March 8, 2019 -- Just a few short years ago, getting around downtown Miami amounted to taking your chances in an overworked yellow cab, the dodgy Metrobus, or if you had time to burn, the antiquated Metromover. Then along came commuter bicycle lanes, bike sharing, Uber, Lyft, the free Miami Trolley, and our own high speed rail system, the Brightline (now Virgin Trains USA).
In addition to these transformative transportation changes that the city of Miami has experienced in just a few years, the $5 billion public and private project Miami Worldcenter will soon open in our backyard. Who would never have imagined that this seedy nightclub and rehab center district to transform into the shopping, transit, hospitality, arts and entertainment center of our city.
We do have our own share of development and growth pains to deal with, but nothing close to the scale and density of the urban core of our surrounding neighbors in Midtown, Edgewater and Little Haiti.
In February 2018, the city approved a mixed-use project located at the vacant site of 5700 Biscayne Boulevard to consist of a 294-unit apartment building, 27,000 square feet of commercial / retail space, and 517 parking spaces. The project remains in planning stages due to the Morningside Civic Association and their Biscayne Boulevard Development Committee weighing in on the scale, design and scope of the project.
While the $1 billion Magic City Innovation District has been met with much local resistance and activism, the City of Miami recently took up the discussion over the Special Area Plan again. Following hours of discussion and many objections of local residents, the City Commission will pick up on the discussion at their next meeting on March 14th. Residents are not satisfied with the $31 million benefits package to be paid over the length of the construction, which could be as long as 15 years.
As investors have snapped up and developed the once undesirable city blocks immediately north of Miami's CBD as the Arts and Entertainment District, together with several new condo developments and apartment buildings in Midtown and Edgewater, plus the explosive growth of Wynwood and the Design District, the Upper East Side neighborhoods remain hidden and muted to these bustling metro areas.
We are all very fortunate to enjoy our quality of life in the Upper East Side while the rest of the city surrounding us is bursting at the seams.
Ross Milroy is a long time Miami resident, real estate broker and property rights expert. Ross was educated in South Africa, Switzerland and the United States. Ross holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Hotel Management and a Master of Science Degree in International Real Estate from Florida International University. Ross and his wife Julie, and son Keane, reside in the Morningside area. They love to spend their leisure time boating around Miami and the Florida Keys.