By Hank Tester


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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — The 30-year-old tourist and retail attraction Bayside Marketplace is getting a revamp.

Local leaders and tourism officials gathered Wednesday to discuss a major makeover.

“In 1987, we opened in April, we became the center piece for the revival of downtown Miami,” said Pam Weller, Senior GM at Bayside MarketPlace.

That was the hope then, now the rest of downtown has finally caught up.

“They want to invest, they want to bring Bayside more into the 20th century to bring Bayside to be a part with what is going on on Biscayne Blvd and all downtown,” said Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado.

They aim to keep pace with the one-time controversial SkyRise Miami tower, the entertainment and observation tower to be built on Biscayne Bay’s shore in 2018. Voter-approved developers promise it will be the Eiffel Tower of Miami.

And Bayside?

23,000,000 international and domestic tourists trek through the one-time fishing dock facility, well-known to long-time Miami residents. Pier 5 was a hub of boating activity for years before it was convented to the existing mall — in which, over the last 30 years, has seen plenty of wear.

“It is a sprucing up,” said Weller. “I think it is taking us into the next 30 years. It has served us well the past 30, it’s a revolution of things to come, new and exciting to keep up.”

The Bayside operators presented the city a $10,000,000 check with no strings attached as a sign of good faith. They also extended the current 45-year lease to 99 years.

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