Committee (NQLC) to discuss creating a new museum and cultural center in the Entertainment District. This memorandum provides an overview of current efforts to expand existing cultural institutions in the Entertainment District, and a cost analysis of funding new construction based on recent local museum expansion and construction costs.


The Art Deco Cultural District (ADCD), is the focal point of Miami Beach's tourist attractions. Home to the famous art deco promenade Ocean Drive, filled with restaurants, shops, and hotels, it is also home to two (2) cultural institutions, The Wolfsonian-FIU and the Art Deco Welcome Center. Located in the heart of the ADCD, these institutions are within walking distance from each other along 10 Street between Washington Avenue and Ocean Drive.


The Wolfsonian-FIU, run by Florida International University, is a museum, library, and research center that uses its collection to illustrate the persuasive power of art and design. The Art Deco Welcome Center, run by the Miami Design Preservation League (MDPL), provides residents and visitors with the various site and theme-specific tours of the ADCD, along with the annual long-running World Congress of Art Deco and Art Deco Weekend. MDPL also oversees the Art Deco Museum located inside the The Art Deco Welcome Center. 


Current Efforts of Expansion of these Cultural Institutions:

On November 3, 2020, nearly 64% of Miami Beach's electorate approved the expansion plans of the Wolfsonian-FIU on Washington Avenue. The ballot question asked to increase the museum's Foor Area Ratio (FAR), to accommodate a 25,000 square-foot expansion and renovation of the Wolfsonian-FIU.


On November 18, 2020, the Mayor and City Commission formally adopted via Resolution 2020-31476 the Certificate of results of the City of Miami Beach November 3, 2020, Special Election, which included Referendum 5, the approval of the Wolfsonian-FIU's plans to expand it's FAR. The expansion allows the Wolfsonian-FIU to provide 50,000 square feet of galleries and program space for residents and visitors. The expansion efforts are to begin in 2021. Zyscovich Architects drew up the conceptual expansion plan.


Zyscovich Architects is currently working on the ADCD Master Plan  to reimagine the ADCD as leading arts and culture destination. The Tourism and Culture Director met with Property Management to discuss a new museum within the ADCD. Property Management confirmed that the ADCD Master Plan has provision for a redesigned museum in the current Art Deco Welcome Center. The staff is meeting with Zyscovich Architects to discuss arts in the ADCD Master Plan.


New Construction and Expansion Cost Analysis:


  • The Wolfsonian-FIU expansion estimated at $10 Million funded through the Miami-Dade County Building Better Communities Bond.
  • The Bass Museum expansion (2015-2017) was $7.5 Million funded by City of Miami Beach.
  • American Museum of the Cuban Diaspora was $10 Million for the purchase of an existing building and reconstruction. Funded through Miami-Dade Building Better Communities Bond.
  • Perez Art Museum of Miami-Dade County was $220 Million in new construction, with $100 Million from Miami-Dade County voters in general obligation bond funding and $120 Million from private donors.
  • Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami proposed an expansion in 2012 with a request of $15 Million in an attempted bond issue that failed in public vote.


If the City were to consider either the expansion of an existing property or new construction for a new museum and cultural center in the ADCD, it is estimated that the cost will range between $7 Million and $220 Million based on the cost analysis outlined in this memorandum. Moreover, funding a large-scale construction project would likely require a public referendum. 

The following is presented to the members of the Neighborhood and Quality of Life Committee for discussion. The Art Deco Cultural District currently has two (2) cultural institutions within walking distance of each other that provide rich cultural programming and activations. They will be undergoing expansion and redevelopment in the coming year. Moreover, Zyscovich Architects are developing a long-term master plan that will consider the roles of the existing cultural assets in the area. The Administration recommends that Zyscovich Architects to present the outcome of the ADCD Master Plan at the end of 2021 to determine the need for other cultural institutions in the area.

Applicable Area

South Beach
Is this a "Residents Right to Know" item, pursuant to City Code Section 2-14? Does this item utilize G.O. Bond Funds?
No No 
Attachment A- Zyscovich Wolfsonian RenderingMemo
Attachment B-Art Deco Welcome CenterMemo