Design Miami/ May Move to Miami Beach

Categories: Art Basel
design-miami-2009.4168831.87.jpg
Photo by Ian Witlen
Each December, Design Miami/ is one of the biggest and most distinct Art Basel satellite fairs on the west side of the bridge, but The Herald reports that the fair is looking to move from its annual and appropriate home in the Design District to a parking lot across from the Miami Beach Convention Center where Art Basel is held.

The proposed move is the work of one man: show owner Craig Robins. In 2007 he sold a 10 percent share in the fair to Messe Schweiz, the owner of Art Basel (who also own half of the Design Miami/ Basel, the show's Switzerland outpost). Design Miami/ has become the only satellite fair sanctioned by Art Basel Miami Beach, and having the fairs geographically close makes sense.

While the city of Miami Beach is licking its lips over the move (they'd get between $50,000 and $75,000 a year for renting the parking lot, plus presumably more tourism dollars), we assume not everyone is going to be happy.

For one, the merchants of the Design District would be losing their annual marquee event. Last year the area attracted a number of limited edition luxury stores that brought shoppers to the district through out December, not to mention nearby lounges, design stores, restaurants and art galleries see a boost from the fair.

There's also that simple matter of parking. It's always scarce on Miami Beach, especially during Basel week. Losing an entire lot to a fair isn't good news in that rather boring, but practical department.

Fairs like Scope, Pulse, and Art Miami have found homes on the other side of the bridge, but Design Miami was one of the main fairs drawing buyers across the bay into the city proper.

The proposed move is another shocker in recent developments for Design Miami/. Last month founding director Ambra Medda announced that she'd be stepping down.
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