WE’RE OFF TO A GREAT START!
While it might sound improbable to say with recent business closings in town, however for 2017, I’d say we’re “off to a good start!” The future of our retail and restaurant district is very promising as we have new investments in our town center.
Recently the South Miami City Commission held a “community conversation” with members from the retail & restaurant district. This business economic development workshop paved the way for greater involvement, and the political will, to invest more into our business district. As the city now observes its 90th anniversary, there are calls for a strategic development plan over the next ten years as the city looks to its centenary in 2027.
The new owners of The Shops at Sunset Place have announced their plans for the revitalization of this major piece of South Miami. Plans include a hotel, residential units and a town plaza have been submitted to the city planning department. A major redo of the interior and exterior spaces of the mall is also in the works. This major commitment of dollars into our community would go a long way to create a dynamic flow in our retail/restaurant district. It’s a re-investment with a good R.O.I. for the community for years to come. It’s now in the hands of the City Commission to approve the plans and move forward.
With 70% voter approval from the city electorate to consider the redevelopment of the City Hall property, proposals are now being solicited for this prime parcel of real estate on Sunset Drive at US1. Over the next few months, the city leadership will be reviewing these proposals – new housing would be a boon for our business district.
The east side of the US1 corridor within the City of South Miami is in the process of further transformation. New construction of mixed-use development have signaled the change. After some delays with leasing, the eye catching 5966 building is now filling up. And the development of the New Chinatown property will sure catch your eyes. A stunning contemporary design by STA Architectural Group will be the new gateway on 73 Street into our retail and restaurant district; see page 35 for more details. Fox’s and its related properties will also breathe new life as it is in the process of being redeveloped. These are exciting times for our community. SOMI Magazine will be reporting on the “Changing Face of US1” in an upcoming issue.
As if on cue, flowers are now abundant in the streetscape of our shopping and dining district. It’s a very refreshing look as visitors walk through our town center. And beautification doesn’t stop there. FDOT (Florida Department of Transportation) is in the process of a major landscape improvement of the US1 median strip within the municipal boundaries (from 57th Avenue to 80th Street). Over one-half million dollars is being spent on a singularly unique landscaping design with native species. This will be unlike any other portion of US1. The city administration is to be commended for initiating this process in 2014 and working through the planning details with FDOT. The installation should be completed by the end of March.
This issue’s cover feature is all about craft beer. To start off, SOMI Magazine went to ground zero here in South Florida to visit at Titanic Brewery & Restaurant – it’s the granddaddy of them all. Part two in our next issue we’ll be doing a beer tap crawl through town, and also visit with other local breweries.
We continue with our tribute to the 100th Anniversary of the National Park Service and highlighting national parks here in South Florida. In this issue we visit the Big Cypress Preserve (see page 30). We wrap up our series in the next issue with the Biscayne National Park.
You’ll also read about Ed Beiner in our business milestone feature. Ed opened Mr. Eyes on Sunset Drive thirty-five years ago and his business has grown well beyond South Miami (see page 23).
While the country digs itself out from recurring blizzards, we get to enjoy our great outdoor community events that are hosted on our “main street.” Wheels take to the street this year as two car shows on Sunset Drive are held in February, VOLKSblast and the Das Renn Treffen returning for a third year to Sunset Drive.
Let’s hear from you. You’re invited to join us online; the magazine can be sent to friends far and wide by logging on to www.somimag.loc.
‘See you in and around town for the annual gathering of the clan on March 17th. And with that, let me close with a traditional Irish toast: “In this new year, may your right hand be stretched out in friendship and never in want.”
All the best these months as we get to enjoy our great South Florida weather. Bike 305, The Underline and Friends of Ludlam Trail are each having special family-fun events; connect with them online.