Rubell family art collection is moving to Allapattah

Nov 30, 2016

Limewood, larch tree and camouflage fabric by artist Paloma Varga Weisz during the annual interactive brunch / art installation at the Rubell Family Collection in Wynwood last year. AL DIAZ

One of Miami’s premier family art collections is moving from Wynwood to a 2.5-acre campus in Allapattah with a 2018 opening date — but the Rubell Family Collection isn’t saying where exactly.“An address is not being released at this time,” Christine Choi, a spokeswoman for the collection, told the Miami Herald.But corporations tied to the Rubells have been buying up warehouses in Allapattah. A source with knowledge of the family’s plans said the campus will be centered at 1100 NW 23rd St. and 1101 NW 23rd St. The Rubells paid nearly $12.4 million for those two parcels in deals that closed last year and in April, according to Miami-Dade County property records.The Rubell Family Collection has been on display to the public for 23 years at its current home in Wynwood, a once-industrial neighborhood that has transformed into a hip nightspot thanks to its art scene. 

The move is one sign that working-class Allapattah could be the next part of Miami to experience a familiar pattern: first artists move in, then galleries, then restaurants and shops. nHome prices in the historic neighborhood north of the Miami River, west of Interstate 95 and south of State Road 112 are already rising faster than Miami Beach as investors renovate and flip existing homes, banking on Allapattah’s cheapness and proximity to Wynwood and the Design District.
Little Haiti and Little River are under similar development pressures.The new museum, designed by Selldorf Architects, will be 100,000 square feet and feature 40 galleries, a library, lecture hall, sculpture garden and restaurant, and will allow the family to display more art and host more events, according to a news release. Its opening date is December 2018.  The Rubells’ collection features significant contemporary artists such as Jean-Michel Basquiat, Jeff Koons, Cindy Sherman and Kara Walker. The family will sell its current 40,000-square-foot museum, a former Drug Enforcement Agency evidence warehouse, at 95 NW 29th St.“As a family, we enjoy the process of discovery, whether it’s new artists or emerging neighborhoods,” Mera Rubell said in a statement. “The Wynwood neighborhood — which was factories and warehouses when the collection moved here 23 years ago — has become a major cultural destination populated by art galleries and institutions, restaurants and boutiques. ... We’ve purchased the new property, completed plans, and will begin construction shortly, with the goal of opening in time for Art Basel in Miami Beach 2018.”The Rubells, originally from New York, made their money developing hotels. They are part of a group of prominent local collectors — including Martin Margulies, the de la Cruz family and Ella Fontanals Cisneros — who have opened their art holdings to the public in an approach sometimes dubbed “the Miami model.”

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