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Miami-Dade Bar inks $3 million renovation loan

News in Photos

Plans are to provide members with a business center, hospitality suite environment

Closing photo

In late December, the Miami-Dade Bar closed on a $3 million loan to renovate its headquarters located on N.W, 1st Avenue in Downtown Miami. From the left seated are Scott Stephens and Sabrina Puglisi, MDB president. From left in the back are Carlos Garcia; Jane Muir,  MDB’s immediate past president; Jorge Rawitz, Charise Morgan-Joseph, MDB secretary; Jeffrey Levey; Bret Berlin, MDB executive director; and Melinda Osborne.

The Miami-Dade Bar Association has closed on a $3 million loan to renevate its five-story headquarters.

“This is the culmination of many months of work,” President Sabrina Puglisi said.

In 2020, Immediate Past President Jane Muir and the association’s executive committee embarked on an ambitious plan to completely renovate the 1960’s-era, headquarters located at 123 North West First Avenue in Downtown Miami.

The project will increase the square footage from 18,000 to a total of 22,000 by bringing the elevator up to the fifth floor. The building will be completely gutted and have new electrical, plumbing, and HAVAC systems, which currently date back to the building’s original construction.

“Once completed, member attorneys will have access to a business center and a hospitality suite environment including work areas, meeting rooms, a lounge, and a place to store personal belongings while in court,” explained Bret Berlin, the association’s executive director. “These additional benefits complement existing offerings from the MDB such as networking opportunities, access to continuing legal education programs, community service opportunities, as well as discount programs and professional liability insurance products.”

The Miami-Dade Bar’s pro bono programs, which provide free and low-cost legal services as well as lawyer referral services for the general public, and Dade County Legal Aid will continue to operate on the first and third floors. Additionally, sister voluntary bar associations will have the opportunity to host their own meetings and events at the headquarters.

The association has selected J. Stephens Construction for the project and construction is expected to be completed in the Fall of 2023.

“The Miami-Dade Bar is committed to its members and this initiative reflects our mission to be the preferred voluntary bar association in the county,” said Puglisi.