Marlins Park itself isn’t the only major project nearing completion on the site of the former Orange Bowl in the Little Havana neighborhood.
West Plaza, an urban center unlike any other in the Greater Miami area, is also taking shape right outside the main entrance into the new home of the Miami Marlins.
A place to meet, greet, eat and enjoy the experience of a fun-filled mecca not only on game days but also throughout the year, West Plaza will be unique in that it can be either open-air or sheltered from the heat and rain of South Florida.
That uniqueness comes thanks to the same retractable roof that will keep the Marlins protected from the elements while battling their opponents in the 37,000-seat ballpark.
The plaza, which will blend in with the character and charm of Little Havana and mirror the diversity of the Magic City and its surroundings, differs from other area locales in that its very appearance will change depending on the ballpark’s roof.
When the roof is open, West Plaza will be a covered area the size of three-and-a-half football fields. It will be open to the public and be used for events, concerts and the like both in the daytime and in the evening.
And just recently, the first three tenants of West Plaza were finalized as Holiday Bakery, La Baguette and YoBlendz will serve as the initial mainstays in what will be a hub of activity for baseball fans and South Floridians in general.
Through the West Plaza concept, Marlins Park will create a street edge that connects to the surrounding neighborhood.
All three new shop owners are delighted to be a part of the changing landscape when the Orange Bowl once served as a pillar of that area.
“We are so excited to be part of Marlins Park,” said Jose Blanco, owner of Holiday Bakery, through a Marlins’ press release. “Our bakery will have traditional Hispanic sandwiches, pastries, tamales and of course Cuban Coffee, that will accentuate the Latin flair that makes Marlins Park such a unique and special place.”
La Baguette will also offer a tasty array of choices for those visiting West Plaza.
“We are known for our amazing sandwiches like the prosciutto and fresh mozzarella and its turkey and melted brie…we look forward to sharing our products with Miami Marlin’s fans while they attend the games and also the neighbors of the ballpark all year round,” added Mr. Hernandez, owner of La Baguette, in that same release.
And Adam Ogden, founder and CEO of YoBlendz, couldn’t have been any happier to be a part of West Plaza.
“We are thrilled to partner with the Marlins on this tremendous community development and revitalization project,” Ogden said in the release. “To be among the first retailers to be a part of this unique new concept is very exciting. We look forward to providing our fresh, YoBlendz self-serve frozen yogurt to fans and visitors throughout the coming years.”
All three establishments anticipate being open when the Marlins welcome a sellout crowd and a national television audience for its opening game on April 4 against the World Champion St. Louis Cardinals.