Skip to main content

The developer of the Blue Zones Center in Miami has revealed details of what will be downtown’s largest health care facility, and a significant job creator.

Stephen Watson, managing partner of Blue Zones Center in Miami, said the health care facility would cost $100 million to build. It would employ 30 health care providers and 140 support staff in the first year. By the fifth year, it would have 56 health care providers and 300 support staff, he said.

That includes staff employed directly by Blue Zones and independent physician offices that are housed within the center, Watson added.

“We have a lot of training to do,” he said.

Despite the rapid residential growth in downtown Miami over the past decade, the area doesn’t have many medical offices. Many residents seeking care have to travel to other parts of the city.

Blue Zones Center will take up 220,000 square feet at the base of the Legacy Hotel & Residences at 942 N.E. First Ave. The project broke ground in 2021 and will also feature 310 branded condos available for short-term rentals, a 219-room hotel and numerous restaurants.

Miami-based Royal Palm Cos., led by Daniel Kodsi, partnered with California-based nonprofit hospital system Adventist Health to form Blue Legacy Ventures, which will operate the Blue Zones Center in the project.

Watson, who previously created and ran the wellness and beauty center at the Four Seasons Hotel in Brickell, was tapped to lead Blue Zones Center in Miami. He said the key for the project is to focus on preventative medicine and wellness.

“We are probably larger than most hospitals but without the beds,” Watson said. “Many hospitals are shrinking and losing services but they’re a sick-based model and not a preventative care model like we are.”

Blue Zones Center in Miami will offer annual and monthly memberships, although patients can also schedule visits with independent physicians who work there, he said. It will not take Medicare or Medicaid.

Members will receive extensive evaluations of their health care and lifestyle, understand their strengths and weaknesses, and be counseled on how to extend their lives, Watson said. The facility would include a fitness center, an ambulatory surgery center, orthopedics, spa treatments, food and refreshments, diagnostics imaging, behavioral health treatments, and a pharmacy.

The Legacy Hotel will dedicate 20 rooms to Blue Zones Center for post-surgical recovery, Watson said. Those hotel suites will be specially outfitted to health monitoring equipment and have nurses nearby, he said.

The art in Blue Zones will include a four-story presentation screen.

“This is a prototype for the future of hospitality and residential,” Kodsi said. “People are leaning towards health and wellness. People will start investing more in themselves and in their health.”

Blue Zones Center should open in the third quarter of 2025, and hiring will start 14 to 16 months prior.