By: Frank Maradiaga
A day after opening their model showcase room on Lincoln Lane, the principals of Portman CMC stalked around another model reservoir two floors beneath the commission’s chamber. The first floor conference room took the appearance of a bunker- stockpiled with toy-like renditions of the Miami Beach Convention Center District, and oversized posters depicting the new life both teams hope to bring to the 52 acres. In between monitoring the commission meeting above, the principles were eager to speak about their plan’s public amenities and happy to share a 50-page glossy booklet they produced that listed the top reasons to choose their plan.
While the genesis and ultimate reason for the development project is the MBCC and its’ improved economical bearings, the teams engage in a complicated juggling act where they must please many interests, and ultimately the general public.
“Ours is a better plan, not just in a financial point of view, but it will work better,” said
Jack Portman, the name sake figurehead of Portman CMC. “And more importantly it will create a more dynamic urban experience for the residents of Miami Beach.”
Portman CMC recently spoke with the SunPost about their attempts to “educate” the public on what they offer culturally. South Beach ACE was invited to a similar talk, but scheduling problems have prevented it so far.
The Portman group is banking on a town square and is eager to show off the differences between the two finalist’s master plans.
“The town square becomes the community’s living room,” says Portman.
In early June they rented a store front on Lincoln Lane to house various models, and welcome an interested public. Members of the PR team have boasted to the SunPost over the foot traffic the storefront sometimes get. The opening did attract a capacity crowd.
Simultaneously they also published a chunky glossy booklet entitled “Top reasons to choose Portman CMC.” It features flattering charts and bar graphs that illustrate the differences in both plans, always with the advantage going to the home team. As an example in one bar graph the cost of the public is depicted; the scale starts at $580 million and increases in $20 million increments all the way to $700 million, the cost of South Beach ACE’s MBCC plan to the public. Graphically Portman CMC’s price-tag bar is tiny compared to ACE’s which takes up the entire chart, $624 million has never looked so small.