Daily digest: A “COVID-conscious” Miami tower, Adam Neumann is building a real estate empire, and more

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Daily digest: A “COVID-conscious” Miami tower, Adam Neumann is building a real estate empire, and more

The Miami skyline. (Steele Rutherford/Unsplash)

Good morning and welcome back to another news roundup of the day’s goings-on. There’s plenty to dive into, so let’s get to it.

A $500 million “COVID-ready” tower gets the go-ahead in Miami

Miami developer Royal Palm Companies is moving ahead with plans for a new $500 million tower at the Miami Worldcenter that will cater to medical tourists. Hyped by the company as a project specifically designed for the COVID era, the Legacy Hotels & Residences tower will contain 310 residences, 219 hotel rooms, and a 120,000-square-foot health center spread across the first ten floors. Construction is expected to begin in the first quarter of this year, and the tower will integrate water purification, a UV-disinfecting HVAC system, touchless entry, and other amenities meant to stymie the spread of disease.

H/t to Construction Dive

WeWork founder Adam Neumann has bought up over $1 billion in apartment buildings

Although beleaguered co-working company WeWork is no longer within his grasp, Adam Neumann is reportedly working on building back up a real estate empire. The ousted entrepreneur has bought up $1 billion in apartment buildings across the South, more than 4,000 units, from Miami to Nashville and beyond. The end goal appears to be creating a unified rental apartment brand backed by plenty of amenities and aimed at young professionals.

H/t The Wall Street Journal

The MTA cuts service after more than 1,000 workers call out sick

With the Omicron variant of COVID still surging unfettered across the United States, schools and public transportation lines are seemingly bearing the brunt of infections. Although the New York City subway and bus system was seemingly spared years of reduced service through 2024 thanks to an infusion of federal funding in July of 2021, the pandemic has forced the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to suspend service this week anyway.

The culprit isn’t budgetary, though: more than 1,000 MTA employees are out sick with COVID at the time of writing. The entire B, W, and Z subway lines have been taken out of service until the agency can restaff them, and the rest of the subway and bus lines are facing service cuts and delays as well.

H/t to Pix11

A $40 million movie studio will rise in Bastrop, Texas

More pandemic, more content (or something like that). The latest addition to the new crop of movie studios springing up is a new $40 million, 546-acre production studio and entertainment district just outside of Austin. Sitting in the small city of Bastrop, Bastrop 552 Studio will reportedly hold 200,000 square feet of offices, 468,000 square feet for studios, and 300,000 square feet of warehouse or mill space.

The Austin- and Nashville-based STG Design has been tapped as the project’s architect, and the first phase of construction is expected to begin this spring and take a year to complete.

H/t to The Real Deal

Kengo Kuma completes an underground student center topped with a green roof

At the Tokyo Institute of Technology, Kengo Kuma has completed a cascading arrangement of stepped shingles to cover the new Hisao & Hiroko Taki Plaza student center. Most of the new building has been embedded in the ground to preserve views across the campus to the university’s clock tower, while landscaping has been placed across each of the rooftop steps. A path has been carved out across the top for visitors to sit on and walk through what Kuma described as a “green valley.”

H/t to Designboom

Enter this Mexican nightclub themed entirely around Banksy

The Banksy Social Club in Mazatlan, Mexico, isn’t exactly subtle about the nightclub’s theme. With framed prints of the anonymous street artist’s graffiti work, reproductions of gilded weapons, and scantily-clad women holding up giant letters to spell out BANKSY, the new club is one part gallery and another part super kitschy bar.

H/t to The Art Newspaper