South Pointe Park Pier-Miami
Miami Beach announced the re-opening of a historic landmark from the 1970s. The original pier, built in 1979, was a gathering place for fishing, recreation, and families in Miami Beach. In 2004, the structure exhibited significant deterioration and was deemed to have reached the end of its service life.
The City of Miami Beach celebrated the completion of this yearlong project with a series of events leading up to the grand opening celebration. Events were free and open to the public and included art displays, giveaways, refreshments, and unforgettable ocean views. The project included the demolition of the existing pier and the construction of a new pier that telescopes out in a succession of honeycomb-patterned platforms extending 450 feet from the entrance for fishing, recreation, and special occasions. Features include a new pedestrian plaza, shade structures, and benches, the installation of viewing stations along the pier, and turtle-safe lighting. Construction began in February 2013 and the cost of the project was $4.8 million.
The inauguration of the renovated pier included the world-renowned German artist Tobias Rehberger’s playfully designed gateway entrance. The piece, which he calls ‘Eloquent South Pointe Park Pier Gate’ features the pier’s name in his hallmark “speech bubble” paired with colorful abstract lines. The diversity, fun, and artistic style of Miami Beach reflected in this work perfectly accentuates the pier.
South Pointe Park Pier is a complete makeover of a derelict park in Miami Beach, FL. The oceanfront context offered substantial design opportunities: expansive views of the Atlantic Ocean and the Miami area skyline, adjacency to lively residential neighborhoods, and direct access to both the bayfront and beachfront. However, the previous program amenities and design quality of the park required substantial intervention to capitalize on these assets and make the park a vibrant and successful place.
Its location bounded by the Atlantic Ocean and Biscayne Bay presented many environmental challenges to the Park’s design. The immediate adjacency to these sensitive environments required extensive design consideration and coordination with local and state agencies to ensure compliance of the planned park improvements with the stringent coastal and environmental permitting requirements. Buildings and structures were designed to safely accommodate coastal storms and hurricane forces. Grading and earthwork plans addressed construction along the beach, which included the use of indigenous limerick for subgrade construction and beach-quality sand in areas of beach dune restoration. Custom site lighting was designed to balance site safety while also ensuring the protection of marine turtle reproduction.
Eighteen custom catwalk pylons were designed to provide a signature night-time experience and announce the point of passage to cruise ships. Staggered along the 2,000 linear foot catwalk, the pylons also signify the annual phenomena of sea turtles returning to the beach to nest. Each year during the six-month turtle nesting season, all the pylon lights change color and illuminate the promenade with amber long-wavelength light, which does not interfere with turtle hatchlings and their migration back to the ocean.
Meanwhile, the whole family can enjoy the pier provided that they like spending time outside. There are opportunities to relax and participate in some fun activities as well. Most people spend about 2 or 3 hours here, but you could easily find yourself spending the entire afternoon at this beachfront pier.
At South Pointe Park Pier, one of the main highlights is its size. It stretches out 450 feet from shore and is a popular destination for locals and visitors alike to spend time by the water. You can cast out and fish or simply enjoy the viewing stations to take in the scenic splendor of the Miami coast. If you’re looking to enjoy some fishing during your visit, you’ll find everything you need to make it as easy as possible. Recycling bins for fishing lines are readily available, and you will even find spaces to cut bait and wash any fish you catch.
When you visit South Pointe Pier, you may also want to spend some time at the beach itself. You will find chairs and umbrellas available for rent, and you can play volleyball or try out paddleboarding. If you’re more interested in the parking area, you will find a promenade with walking paths.
Elsewhere in the park, the Splash Pad offers kids fun in the sun with cool water features for them to run through and enjoy. Meanwhile, grownups gravitate to the grassy areas and hammock zones. South Pointe Park Pier also offers two places to dine. There is a more casual cafe where you can find ice cream, refreshing drinks, smoothies, and other snacks to take with you. For those that prefer a heartier dining experience, Smith & Wollensky offers oceanfront views to enjoy surf and turf dishes. Unlike other parts of South Beach, such as Ocean Drive, South Pointe Park Pier offers a more tranquil atmosphere and is a popular place from sunrise to sunset with its variety of things to do for all ages.
There are a few things you need to keep in mind. While fishing is the most popular activity here, you can still enjoy your visit thanks to the views alone, so don’t hesitate to stop by, especially considering how close it is to other attractions. While you’re at the pier, you may also want to visit the surrounding South Pointe Park area as well. You will find a variety of walking and biking paths through the park, as well as a designated dog park that’s useful if you brought your furry friend along for the trip. While an off-leash bark park is available at the edge of the area and on-leash dogs are allowed on the park’s walkways, dogs aren’t allowed on the beach. Additionally, bikes and rollerblades are restricted to designated paths.
And the funding sources for this project included the Miami- Dade County Interlocal Convention Development/Resort Taxes, South Pointe Capital funds, and the South Pointe Redevelopment Agency. The project also included grants from the Florida Intracoastal Navigation District (FIND) for the design and construction phases of the pier. There are also partner agencies including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Coast Guard, Miami Beach Marine Authority, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, and Miami-Dade County Regulatory and Economic Resources.