City and Art Basel Ink Long-term Deal

Susan Askew
Susan Askew

City and Art Basel Ink Long-term Deal:

art fair will stay for up to ten years

The City and Art Basel have signed an agreement to keep the art fair in Miami Beach for up to ten years. Under the terms of the new contract, Art Basel Miami Beach will take all of the space in the new Convention Center when it comes online including the Carl Fisher Club House which is undergoing restoration. The fair’s annual rent will increase in 2019 from the current $496,000 to $750,0000 subject to annual CPI adjustments.
 
Art Basel has been coming to Miami Beach since 2002 but has only had year-to-year agreements with the City. As construction on the Convention Center progressed, the fair asked for a design revision to include an elevator/escalator connecting the exhibit halls with the Grand Ballroom on the second floor. In the spring, the City Commission approved that revision pending a long-term agreement. In order to meet construction deadlines, that agreement had to be signed by today.
 
Since construction started, the Convention Center has alternately hosted 2-hall shows or been completely closed. However, in a nod to the importance of Art Basel, the construction timeline was specifically developed to accommodate the 4-hall needs of the fair in 2016 and 2017.
 
In previous years, Art Basel has used 624,353 gross square feet (all exhibit halls, meeting rooms, junior ballrooms, and Grand Ballroom). Once the new Convention Center is completed a total of 698,108 square feet will be taken up by the fair, including all exhibit halls, meeting rooms, junior ballrooms, and Grand Ballroom, plus the Carl Fisher Club House and Rooftop Specialty Ballroom.
 
The agreement is for five years with a five-year renewal. Should Art Basel terminate its lease early, there are penalty fees built in for the cost of the elevator/escalator project which added $3M to the construction budget.
 
Commissioners agreed to the terms at their meeting last week and gave City Manager Jimmy Morales the go-ahead to finalize a contract. Mayor Philip Levine said, “This is like us signing the Super Bowl for the next five years … I think it’s a great opportunity. Great. Fantastic!”
 

Image: Miami Beach Convention Center