Wynwood, Miami FL
Wynwood Jungle, previously known as the Wynwood Arcade, was an uninspiring, lackluster property that was begging for a makeover. At the time of purchase which was in June 2021, the property lacked character and charm and felt empty and cold, with nothing much to lay eyes on. Although there was easy access to the road, the building had fallen victim to a number of detrimental concerns, causing a considerable decline in occupancy, curb appeal, and overall financial worth. The use of space was also inefficient as there was over 10,000 square feet of rooftop that was lying idle. However, the property resided in a convenient location and served as a pedestrian block break between 23rd and 24th street with a diagonal flow cross block that encouraged pedestrian footfall and gathering through the paseo and center staircase. Having successfully remodeled similar projects before, we recognized this as an unearthed treasure waiting to be discovered. Guided by our experience and expertise, we knew that the arcade had to be updated to make it more appealing to new clients and increase its property value, but with an eye on the budget by retaining elements still in good condition. This was going to present an exciting challenge for our expert team, keeping in mind that the final concept had to be sleek, modern, and along the lines of other exquisite properties in the Black Lion portfolio while meeting the needs of the local community and potential tenants.
Wynwood is a vibrant entertainment district hosting a high concentration of bars, eateries, and food halls, in addition to a tight concentration of ongoing vertical development. It’s also a thriving urban community of artists, designers, and edgy professionals. With this in mind, we sought to make Wynwood Arcade a reflection of the artistic and creative character of the neighborhood by re-imagining the property with an emphasis on the outdoor areas. The initial program for the project was to redesign the underutilized roof deck and hallways and maximize on space. We spent 14 months structural engineering the rooftop into a modern, classy, and fully-functional restaurant which could comfortably accommodate up-to 500 people. We also expanded the rooftop space by installing two new 5000 square feet decks with custom butterfly railings on each side of the property, where visitors and locals alike could enjoy the scenery, including panoramic views of the city. The rooftop was now a new type of urban space above the city’s streets that provided a dynamic destination for shoppers and diners. We then combined several of the first-floor spaces to accommodate the underutilized hallways, making it easier for people to move between the property’s different facilities. Over $500,000 was spent on artificial flowers used to decorate the façade, interior ceilings, and courtyard and convert the arcade into Wynwood Jungle. The custom lighting installation was designed to export customers to a completely different and unique nighttime experience of futuristic mystic. This is in addition to new stunning murals, which were installed at the center of the courtyard to bring out a picturesque fantasy jungle theme.
The end result was an unpredictable and dynamic masterpiece, which was not only warm and inviting but also maximized on space, successfully combining modern and original features with lush landscaping to give the much-needed wow factor. Wynwood Jungle became not only the center of Wynwood’s main entertainment district but also one of the most creative immersive retail destinations at the core of the Wynwood Art District. The property spaces were also richly appointed to provide a quiet oasis for immersion and cohesion and fit the needs of independent retailers, specialty shops, and eateries. Salty Donut, for instance, wanted more space for their retail shop. We relocated them to a new store and expanded their space to make it 3.5 times larger than their original space, which they turned into their headquarters that’s set to open in the spring of 2023. Other tenants that made Wynwood Jungle their home include Fabel, Bristol Republic, Pez Loco, Osme, Pink Room, SerenTi, and Ooh Raw. Wynwood Jungle is now an oasis within Wynwood Art District, boasting spectacular features that draw in customers for photos and videos, among other special experiences.