With Downtown Miami thriving as a 24-7 residential neighborhood and buyers from around the world recognizing the value of living in the center of Miami’s urban core, construction has begun on the first condominium to break ground in the City’s Central Business District since the 2008 economic downturn. Centro – a 352-unit loft-style condo tower set to rise at 151 SE 1st Street – is located in the heart of Downtown Miami, which has come to life in recent years as a bustling metropolis filled with young professionals, world-class cultural arts and entertainment offerings, high-end shops, restaurants, and luxury hotels.

Newgard Development Group, the project’s developer, and The Tilia Family of Companies, commemorated the occasion with an official groundbreaking ceremony held last month, at site of the future 37-story mixed-use tower.

Centro Miami“As the first project to break ground this cycle in the heart of Downtown Miami, Centro is revolutionizing the future of urban living in Miami,” said Centro developer Harvey Hernandez, managing partner of Newgard Development Group.

Underscoring Downtown Miami’s emergence as a pedestrian-friendly district with an array of transit links and alternative modes of transportation, Centro is Miami’s first residential building to have a fleet of on-site Smart Cars through a partnership with the Car2Go vehicle sharing program. Also, a variety of efficient and cost-effective transportation options are within walking distance of the development, including the Miami Trolley, Metromover and Metrorail, which provides access throughout Miami-Dade with frequent direct service to and from Miami International Airport.

Designed by Miami-based architecture firm Sieger Suarez Architectural Partnership and constructed by Tutor-Perini Building Corp., Centro’s loft-style residences will include one- and two-bedroom units with open-concept floor plans; dramatic 10-foot ceilings; floor-to-ceiling windows with energy-efficient, sound-reducing glass; and balconies with views of the city lights.

Newgard has selected designer Yves Béhar, founder of San Francisco-based design agency fuseproject, to create the project’s interior design concept. Contemporary interiors will feature finished concrete floors; oversized closets; modern Italian kitchens, bathroom and light fixtures; Italian cabinetry; and stainless-steel, energy-smart appliances.

“The innovative design, cutting edge features, and prime location of Centro has enabled our sales team to get the attention of buyers both locally and abroad,” said Cervera Real Estate Managing Partner Alicia Cervera Lamadrid. “As the tower moves full steam ahead to vertical construction, we still have premium units available for buyers seeking an urban lifestyle in the heart of Miami’s vibrant downtown neighborhood.”

Building amenities will include a two-story penthouse recreation area featuring a rooftop pool with 360 degree views; health club and spa facilities; and resident’s Skylounge. Additional perks include full-service valet parking; exclusive outdoor pet area with access controlled entry/exit; 24-hour reception desk; multiple fully-wired shared workspaces; and ground-floor anchor restaurant and retail space.

Preconstruction prices start in the low $200,000s and top out in the mid-$400,000s. The project broke ground in late 2013, and is scheduled for completion in early 2015.