While it might sound improbable to say with recent business closings in town, however for 2018, I’d say we’re “off to an optimistically good start!”  With the South Miami municipal election happening on Tuesday, February 13, it is time for the city commission to advance critically important economic issues for the city.  This is a “watershed election” in our city.  For the sustainability of our entire community, our businesses and our residents on both sides of US1, the newly elected leadership should be keenly aware of the economic consequences of maintaining the status quo.

In the course of the next few years, we must address what is best for the economic interest of the city on the US1 corridor by way of housing and business development.  It is now time for our elected leadership to step up and meet the economic challenges not only of the business community but the entire city. We are all in this together, and can thrive together.

The future of our retail and restaurant district is very promising if we bring the proposed developments
to fuition:
– The owners of The Shops at Sunset Place will be negotiating with the newly elected city commissions on their plans for the revitalization of this major nine acre parcel of South Miami.  Plans include a hotel, residential units, a town plaza and a major redo of the interior and exterior spaces of the mall.  At first rebuffed by the commission, the project will again come before the newly elected leaders. This major commitment of some $250 million 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 consider the plans and move forward.

– Another project with an earlier desirable outcome is the proposed re-development of the Winn-Dixie site.  Plans call for a new Winn Dixie of some 40,000 square feet, underground parking, street retail and two eight story upscale residential units (see page 37). These plans will shortly come before the Planning Board and City Commission.

In both instances, by City Charter, the vote for approval by the elected City Commission must be a unanimous 5/5 vote.

With 72.8% voter approval in a non-binding straw ballot, the city electorate chose to consider the redevelopment of the City Hall property.  Proposals are being reviewed 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.  At 73rd Street, the stunning contemporary design by STA Architectural Group is a new gateway into our retail and restaurant district.  Two new restaurants are getting set to open as we go to press.  FOX’S and its related properties will also breathe new life as it is in the process of being redeveloped.  The redesigned space will show a more contemporary look and provide new retail space on US1.  (See page 41 for an architectural rendering.)  These are exciting times for our community. SOMI Magazine will be reporting on the “Changing Face of US1” in an upcoming issue.

FROST SCIENCE is our cover feature and can be found beginning page 15.  If you haven’t been, it’s well worth a visit, or two. This is another installment of our popular and exclusive periodic series presenting cultural and community resources which make the Greater Miami community to be such a special place. I hope you appreciate our coverage and take advantage of this great facility.

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 to Sunset Drive.  February street-closure events conclude with the South Miami Rotary Club’s  34th Annual Art Festival the weekend of February 24 & 25.

Enjoy the SOMI experience!

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 goes congratulations to The Irish Times proprietor David Higgins as he is celebrating 10 years in South Miami on March 15 – just in time for St. Patty’s Day!

That being said,  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.”






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