opa-locka express event_cc_fc_web.jpgOPA-LOCKA — Mayor Myra L. Taylor has announced that plans are in the works to upgrade the Northwest 22nd Avenue Corridor to bring a “face-lift” to  Opa-locka’s downtown area.

She has also disclosed that Miami-Dade County Commissioner Barbara Jordan of District 1 is providing $2 million towards the restoration of the historic City Hall. 

Taylor’s comments came in her state of the city address which she delivered Jan. 28, 2011 at 7:00 p.m., under a large tent on Opa-locka Boulevard between Sharazad and Fisherman streets.

In a dramatic gesture, Taylor likened the city at this time in its history to a train, the “Opa-locka Express,” departing for “the dawn of a new day” with City Manager Clarance Patterson at the controls.

As part of her statement that the city is moving ahead, Taylor cited ongoing work to revitalize the Magnolia North community, sometimes referred to as the “Triangle,” with support from Jordan, Habitat for Humanity and Willie Logan and his Opa-locka Community Development Corporation.

Taylor said there was a time when  Opa-locka was known as a place for “just driving through to get somewhere else,” or as a stop to buy drugs in the “Triangle,” and many businesses listed the location of their company as “Miami” instead of “Opa-locka.”

“The city had a lot of people but no prestige, residents but no respect,  churches but no charge,  children but few champions,” Taylor said. “We walked into a room but no one knew we were there. We were a city without character or influence. Folk came into our city, told us what we needed, what we wanted and what we should have but it was all for their benefit, not ours.”

She continued, “Some of our residents did not have their high school diplomas and even less had college degrees, fewer with jobs and four out of five people were receiving government assistance, living right at or just above the poverty line.”

All of that must “pass away” in the 85-year-old city, Taylor said.