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Brickell City Centre Quickly Changing Area's Landscape

MIAMI (CBSMiami) -- A development project being touted as a "destination experience" is going up quick at a well-known Miami neighborhood changing the area's landscape.

The Brickell City Centre is going to be much more than a mall. Besides two luxury residential towers, a high end hotel is being built. There will also be top restaurants, a theater complex, and a large retail shopping area.

"I think it's going to be a great idea, great place because we don't have any mall around here," said Brickell resident Jess Giron.

Angie Noda who also lives in Brickell said, "I think it's a great addition to the community and I think it's wonderful for this environment."

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Ten days ago, Saks Fifth Avenue committed to opening a 107-thousand square foot store at the site and the developer couldn't be happier.

"The feeling is sort of like landing a whale. You go out fishing and the next thing you know, you've hooked a big one. It takes a long time to land a great fish and a trophy," said President of Swire Properties Stephen Owens.

Most people who live in the area, said it's about time. Few said anything negative, but if they had to nitpick, there'd be just one small problem.

"There is a concern about the availability of parking space and the traffic. There's less and less parking space, and more business and residential occupancy, so that's one of our concerns," said Brickell Business owner Stefano Cavinato.

But the developer said people in the neighborhood will no longer have to jump in their car and drive for shopping, dining, or entertainment.

"It changes how you live so we actually think the long-term impact is less traffic," said Owens.

The cost of phase 1 alone is estimated at a billion dollars. After the completion of phase two, the total could come in around $ 2.5 billion.

The developer said they are putting up all the money themselves making it one of the largest privately funded projects in the country.

Construction of phase 1 is well underway. It's expected to be completed in late 2015. The developer is banking on the project's success and so are buyers. Half of the first residential tower is already sold.


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