In 2019, I suggest we “Dare to Be Optimist” and embrace the change that could be South Miami.  While it might sound improbable to say with recent business closings in town, there is much on the horizon that brings hope for the depressed business situation.  For the sustainability of our entire community, our businesses and our residents on both sides of US1, the city’s elected leadership should be keenly aware of the economic consequences of maintaining the status quo and embrace new developments.  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 proposed developments to fruition: 

– The owners of The Shops at Sunset Place will be negotiating with the elected city commission 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 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 30,000 square feet, street retail and two upscale residential apartment buildings  These plans will shortly come before the Planning Board and City Commission.

With 72.8% voter approval in a non-binding straw ballot, the city electorate chose to consider the redevelopment of the City Hall property.  A proposal has been selected and over the next few months, the city administration will be reviewing and developing the public-private partnership agreement.

In this issue, we highlight an exceptional community resource that is right in our backyard: the Doc Thomas House.  The magazine is pleased to provide the space for the members of the Tropical Audubon Society to tell their story about the house and the good work done by the society.  It’s worthy of your support.

As the County Commission has approved funding for the Ludlam Trail that is great news for the community.  The magazine reports on the funding (see page 33) and is committed to prepare a special feature on The Ludlam Trail.  This, together with The Underline, are encouraging developments for improving the quality of life in Miami.

While the country digs itself out from the Nortic Vortex, we get to enjoy our great outdoor community events that are hosted on our “main street.”  Wheels take to the street this year as for the Das Renn Treffen returning to Sunset Drive on the weekend of February 9 & 10, and the South Miami Rotary Club presents its 35th Annual Art Festival the weekend of February 23 & 24.   

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.
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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