Special to South Florida Times

MIAMI-GARDENS — A new pawn shop will make its way into the city.
At the zoning hearing on Dec. 1, the Miami Gardens City Council approved Miami Money Market’s request to construct a building at 16601 NW 27th Ave.

This was the second time Rey Chavez, owner of Miami Money Market, presented his plans for Miami Gardens Jewelry and Loans in front of the council.

“I stand up here tonight because there were a couple of issues that were brought up the last time I was here,” said Chavez.

Those  issues included lack of security and the council wanted assurances that the pawn shop would not breed crime.

This time, Chavez announced that the business will have an armed security guard from 5 to 8 p.m. daily and will not have items for sale placed outside.

Also, the business will feature a room where customers can trade their items in private. “An individual can come in and do a transaction without others knowing what they’re doing,” Chavez said.

“In Miami Garden there isn’t such a store like that to go and buy and look at fine jewelry,” he said. “The people have to leave and go somewhere else. Now they will have it in the city.”

In an agreement Miami Money Market made with the city, if at any time the property becomes a burden, the council will have the right to shut it down.

“I fully understood everything that the council wanted,” said Chavez. “Miami Gardens has cleaned up everything and I see the direction that it is going. I want to set an example for the other shops that are coming into the city.”

Part of that example, for Chavez, includes sponsoring local Optimist teams.

Robert Holland, attorney for Chavez noted that pawn shops are required by law to register all merchandise with the local police to ensure that the items they are selling were not stolen.

Councilman Oliver Gilbert III appeared impressed with the plans, saying Miami Money Market seemed to be the “Cadillac of pawn shops.”

“The fact that you’re actually purchasing the property, that says something,” Gilbert said. “When you buy something, you buy equity not in the building but in the community.”

But some other council members were less impressed, with Sharon Pritchett and Lisa Davis voting against the proposal. They did not explain why during the hearing.

Also at the meeting, the council approved a request from Joseph E. Nicolas, pastor of Prince of Peace Moravian Church, to build a new social hall at 18145 NW 19th Ave.