From Mega Aquarium to Gateway Park: A Conceptual Transformation

By Isaac Aelion, Commissioner

(Monday, January 2, 2017 ) – The concept of bringing a Mega Aquarium Attraction to the City of Sunny Isles Beach was born by noted visionary developer J. Milton of J. Milton & Associates back in 2010. At that time the Miami Seaquarium also viewed the project positively and initial joint efforts along with the City of Sunny Isles Beach were made to take the project off the ground. The proposed location was to be where Gateway Park sits today between the east and westbound lanes of Sunny Isles Blvd at the entrance to the City. When the construction logistics and traffic impact studies were scrutinized more closely, they revealed a very challenging scenario and the concept was soon abandoned.

A new concept of what was to become Gateway Park was born shortly thereafter. This time the concept was transformed into reality and the City has recently had a soft opening of the park. The 5-acre park houses a 378 space three-story garage with ground retail space and a large enough lawn to seat 2,520 for a stage concert event. In addition, the park features a children’s playground complex and water feature which will soon become the preferred destination for many of the City’s children.