By: Ismael Rodriguez

Balfour Beatty PLC, a London-based infrastructure group, was awarded the $260 million contract to build the much-anticipated River Landing Shops and Residences in Miami.

Construction on the riverfront development, which spans two million square feet, is expected to begin by year-end and to be finished by the fourth quarter of 2019.

The 8.14-acre development site at 1400 Northwest North River Drive, which sits along the Miami River, will include a riverfront park, 475 apartments and 426,000 square feet of space for retail stores and restaurants.

H&R REIT, Urbanx Co. and real estate developer Mathews Southwest hired Balfour Beatty after the developer had started pre-construction earlier this year on the River Landing, which included some of the foundation work.

The site was bought in 2014 by River Landing Development, led by Andrew Hellinger, for $26 million, obtaining a $38.2 million mortgage on the property from a company linked to New York-based Northstar Realty Finance.