Developers To Take Brickell Name Request To State
Written by Deserae del Campo on April 13, 2006
By Deserae del Campo
Tallahassee is the next stop for real estate interests who want to carry the name of Brickell Avenue north of the Miami River after Miami City Attorney Jorge L. Fernandez pulled a bid to extend the name from a city commission agenda last week.
A memo dated March 30 from Rafael Suarez-Rivas, assistant city attorney, said, "The city cannot individually re-name or give a name to a street, road, avenue or other thoroughfare that is a state road or part of the state highway system or the state park road system."
Brickell Avenue is a federal highway, US 1, and a state road, State Road 5 – as is a portion of the stretch of Northeast Second Avenue north of the river developers want renamed.
Jack Lowell, vice chairman of Codina Reality Inc., which represents one of the developers, said "of course" his team is going to take the issue to Tallahassee, though he won’t say how.
"We don’t want to reveal our strategy to people that firmly oppose this," Mr. Lowell said. "We are not entirely sure of how the process will work or how or when we will move forward."
The city memo states the naming, designation or numbering of a road requires an enabling bill from the state Legislature, which is in session until early May.
"In summation, the City of Miami may not rename a segment of State Road 5 in the absence of an enabling state bill designating the road segment with a new name," the memo says.
Hal Martell, president of the Brickell Area Association, said he knew the issue would move to the state level -"we thought it a supreme possibility."
"The authentic history of Brickell Avenue is indelible regardless of which governmental agency has authority over the two-block stretch of Southeast Second Avenue north of the Miami River," Mr. Martell said. "The Brickell Area Association’s mission to preserve this aspect of our city’s history, versus the bottom-line goals of a few private interests, is unchanged."
Members of the association have cited the brand value of the Brickell name and their concern that extending the name into downtown would dilute it.
City commissioners were to vote on the bid last week to rename two downtown blocks of Southeast Second Avenue before the city attorney said they could not. They had deferred three weeks ago after Commissioner Johnny Winton, a Realtor who owns downtown office property and a member of the Brickell Area Association, said he was caught in the middle.