Developer Marc Roberts said his aim is to transform the street outside his E11EVEN nightclub in Miami into a “modern day Bourbon Street” with a focus on entertainment and hospitality.

Unlike the historic Bourbon Street in New Orleans, Miami’s version on Northeast 11th Street would be centered around sleek condo towers with flashing light shows. Two of the three E11EVEN-branded condos will permit short-term rentals, so they will function much like hotels with frequent visitors.

“Think of it like a high-end casino without the casino,” Roberts said. “You have the restaurants, the pool parties, and the med spa in the hotel, and you can live in a condo 100 feet away and reach it with a crossbridge.”

It might be hard to imagine what Northeast 11th Street would look like with these three towers there, but Roberts has a solution for that. His company set up a virtual reality headset experience in the sales gallery where guests can feel like they’re walking around inside the buildings. The Miami skyline comes into clear focus beyond the pool party with a DJ spinning tunes for dancing guests.

The pool has a glass floor with a view of the restaurant below. There's a massive whale sculpture with its head poking into the restaurant and its tail in the pool.

During events, people celebrate on the closed off street as the three towers are illuminated by LED displays and light shows timed to music.

And above it all, there’s a spacious penthouse with a jellyfish tank in the wall.

“Three or four years from now, no one will recognize this neighborhood,” Roberts said.

Roberts is also a partner in Miami Worldcenter, a 27-acre mixed-use project where multiple developers have acquired land from the original partners and started building under the master plan. Roberts worked with Art Falcone of the Falcone Group to assemble the land for Miami Worldcenter starting about 20 years ago, and they survived a difficult period of restructuring during the 2008 financial crisis to move the project forward.

Between Miami Worldcenter and the E11EVEN condos, the Southeast Overtown/Park West neighborhood of Miami is undergoing a major transformation. Two decades ago, the neighborhood had plenty of parking lots and older buildings.

Roberts believes it’ll soon become a hub of activity with a better location than Brickell to the south and Wynwood to the west.

“Park West is like Manhattan and Wynwood is like Brooklyn,” Roberts said. “There’s a lot more money to be made in Park West than in Wynwood. You can’t build as much density in Wynwood as you can here.”

Indeed, the maximum height in most parts of Wynwood is 12 stories. There are many locations in Park West where buildings can exceed 60 stories.

The key, Roberts said, was the Port Miami Tunnel. Before the underwater tunnel to the port opened in 2014, more than 1,000 container trucks a day rumbled through the streets of Southeast Overtown/Park West, making it an unattractive area to develop, Roberts said.

Several other factors have played out in favor of the neighborhood, he said. The Florida Department of Transportation’s ongoing renovations to Interstate 395 will create a “signature bridge” with a huge art display facing the neighborhood, a 38-acre park underneath the bridge instead of concrete barriers and fences, and a highway exit a short distance from the E11EVEN buildings.

In addition, the neighborhood has high elevation and doesn’t experience major flooding from rainstorms, Roberts said. Flooding has been an issue in some parts of Miami, including Brickell.

The attractiveness of the neighborhood and the popular E11EVEN brand has led to strong condo sales, Roberts said. The first two towers are sold out, he said.

The developers, a partnership between Roberts, Michael Simkins, and Property Markets Group, broke ground on the 400-unit E11EVEN Hotel & Residences in 2021 and should complete the hotel and short-term rental condo building in about 30 months. They broke ground on the 550-unit E11EVEN Beyond, a purely residential condo, in May and should complete it in just under 36 months. The third tower, West Eleventh Residences with 659 condos available for short-term rental in partnership with Airbnb, is 85% pre-sold, Roberts said. He anticipates they will break ground in nine to 12 months.

Roberts said retail leasing at Miami Worldcenter also has done very well. Of the roughly 350,000 square feet of retail in the project’s first phase, about 98% is leased, he said. Pedestrians see many empty spaces there now because tenants are still building out there spaces and some didn’t want to open until construction of neighboring buildings was complete.

But, some stores have opened, including a Lucid electric vehicle sales and service center, Lululemon, and Sephora. Future tenants include LA Fitness, the Container Store, the Museum of Ice Cream, Bowlero and Posman Books, he said. The restaurant Juvia, which was previously on Lincoln Road in Miami Beach, will open in a rooftop space at Miami Worldcenter, he added.

Roberts expects that most of the shops will be open in a year and a half.

“This neighborhood will be the center of everything for the city,” he said.