MIAMI – Miami-Dade County and the city of Miami have settled their differences over development of two parcels of land in Overtown, clearing the way for a project that will bring a 150-room hotel, 200 homes, including affordable apartments, more than 200,000 square feet of retail space and parking for 1,000 vehicles.
County Commissioner Audrey Edmonson made the announcement at a press conference Wednesday at the site of the historic Lyric Theatre, following county approval of developers for the long-vacant properties at the south side of the Lyric at Northwest Second Avenue and Eighth Street known as Sawyer’s Walk.
The terms approved by the County Commission include upfront payment of $5 million to the county and $2.75 million to the city, said Edmonson, who championed the issue during the County Commission meeting on Tuesday.
Edmonson also insisted at the meeting that the developers, All Aboard Florida-Stations, Overtown Gateway Partners, and Gatehouse Development, contribute to a Community Benefits program that will provide $3 million over the next 10 years for the Overtown community.
The City of Miami Southeast Overtown and Park West Community Redevelopment Agency will negotiate agreements with the developers to enable the project to proceed.
Edmonson said the original variance requests submitted by the CRA for the properties, designated Block 45 and Block 56, had been unacceptable overall to her.
“I felt that they didn’t sufficiently compensate the county for the right to develop the property and that they could potentially delay the projects longer,” she said.
Edmonson successfully pushed for the upfront money to be paid to the county by the developers for the right to develop the land be increased from the original $2.75 million to $5 million. This money, she said, is to be used solely for the redevelopment of Overtown and for community development.
That amount is in addition to the $3 million which the developers will pay over the next decade to be invested in the Overtown community, based on recommendations from a committee drawn from the neighborhood. The county will oversee the disbursement of this money.
“I strongly believe that the revised variances result in the best return to the county and Overtown residents and provide assurance that long-awaited development on these parcels will start and be completed on time,” Edmonson said.
“I am proud of what this means for the Overtown community. These developments will be the catalyst for a sustainable community where people can live, work and play,” she added.