Swire Properties, with its massive Brickell CitiCentre project, will be bringing a different twist to downtown Miami development — underground parking — that also will involve groundwater freezing, a project official told Miami Today.
Using rods or tubes containing super-cold liquid nitrogen, groundwater freezing is needed while building a barrier to prevent more groundwater from entering the site. Eventually, the water will be defrosted and sucked out of the ground to make way for the complex’s foundation and two levels of underground parking, he said.
“It’s never been done in Miami,” said Steve Krysowaty, president of CBP Construction Consultants in Miami.
Prep work has already begun for the freezing around the perimeter of the site.
Plans call for a six-story shopping mall, two office towers, two condominium towers, a large hotel, and plethora of amenities such as restaurants, nightclubs, a movie theater and a bowling alley, with construction expecteded to start before the end of the year.
The underground parking is necessary because Swire wants CitiCentre to be a “street level” development immediately accessible to both residents and visitors on the ground, according to people familiar with the project.
That’s a unique feature in Miami, where large developments typically have multi-level parking garages on the bottom floors, with the featured development on top.
Until now, developers have avoided going underground for parking in Miami because of the extensive groundwater here. Likewise, groundwater is spread throughout the CitiCentre site, Mr. Krysowaty said, adding that the complex’s foundation will be anchored to bedrock some 50 feet or so below the surface.
In addition, pile testing has been done on the site to determine the ground’s capability in various spots to support the weight of the structures, Mr. Krysowaty said.
The CitiCentre site involved in the freezing is divided by Miami Avenue and located primarily along Southeast Eighth and Seventh streets. The parcels are boxed in on the west by Southwest First Avenue and go just east of the Eighth Street Metromover Station.
Source: Miami Today
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