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MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) – A Denver-based firm was picked Wednesday for Miami Beach’s convention center renovation.

Fentress Architects was awarded the multi-million dollar contract, according to the City of Miami Beach.

Fentress, according to CBS4 news partner’s the Miami Herald, was picked Wednesday in a unanimous vote from a field of eight competitors.

The firm will draw up partial plans for the renovation project that will cost $500 million, the paper reports.

Fentress, according to the paper, specializes in designing public buildings.

The director of design and interiors for the firm, Michael Winters, told the paper that they aim to create a convention center that will “give back to the urban and civic environment.”

Fentress was actually the runner-up for the original, larger-scale plans for renovations which were scrapped shortly after the new commissions’ election in November, the paper said. But concerns about cost and other project-related issues led the new commission to ditch the old process and start over.

If the project continues according to plan, the city should have a design-build firm in place by April 2015 and renovations should be done in for Art Basel 2017.

“It’s incredibly important that we move this along very, very fast,” Mayor Philip Levine told the Herald. “There’s a huge industry that wants to come to Miami Beach.”

The Miami Herald contributed to this report.


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