Miami, Fla. – Florida City is proposing to annex a 10acre vacant parcel bordering the municipality’s western boundary which belongs to a pediatric care center that has been helping disadvantaged families in the area for the past 17 years.

Patches PPEC, 3355 Krome Ave., located in an enclave between Homestead and Florida City, where most of the population is Black, plans to build a $15 million, 50,000 square feet facility on the property to be annexed. The property stretches from S.W. 7th Avenue to Redland Road, and Patches also agreed to set aside some land to build housing.

Kyle Smith, CEO and founder of Patches, said Florida City agreed to annex the property to spare the nonprofit organization the cost of building its own septic system and other infrastructure.

"The costs would be astronomical," Smith said. "We are only a half block away from Florida City."

Smith said the bigger space will allow her organization to meet the growing population of kids and their families and expand services.

Smith said Patches offers medical and daycare services for needy kids from PreK through third grade with diabetes, heart conditions and other health issues, and also helps children with autism.

She said she started the organization because of the rising costs of healthcare especially for underprivileged kids, some whom are declined for Medicaid coverage, and parents don’t have to worry about the care of their children while they are working.

"Parents have to work, they don’t want to miss work because they have to take their children to medical care facilities," she said. "If they meet the medical criteria, their kids are safe with us while they are at work with our daycare program. It makes our lives a little easier."

Smith said a good portion of kids live in Florida City and the organization "stays south" to make the travel easier for families and their children.

"A child is on a bus for about an hour to get to a nursery care and it takes some kids longer," Smith said. "We are located south where the commute is easier and faster."

Smith said her organization also assists the school district with kids when it experiences a shortage of medical needs for the students.

"If they fit our medical criteria, we can assist the school system," Smith said. "Not all but part we do to fill in some of the gaps."

Smith said the bigger facility will accommodate a clinic, a cafeteria, additional space for daycare and medical services for needy adults who can’t afford healthcare.

Miami-Dade County Commissioner Kionne McGhee, who represents the area, sponsored an ordinance at the Dec. 6 commission meeting to start the annexation process for Florida City. His colleagues approved his measure on a 12-0 vote.

"Pathes is a facility that helps children with the inability to pay for medical and daycare," McGhee said. "This type of contribution to the community gets kids the assistance they need."

Henry Iler, a planner for Florida City, said Mayor Otis Wallace and other city officials are taking a special interest in Patches’ plans since it’s been a big part of the South Miami-Dade community for years. "They want to help make it happen so they can build the new facility," Iler said.

Iller said Florida City encompasses 5 square miles with a population of 18,000. If the city is successful in annexing the property, Florida City won’t be able to collect property taxes since Patches is a nonprofit.

Iller said the annexation process must go through a lengthy process that could take two years or more.

The county commission would have the final decision on whether Florida City can add the property to its boundary.